If there is one type of weather golfers love, it’s days that are cold and extremely windy.
—Nobody, June 4st, 19neverty3
It’s January, but it’s January in Central Florida and last week it was in the 80s and actually hot outside. For Demo Day though, Mother Nature heard that the golfing world was holding a huge event outside so she gave us temps in the 50s and some strong nasty wind that brought the wind chill down into the 40s.
Perfect weather to go hit some golf balls, right?
So that’s exactly what we did. Day one of the PGA Merchandise show is dedicated to people getting to use the equipment outside and not just at an indoor hitting bay. Held at the Orange County National Golf Center, the PGA Demo Day might have been miserably cold, but there were still plenty of attendees who showed up to test out the equipment.
We had never been to the Orange County National Golf Center and the first thing we saw as we walked out of the registration tent was the massive circular driving range. I had seen pictures of it from previous Demo Days, but in person, it’s quite a sight to see. Around the entire range, exhibitor booths were set up, varying from 10′ x 10′ pop up tents, to massive booths with driving range areas, putting greens and even some with live DJs. Regardless of size, the important thing was that companies were getting people out there and trying out their new equipment.
The second thing we noticed was that there were golf cart alternatives everywhere. No, I’m not talking about the amazing devices that are built to help people with disabilities continue to play the sport they love. I’m talking about cart alternatives that people without a disability would use. There were motorcycles, stand up scooters, sit down scooters, trikes and even one that had wheels so small it looked more like a mobility scooter than something that could drive around fairways and rough terrain. Below is the skooza demo area, which was the first cart alternative we came across.
In addition to scooters, there were also hands-free carts that either automatically followed you around or were remote controlled. Pictured below is the Club Car Tempo Walk being demoed on various terrain types.
Besides carts, there were gadgets, launch monitors, a bunch of CBD companies and of course plenty of new clubs being shown off. Wilson, Mizuno, Callaway, Lynx, Cobra and plenty more companies we didn’t get to see were all demoing their newest clubs.
While it was neat to see all the new clubs, golf balls and tech that was on display, I think the star of demo day was Ping’s John Deere putting challenge. What is that you ask?
Because of the miserable weather, we left about halfway through the day so we weren’t too run down for the three long days of trade show coverage that followed. All in all, it was a very interesting experience, and one I hope isn’t as cold next year.
My full-time job has always been in the IT world, but I’ve also spent the better part of a decade writing product reviews and helping cover large industry-only trade shows. It was only in the latter part of 2019 that I put two and two together and realized I should be doing the same thing for something I’ve loved my whole life — golf. This is the culmination of a hobby that started as a child, a hobby that turned into a passion as an adult, and finally a passion that turned into The Golden Ferret.