In Golf We Love
A BIG band welcomed attendees and set the tone of the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando held the third week of January. The hustle and bustle of the holidays had nothing on this whale of a show, and being a several year veteran, I had mentally prepared by just coming about from the Presidential Sail Fishing Tournament at Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada Florida where my sea legs were tested aboard “Chasin’ Tail” and trained for the terra firma of the biggest show in golf.
There was a definite novel feel to the floors teeming with new guard as well as old familiar staples. Big was better causing a time crunch where one had to pick and choose. I barely had time to wave to my pals at Straight Down, let alone spin their trademark wheel. Next door, Antigua’s Ron McPherson quickly thanked me for being an ambassador of his line that wears like iron. John from Maui Jim and I shared ideas over a half of a cup of Joe at the crack of dawn. Dancing through the aisles I discovered a diamond in the rough which stopped me dead in my tracks. A shiny golf tee encrusted with sparkling stones dangled on the banner model’s bust demonstrating a point the packed crowd all held firm: In Golf We Love! My feet were affixed at New Product Designer, Christina Benedetti’s booth wherein we collaborated on a custom design which fulfilled this shopping soldier’s mission to score new and exciting things. You can’t plan on jewelry, it just happens.
Segwaying from hard goods to soft goods is a snap when armed with a little thing called a list. Otherwise, one could easily be caught in a circle-jerk at every turn as the stores bring their A game and the selection and possibilities are simply endless.
In support of the stronger sex, virgin show product, Underwear for Men, explained that underwear does matter! They were large and in charge of supporting their goods with a garment complete with an adjustable draw string. This prompted a photo, text, and follow up phone call to my speed dial cousin, Mark Brammer, (NFL alumus turned golfer), to get his take on the trunks. Needless to say, I had to have some!
Once properly suited the men folk could really get revved up in the stellar Street Rods designed to tote golfers and look good doing it!
Turnabout is fair play. I practically stumbled into another female, Italian Designer’s booth who boasted melt- in- your- mouth, fabrics and one little number was an undercover silken tap pant just perfect for layering under my Waldhausen Riding Breeches or golf skort. Silken knickers in hand, I was now on the hunt for an outfit needing such a thing. A non-skort, unlike friends, it turns out, one can have too many skorts.
Enter Hedge, a deliciously elegant, ladies design company whose advertising piece had made the cut the previous year and holds a special place in my personal office. Life is short. Complete the outfit …my bad angel commanded. All I needed was an excuse to add more pieces to my closet when visions of The Grand Hotel entered my head. Done! Sign me up. Dial me in. Still vying for an Ace on #7 at their golf course, The Jewel prompted me to think I should polish my putting after all these years. Before I could do more on that self imposed Bermuda Triangle, I had managed to meet the master teaching,” King” of the Yips” as he fell almost literally in my lap in the Concierge Lounge of the Hyatt. Eric Kaplan has published a book on this topic and had believers in tow. Not for nothing, this “Vitamin Chick” quipped “I have a product for that!” Eric bequeathed me his putting Bible and I layed my new energy shot on him. Life Line was tossed back to jump start our day and doesn’t hurt as a handy Overhang fixer, either. Soon after, I told the folks at CaddySnax the same and we should definitely marry their snacks with my Shot. Shazaam! That’s what I’m talking about.
Later on the same property I traded horse stories and political views with two chaps representing The Ryder Cup from the other side. It turns out they are not shy and talk of the next match in Paris revealed they are planning on winning! Maybe they are distantly related to Full Swing the golf simulators who made their views know with their red hats vowing to Make Golf Great Again.
Long on ideas and short on time, I made dog leg left to find a vest just perfect for every day and every sport I do. It happens to have a matching ruffled skirt. This one has all the marks of being logoed and rolled out at my events this spring. Go Bar Gray, and stay at the show!
Being a serial entrepreneur and having a love for the classics can sometimes clash, however, I keep in mind how difficult it is for the PGA show first timers to roll out their wares and always give a college try at seeing as many as I can; it is truly so satisfying, year after year.
GolfStarRx & RideStarRx