The PGA merchandise show is golf's biggest, best bazaar. Each January everybody who's anybody in the biz heads for Orlando's 1.1-million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center to show off tire latest gear or to place bets—uh, orders—for the upcoming season. With nearly 1,500 exhibitors and 50,000 potential customers on hand to haggle over everything from pencils and divot-fixers to Godzilla-sized drivers and Rolls-Royce look-alike carts, the show is a golfer's best sequel to Christmas. Here's what rang our bells this year.
Determined to stay ahead of the curve? Check out the new Liquidmetal irons ($2,700), made from an alloy so strong and dense that paint won't stick to it—the company has to laser-etch its name on the clubs. The relative energy transfer efficiency of the irons is about double that of titanium sticks.
The Heavy Hitter (Heavy Hitter Golf, $89) is a weighted warmup club you can hit full shots with. The weight of the club forces you to swing with your arms, not your hands, and develops tempo and maybe even a few muscles.
The AllTrek carry bag (Top-Flite, $225) has double straps filled with a gellike material, making the bag soft on the shoulders. Also, the flip-up legs stay out of your way when you walk.
TourPure woods by McHenry Metals ($566) may be sleeping giants. They're the brainchild of Gary Adams, who started Taylor Made and Founder's Club. With a forged, milled face and a titanium shell, the TourPure claims to give a low, boring trajectory.
Alternative spikes are taking over, but they wear out quickly and are difficult to change. To the rescue: the Champ Q-LOK System. Just insert the spike, give it a one-quarter turn, and it locks into place. Etonic and Nike are using the system on all' 98 models.