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PGA Show 2013 Best Big OEM Booth

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You might be surprised to learn that year over year not much changes with the big OEM booths at the show. TaylorMade is huge. TourEdge is smaller, and every company brings a unique identity. With the possible exception of the reinvented Callaway Golf, big OEM booths at this show either reflect business as usual or even business scaled down.

While traffic at the show appears to be up, booth sizes in general appear smaller, and prominent product displays in many cases have been replaced by conference tables and heart-attack serious buyers.

Even in what feels like a slightly subdued setting, some booths outshine the rest. Here’s a rundown of what the biggest names in golf are bringing to the table. Check them all out, and tell us which is your favorite.

Bridgestone

As it always is, the emphasis at Bridgestone is on the golf ball, and getting fit for it. Just like years past, indoor ball fitting booths are the dominant presence in the booth. At Bridgestone, the ball isn’t the only thing, but it’s still THE thing.

While the company’s J40 series of woods, irons, and wedges can be found in the booth, none is truly prominently displayed. Almost certainly because of past theft problems, this year the actual balls are largely out of reach, which actually makes for some pretty cool displays.

With all the bright colors on display, one has to wonder why Bridgestone chose to dress its team in muddy green shirts.

Bridgestone Booth Gallery


Callaway/Odyssey

The most radical departure from years past can be found at the Callaway booth. The company says “things are different now”, and the booth generally conveys that.

Keeping pace with TaylorMade, Callaway had several indoor hitting bays where show-goers can actually hit the latest products – including the new XHot. Have you heard of it?

Like years past, the Callaway booth is setup to be a meeting place for the Callaway sales teams. With the loud (PUMA-esque) music blaring, one has to wonder how productive those meetings can actually be.

While the Odyssey booth is spacious, not it’s not packed with product – and that’s ok. The large putting green with projected alignment stuff is designed to showcase the company’s new Versa putter and EyeFit fitting system. Mission accomplished.

Callaway/Odyssey Gallery

Cobra-PUMA

Something never change and that’s mostly true at Cobra-PUMA. Even if things feel slightly toned down, DJ Scotty B still keeps the beats going up at the bar while the colorful PUMA apparel and Cobra golf displays line the walls.

Absent – almost conspicuously so – is the previously dominant presence of ORANGE. The message is clear this year; Cobra-PUMA is diversifying. And while detractors and fans alike will no doubt welcome the variety, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t miss the slide and the kiddie pool filled with Orange Balls.

At least you play (or watch Lexi Thompson) Dance Dance Revolution. As they have in years past, Cobra-PUMA hosted an in-booth party where PUMA celebs like John O’Hurley, Blair O’Neal, Lexi Thompson, and Anna Nordqvist (damn she’s tall), mingle with the common folk.

Cobra-PUMA Gallery


Nike

With a larger presence on the show floor this year coupled with that whole “We want to be #1″ thing, we expected big things from the Nike booth.

While the Covert theme (dark, sinister, unknown), kinda plays to the image of the new line, the the booth is dark – and it’s reasonably difficult to get a clear look at the product. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they didn’t want people to see it (because it’s really dark in there).

To paraphrase something from another company – as far as the Nike booth and the VRS_Covert is concerned; if you haven’t seen it, you haven’t seen it (because, seriously, it’s really dark in there).

Nike Gallery


PING

PING has never had what you might call a tremendous presence on the show floor. There are other displays where the nFlight fitting system is on display, but the main booth is dry, and lacks any sort of personality.

There are booths that are designed to showcase the product, and booths that are designed to sell the product (by way of numerous, pre-scheduled appointments). The PING booth is definitely the latter.

PING Gallery

TaylorMade/Adams

Over the last few years TaylorMade has maintained the largest presence at the show. Conversely, Adams has maintained almost no presence. Now the that two are under the same corporate umbrella…not much has really changed.

For 2013 TaylorMade continued their tradition of keeping their booth separate from the rest of the OEMs (far and off the exhibit hall past all the apparel guys). The square footage very likely exceeds that of all the other big OEM’s combined.

In a layout not unlike your local shopping mall, each product in the TaylorMade arsenal essentially has its own booth within the larger booth. It’s somewhat interesting that the entirety of Adams Golf occupies roughly the same footprint as a the Orange Julius (next to Old Navy). Take a look at the comparative size of the driving ranges (TaylorMade has a range, Adams has a hitting booth), and there’s no mistaking who the top dog is.

As it always is, the TaylorMade booth is exceptionally well done, though perhaps it lacks the wow factor of last year’s display. While the massive area means there’s more elbow room than you’ll find in most big OEM booths, it also gives the appearance that TaylorMade has less traffic than its competitors.

While my guess is TaylorMade still wins big on headcount, that point might be lost on the casual observer.

TaylorMade/Adams Gallery

Titleist

We’ve been tough on Titleist in the past. The general design of the booth barely changes from year to year, and the staff wardrobe changes even less.

With so many other OEMs fighting for their share of attention with giant booths, bright lights (or dim lights), and loud music, Titleist remains a predicable constant. This year, that’s not a bad thing.

