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Sunday, January 29, 2017

MacDuff's Top Eight Picks from the PGA Merchandise Show

My annual tradition continued as I walked (and walked) around the unforgiving, cavernous Orange County Convention Center at the PGA Merchandise Show, so you didn't have to! Drum roll, here's our Top Five from The PGA Merchandise Show. Oh, and there's a bonus company or three well worth looking into.

1. Callaway Golf - New Drivers. It was an epic Callaway launch for sure, but was the club epic? Well yes, but at the same time the marketing folks are going to confuse the heck out of people. There are actually two GBB EPIC drivers and both have green trim and from the top look very similar. One has a slightly deeper face and the other is slightly broader looking from the top. The deeper face driver has a movable sliding weight and the other one has two weights on the bottom that can be changed. Okay, so what's the problem? Well, literally the only branding that differentiates the drivers is the word "sub zero" in a tiny font on the hosel that I defy anyone under the age of 40 to be able to read! Why not just add the words Sub Zero to the sole and be done? It's just trying to be too cool and it doesn't work. So, despite this minor criticism, the "sliding weight" GBB EPIC, i.e. not the Sub Zero is gorgeous and feels fantastic. Read More Here.

2. Dormie Workshop - Leather Head Covers. I know, I know, more leather head covers! Aren't there already a ton of companies making leather covers? Yes, there are, but none like these. Have a look below at just a few of the funky options made by the likable Canadian company started by the Bishop brothers in Nova Scotia. Read More Here.

3. Fifty Fifty - Insulated bottles. You have seen insulated hot/cold bottles before, but I thought these would be great for golf. They are rugged, come in great colors, have a large mouth, so you can fit in ice and have a terrific carrying handle. We all need to drink more water when playing golf and they look like they will survive the rigors of numerous kid soccer and basketball practices too! Read More Here.

4. Signs by the Sea - Signage and Accessories. I'm a little biased, because our Links Candles Company already works with SBTS. They created our point of sale material and did an amazing job. Their team creates unique, handmade pieces for member guest events, pro shops and they are coming up with cool and unique items on a regular basis. And they are the nicest people! Read More Here.

5. Volvik - Golf Balls -  I know what you are thinking - Bubba and pink golf balls. I was thinking the same, but I must say the new VIVID golf balls in high intensity colors look terrific. They are three piece balls and perhaps better suited to lower swing speeds, but I'm still read to try them and hopefully love them. Read More Here.

PLUS 3 Bonus Picks - EvnRoll, H & B and Itobori
6. EvnRoll - Putters - This is Guerin Rife's new company and his putters feature a new groove system that creates an amazing roll and actually helps keep the ball on line. Trust me, I was skeptical too, but the technology really works and there was a real buzz on the booth. Read More Here.

7. Holderness & Bourne - Apparel - The two gents who are the H and B, Alex Holderness and John Bourne continue their well-planned progress in the golf business. They have created "modern classics" in apparel and luggage and I can attest to the high quality having worn and washed their clothing for over a year. Read More Here.

8. Itobori - Clubs This one is way out in left field, but I loved the look of these ultra-premium Japanese forgings. I couldn't really figure out if they were art or clubs as they were displayed as you see below. The heads alone will set you back $380 each. Oh, and then you'll need a shaft and a grip, so figure on $500 + per iron. But, you will have the coolest clubs bar none! Read More Here.

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