2014 PGA Merchandise Show

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By Bobby Hall

The 2014 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando Florida was a great trade show and I am glad to have attended. The old saying “kid in a candy shop” is the best way to describe the experience. You have the best technology in golf combined with the major manufacturers of golf equipment. Sprinkle in the best teachers in the world and “boom” information overload!

Local area PGA Professionals who attended this years PGA Merchandise show include teaching professionals; Ron Gring (Magnolia Grove/Quail Creek), Rae Schussler (Craft Farms/Kiva Dunes), Steve Bobe (AC Read), Rob Bradley and Andy Ray (Timber Creek). Also from the Eastern Shore were PGA Members, Jason Polk and Jim Geram (Marriott’s Grand Hotel). I can safely say all of us were in attendance to improve our professions and bring new ideas and products back to our respective facilities. Getting to meet and talk with fellow PGA members around the world is an extreme privilege!

With iPad in hand and list of potential “bring us home something better than last year” list, we seek out the golf world’s Holy Grail for the question “what is best for our customers”!

Golf Balls and Drivers matching your swing speed numbers was a huge buzz at the show. It appears that it will be necessary to have a ball fitting session at the same time there is a club demo day. The golf ball needs to match your swing speed, compression factors, ball speed and launch angle will be numbers you will need to be familiar with in order to improve.

In a recent golf ball comparison it can be reasonably stated that Titleist outsells all other brands and claims the #1 Ball in Golf! Bridgestone has done the most to close the gap in sales and the e-Series golf ball is very popular. But in this same comparison we find Callaway rates the highest in accuracy based on the three hexagonal dimple patterns on their golf ball.

Added to the shelf and at the top of our customer list is the New Callaway Speed Regime series, the X2Hot, the X2Hot+ (plus), and the fastest selling ball “off” the shelf at Quail Creek is the SuperSoft! Here’s a little insight to these new products:

Speed Regime 1 (SR1): Designed for players with driver club head speed below 90 mph, the four-piece SR1 has been given the softest urethane cover. That should make it especially good around the greens, but an additional benefit is more low-speed lift. Slower-swing speed players get more carry and distance. This ball has the lowest compression in the SR series and will allow moderate swing speed players to create more ball speed. Aerodynamically designed by Callaway.

Speed Regime 2 (SR2): Very versatile. This ball is designed to fit golfers with driver club head speed between 90-105 mph. Less drag for more initial velocity off the tee and low-speed lift to boost carry distance. The five-piece SR2 has a dual-core design and two mantle layers under its urethane cover. The cover is slightly firmer than the SR1’s, and still providing spin for short game chips, pitches and wedge shots. Aerodynamically designed by Callaway.

Speed Regime 3 (SR3): Optimized for driver club head speed more than 105 mph. The five-piece SR3 has minimal drag after impact and energy efficiently transfer’s from a player’s swing into the shot for maximum distance. A ball with a lower and more boring trajectory, look for this to be the ball that PGA Tour players have in their hands for 2014. Aerodynamically designed by Callaway.

X2Hot golf balls are optimized aerodynamically for more distance based on your Swing Speed. This ball is specifically engineered with HEX Aerodynamics optimizing lift and drag. The end result: X2 Hot increases distance for swing speeds of 90mph and below. So if you’re looking to hit it farther and your speed is at or under 90, this is a great new product!

X2Hot + (plus) are also designed for more distance based your swing speed of 90 mph and higher. So if you’re looking to hit it farther with less hooks and slices and your swing speed is over 90, this may be your new golf ball!

The Supersoft has been the mostly popular ball to hit the shelf in sometime! The two-piece 38 compression ball has hit the fairway running! Just hang out at the golf shop and listen to players comments. This ball out performs all other low compression balls. Allows lift and trajectory and the roll out has been the quite the buzz. This ball boasts a ball compression number of 38. The soft core and soft cover combine with HEX aerodynamics to produce a golf ball that reduces spin and adds distance. With all the cool weather, it simply fits our players at this time!

Retail golf stores aren’t use to shelving golf balls with such a low compression number. Only the Wilson Duo golf ball holds up in comparison, with a compression number of 43 according to the PGA Compression scale. As a frame of reference, the Titleist DT Solo has a ball compression of 72 and the ProV1X’s number is 102.

“It’s easy to make a soft core, but it’s really difficult to make a soft core that is resilient, and we were able to do that with SuperSoft.” said David Bartels, Callaway Senior Directory, Golf Ball R&D. “Because the soft core is so resilient, it enables us to put a soft cover on it and still achieve really good ball speeds. The soft cover is great for feel and control around the green as well.”

Rounding the Callaway line of golf balls are the HEX Chrome and HEX Chrome+ (plus). Also the value priced HEX Warbird and not forgetting our ladies the very popular Solaire! Still available in pink!

At Quail Creek Mark Vines, Randy Burgan, Chris Rowe, and Jeff Williams, are test-driving a New Callaway balls today! Our driving net is up and the speed monitor is on waiting for you to test your swing speed and determine your number! It might improve your game two-to-four shots per round. We open at 7AM and close at dark. If we need to, we’ll leave the light on for you.

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