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The big winners from the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show

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By Zak Kozuchowski

GolfWRX Managing Editor

The 2012 PGA Merchandise Show produced enough story lines to last the rest of the year, but there were a few companies that stepped up their game this year. Here’s the GolfWRX list of the big winners from this year’s event.

TaylorMade-Adidas

TaylorMade was by far the most talked about company at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. Products like the RocketBallz line (click here for the review) certainly helped make TaylorMade the most crowded exhibit at the show, but it was the company’s impressive show strategies that made it this year’s biggest winner.

TaylorMade’s decision to use FlightScope monitors for all of its hitting bays at demo days was a genius move. When you promise double-digit gains from a new product line, you better be able to prove it. By providing each product tested with a custom fitter, TaylorMade insured that every golfer was seeing the biggest possible distance gains. This testing process produced longer lines that other setups at demo day, but most golfers didn’t seem to mind all that much. TaylorMade offered free hotdogs and beer that made the wait easier to swallow. While golfers refueled, they could sit back on TaylorMade’s stadium bleachers and watch golf teaching legend Jim Flick explain the finer points of the golf swing.

TaylorMade continued its dominance at the Orange County Convention Center, where it had the largest presence of any company. Not only did TaylorMade have its own room at the show, it also had a VIP concert area that treated fans to a surprise Thursday night concert by George Throrogood and the Destroyers. The concert offered free food and drinks in a space that was larger than nearly every other other company’s display. Click here for pictures and discussion.

What impressed me most about TaylorMade at this year’s show, however, had nothing to do with the money the company spent on its exhibits. After a lot of negative feedback on the dull finish of the ATV wedge, TaylorMade decided to replace it with a new satin and chrome finish that is as good looking as the company’s booth babes. Click here for TaylorMade pictures and discussion. Click here for the booth babes contest.

As dominant of a force as TaylorMade is in the industry, the company proved that it’s not too big to admit a mistake, and its quick fix of the ATV wedge is a great example of why TaylorMade is on top of the industry.

Yonex

Armed with 20-year-old superstar Ryo Ishikawa, the Japanese giant proved at this year’s show that they’re ready to become a major player in the U.S. The company’s large display located in the center of the show and its beautiful forged iron offerings created serious buzz from consumers. Click here for video, pictures and discussion. 

Yonex’s muscle back irons are the same model played by Ishikawa, and are made of S25 Carbon Steel from the Kyoei forging house in Japan, making it one of the best looking and best feeling blades in the world. The EZONE woods lineup also offers great looks, and Yonex’s in-house designed shafts might be one of the most interesting products this year. While U.S. consumers will likely gravitate to more established shaft companies, it’s a novel idea for Yonex to have control of the entire shaft production process.

Footjoy

Footjoy has dominated golf footwear for decades, and this year hopes to make a big splash with a full line golf apparel. It’s performance apparel collection doesn’t include a stitch of cotton,  a surprising decision from a company with such conservative roots. The company did a wonderful job of maintaining a classic look throughout the line with modern materials.

Footjoy’s XPS-1 was the most talked about golf shoe at the show, and it’s sure to be a hit in 2012.

Gary Woodland wears the shoe, which has a wide TPU designed outsole that delivers extreme stability during the golf swing. It’s offered in a variety of styles and colors, and is available in a traditional lace-up mdel, as well as in Footjoy’s BOA lacing system.

Adams Golf

 

 

The Speedline XTD Super Fairways and Super Hybrids are going to be huge hits for Adams. I didn’t test them on a launch monitor, but I didn’t need to. They’re cannons.

My only concern is the slot on the crown, which I found to be distracting. While I would probably learn to live with the look after a while, I wonder why Adams didn’t choose a matte black finish that could better conceal the slot. On the other hand, the Mercedes silver paint does offer a terrific contrast. And I believe the slot on the crown adds an extra bit of performance and forgiveness that will give the RBZ fairways and hybrids formidable competition. Click here for video and more pictures.

