I recently attended the 64th annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando with 40,000 golf professionals from every U.S. state and 90 countries. There were more than 1,100 interactive exhibits showcasing everything imaginable in golf.
The week started off with a demo day at Orange County National Golf Center, which has an enormous 360-degree driving range. Attendees could try out all the new equipment.
However, there is definitely more to the golf industry than just golf clubs and golf balls.
This year there was a noticeable increase in the area of innovative golf carts. The Big Max-Blade Quattro Cart combines fast and flat-folding technology that will fit easily in the trunk of a car.
My favorite new item was the Golf Bike, pictured here, that combines golf with cycling and fitness.
It was fun to ride, and it could definitely improve the pace of play because everyone would be able to ride up to his or her own ball.
Golf fitness has become extremely popular. More than 75 golf fitness and sports performance companies showcased their new products.
More and more golf facilities recognize the benefits of incorporating fitness programs. Fitness is an integral part of golf instruction.
Another area I am interested in is golf travel. Research indicates that golfers in general like to travel, and most often take their golf clubs.
Putting together a golf trip for my students shows them my organizational skills and allows us to become better acquainted. I will be taking several of my students to the upcoming Solheim Cup this summer.
I always purchase a number of new teaching aides. I can’t wait to try my newest purchase. “Swing-beep” is an innovative aide that has multiple benefits.
It’s a small antennae beeper that you can attach to several areas on your body. It beeps if you do something wrong.
For example, put it on your target wrist, and if it beeps, you have used your wrist incorrectly. You can attach the beep to an alignment rod and put it at your trail hip. If it beeps, you have swayed on your backswing.
You can attach it to your cap and it will beep if you over-swing. It will also beep on the follow-through if you finish your swing correctly. Finally, it has several uses on the putting green.
Anyone who wants to see how it works, just contact me.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.golfdoctorjean.com