Titleist’s displays show off the product better than any other big golf company at the show. They don’t simply show you what they have – they show you how its made, and this year the displays are exceptionally well done.

While Titleist sometimes comes off as dry and out of touch, this year’s booth strikes the right balance, which makes a strong case that Titileist could the best big OEM booth at the show.

Titleist Gallery

TourEdge

Give Tour Edge plenty of credit for winning the booth babe war…and by a wide margin. Beyond that…as you might expect from a smaller OEM, floor space is limited, which means the company needs to strike a balance between displaying the product, and selling it.

The booth does that reasonably well, but the smaller size, on what appears to be a more-crowded-than-usual show floor limits TourEdge’s curb appeal beyond those booth babes (which should still count for plenty).

TourEdge Gallery

Based on what you see. Which OEM has the best booth at this year’s PGA Show?

Which Big OEM Has the Best Booth at the 2013 PGA Show?

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jeff January 24, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Thanks for the coverage! Have you tried any of the new clubs? Are there any initial winners or losers?

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mygolfspy January 24, 2013 at 8:48 pm

The one consensus that the most of us agree on so far at the show of what we have hit for drivers is the Nike Covert is the initial winner. Best feel and sound. Unfortunately all the booths did not provide the chance for us to get data from launch monitors so results regarding a winner are not as definitive.

But that being said we think everyone should at least try the Nike Covert driver.

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SPY ZINGER January 24, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Which version did you guys like better?

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mygolfspy January 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Both are solid Zinger, some of us preferred the Tour version and some preferred the Performance version.

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SPY ZINGER January 24, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Thanks, looking forward to hitting this one since I first saw the photos here.

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SPY ZINGER January 24, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Guys, this is seriously the most organized and well done coverage I have seen to date. Not just saying that as a staffer, but it’s really well done. No disorganized chaos here, professionally delivered, concise, yet comprehensive. Thanks much for bringing it to us in this way, I really appreciate the work.

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GolfSpy Dave January 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Good thing Tour Edge was listed last or I would have skipped the rest of the companies…
In the immortal words of George Takei,
Oh my…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7N4vhRiJwFg

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jeff January 25, 2013 at 6:24 am

Where is the Muzuno Booth?

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GolfSpy T January 25, 2013 at 6:29 am

Mizuno does not have a presence on the show floor. They have a conference room for sales meetings, etc.

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M January 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Mizuno has a hitting booth on the show floor in amongst the many hitting booths. You really have to LOOK for it to find it. Out of the way. That being said I stopped by the booth and the staff there was VERY friendly and helpful. As an aside I think their hybrids are out of this world.

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Golfer Burnz January 25, 2013 at 7:27 am

Thanks for the coverage pf the show. For someone who has never been to the PGA show, I just feel like I walked through. Thanks!

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Scott Messner January 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

Thanks for all the photos! Great coverage on all the booths!

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Dana January 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm

What do we know about that awesome blue Vokey wedge in the Titleist pics?
Will they be releasing this as a mass produced finish?
I can dream!

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Dave m January 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Anybody out there demo the g25 driver or irons

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M January 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I demoed them. Liked most of them very much. In fact if you were going to make a Driver, Fairway, Hybrid purchase all from one company the G25 would be my personal choice. I did not conclusively like the irons. Might have just been me but I seem to dig with them. Then again I was getting tired when I got to the Ping booth.

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Dave m January 25, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Thank you

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Drew January 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Will you guys be posting any videos of the event?

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mygolfspy January 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Yes we will Drew, and you might just want to watch some of these. Don’t think you are going to see these types of videos on other golf sites ;)

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Michael L. January 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

lol @touredge using the ladies again!

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golfer4lfe January 27, 2013 at 7:13 am

Had a great time at the show. Have to say your report was spot on. Wish I could have met up with a few of you guys. I thought out of the big OEM’s, Titleist did the best job of providing people with knowledge of products and having the people there to explain it. Really liked what Callaway had to offer also. From a none OEM booth, the guys at Kronos Putters have an outstanding putter. Milled from one piece of material, no grinding or stamping. Might be the best feeling putter I have ever felt. Did anyone else get to check them out? Felt the same way about Nike, all the dark red lights made it impossible to really see what was what. Thanks for the report and pics.

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Troy Vayanos January 27, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Looks like a great set up at the PGA show. With all the new model drivers out the timing couldn’t be better.

I would too the Cobra / Puma booth as I recently purchased the Cobra AMP Cell and absolutely love it.

Will you be covering all the latest golf shoes, this is something that I am very interesting in?

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bear January 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Technology is destroying the game, but unfortunately, since i’m in the business i have to put up with it. taylormades booth was overkill. their new irons are overkill, and really, all they did was jack the lofts. now a 6 iron has 5 iron loft. its really incredibly stupid. People, i really want to know…do you want to play better because you worked hard to play better or because you bought technology to help you play better? my favorite product were the new FJ golf shoes btw.

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Michael L. February 2, 2013 at 1:38 am

TOUR EDGE GETTIN’ IT ON WIT DA B!TCH3$!!!!!!!!!

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