Click here for more discussion in the forums. 

Want to write for GolfWRX? Click here for more information.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Adams Golf Blog » PGA Show – DEMO DAY

  2. roonster

    Jan 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    played the yonex mb

    they are the softest and purest irons in the world
    they are also the most expensive
    the range needs some good wedges with a selection of lofts and bounce
    monty is back with them so that says something

  3. ben peres

    Jan 29, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    why is yonex not in canada

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Scotty Cameron Teryllium TFB-1.5 (stainless) putter”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Scotty Cameron’s Teryllium TFB-1.5 (stainless) putter. Our members have been mightily impressed by the flat-stick, with the finish proving to be a massive hit with WRXers.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the putter at the link below.

  • ASN21: “Beautiful putter!”
  • WillyL: “That would go well with my black one!!”
  • deep18: “Yes please. Daddy like.”
  • noodle3872: “I typically gravitate to black finishes on putters, but the stainless looks amazing! The insert looks slick with a bit of shine to it as well.”

Entire Thread: “Scotty Cameron Teryllium TFB-1.5 (stainless) putter”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “3+ wedge users – the more, the merrier or certain wedge for certain shots?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from BetterAtBingo who has asked WRXers the merits of having 3+ wedges in their bag. Our members discuss what they feel is the optimal wedge set-up and how they decide on a specific wedge for a particular shot.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • gioguy21: “I carry a 47* PW (it’s apex MB, or a ‘set’ PW); 52/56/60* MD4’s. When playing, i actually use them for specific purposes mostly: PW and 52 are predominantly for full shots or longer pitch shots off fairways, 56 is used for inside 100y, pitches, chips, around the green and bunker shots, 60 is used for around the green in higher grass, or near-side bunker shots (where you have to get it up quickly) or when a lob shot is needed with some higher spin. Hope this helps. I carried a three wedge system (PW, 52, 59) for the entire year, and always felt like I needed something between the 52 and 59; specifically with spinny pitches/chips and bunker shots.”
  • lenman73: “I am similar to gioguy. I have 44, 50, 56, 60. The 44 and 50 are full shots. The 56 and 60 are for close range. For whatever reason, in my area elevated greens are the norm, so unless you miss short in the front, playing the low ball isn’t the best decision. It’s not always from the front either. So since I started playing 30 years ago and have lived in the same area, the aerial assault has always been my go-to game plan near the greens. So for me, it causes no confusion; it is lie and length-dependent. Anything within 10 yards of the green is my 60 and adjust from there.”
  • gwelfgulfer: “I don’t think that gapping at the bottom of the bag really means much as that is more for full swings. Shots under 100y usually aren’t ‘stock yardage’ full swings (obviously depends on individual yardages) and are likely going to be club manipulated swings (ball position, choke down, 3/4-1/2, flighted). I roll with a three wedge set up unless I have my i20’s in the bag (I just like the UW enough to carry it) as most of these sets have 47-48 degree PW’s, so going 54/58 or 53/58 isn’t much of an issue. Most greenside play is done with either my 53/54 as I prefer to get the ball rolling quicker and just read it all like a put. Bunker play is with either club as situation dictates.”
  • Warrior42111: “PW (45) Full shots – and some bump and run. 50 Full shots – and some bump and run. 56* anything inside 100. 62* short siding and I love it out of a bunker, can full swing and not worry about overshooting”

Entire Thread: “3+ wedge users – the more, the merrier or certain wedge for certain shots?”

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Forum Thread of the Day: “Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon putter cover”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon putter cover. The eye-catching cover has got our members talking in our forums, and the reaction to the cover has been very positive.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Fritzer: “Sick cover, love the SJ logo considering he played for the Jr sharks.”
  • chafita: “Awesome cover.”
  • tdk8180: “You better win with a cover like that…ballsy putting a San Jose logo on there….jeez”

Entire Thread: “Maverick McNealy’s custom Odyssey/Toulon cover”

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