Finally. Something to write about.
Many thanks go out to to my buddy Tommy G. and Royce for getting the pass for me. Met Royce at the hotel on his way in and he showed me the ropes on this extravagant event. Even though I thought it was pretty expansive, Royce, and many others, said it was only a fraction of shows past. Used to be elbow-to-elbow with only the middle aisle navigable.
My first visit to the PGA Merchandise Show was a memorable one. Literally. Players who have long departed from the tour, many moons ago, seemed to pop up everywhere. Here are just a few I espied. Amy Fruhwirth, Jackie Bertsch, Michelle Bell, Karen Noble, Colleen Walker (I think that was her) Nancy Rubin and Donna White. Had two wins with Donna “back in the day” and it was great to see her again.
Of course, Nancy Lopez was there and Dottie Pepper was roaming around. A few current players floated by also, with new equipment and potential sponsors on their minds I’m sure, among other things.
Even though the LPGA booth was smaller this year (that’s what I was told) it didn’t seem to lack popularity. A few players stopped by for autograph sessions which had folks lining up down the aisle. Christina Kim and Paula Creamer were the most popular when I passed by. Creamer had plenty of action at the Sundog eyewear booth but nothing like the LPGA venue. She was dressed to the nines in a hip-hugging skirt and high heels which was in contrast with most of the others. In fact, I over heard one fan referring to a player as “The one who didn’t bother to make herself look pretty.” “Image is everything” to the public.
Along with autographs, anyone wishing to have their photo taken with an LPGA star was obliged without question. Among the mix were DFT players and participants right out of Q-School. Mallory Blackwelder even did a stint with mom acting as press agent. Natalie was scheduled for Friday but had to cancel for reasons unknown to me. Very much not like her I was told, so it probably was unavoidable. Heard there was a line of young, buff guys waiting for her.
A little more face recognition would be helpful to some players I learned. While Anna Nordqvist put in time signing her John Hancock, I saw two people point her out and proclaim their adoration for Suzann Pettersen.
Michael Whan, the new Commissioner, even stopped by and the cameras were rolling. Looks like a people person to me. Not like She-Who-Must-Be-Named. Lucky his first name isn’t Don.
I must have done 4-5 laps around this place. Tried to see it all and I think I did. Heard the vast majority of golf related business is negotiated this week and one could see why. If you have any presence at all i the golf business, you’re here. One end was dedicated to apparel and the other equipment, with every gadget and accessory in-between. An indoor range was set up next to the equipment so everything new and shiny could be demoed, tested and fitted. My favorite stop though was the cushiony chairs adorning one of the over-priced eateries that dotted this venue. Gave my dogs time to recoup before continuing on.
Overall, this is just what I needed to break the boredom of an interminable off-season. Wonder what will be next around the corner?
In the works? Heard a strong rumor that an event in Dallas will be added to this year’s schedule.
Good move: I’m assuming that due to the lack of full schedule, players out of Q-School will now be allowed to play in three DFT tournaments but only five spots will be allotted for them in each event. Don’t know what the pecking order will be.
Other stuff of interest:
Comparison: Thinking of getting one of those new-fangled iPads? You may wish to think again. iPad vs a rock.
Has Britain gone bonkers? Ad for ‘reliable workers’ banned as discrimination.
Obama says U.S. deficit could jeopardize recovery. No s–t Sherlock! Doesn’t stop him form spending though.
Study: Distractions, not phones, cause car crashes. If a phone is not a distraction, what is it?
Those evil capitalists!! Gates Pledges $10 Billion to Fund Vaccines
The crazies will be out in force: Tonight: Year’s Biggest Full Moon, Mars Create Sky Show