From Player to Hacker, is There a Real Collector?

A word to you heathens of the links, use your money for lessons before investing in expensive weaponry, armaments in which you have no idea on how to wield.

Thrash TalkMy final year at Kent State University, home of professional tour pros like the 2003 British Open Winner Ben Curtis, PGA Tour rookie John Mills, Nationwide Tour veteran David Moreland IV, and second-place finisher at this past weekend’s Movistar Panama Championship Kevin Gessino-Kraft, I had the opportunity to student teach at a middle school for an entire semester in order to receive that all empowering piece of paper, a diploma. I found the experience quite rewarding, teaching you see is my profession, but I digress.

It was while I was under the tutelage of a highly esteemed educator during my student teaching program when he had told me he collected PING putters. I knew about hickory shafted clubs, mashies, spoons, and the like – those are antiques and highly praised amongst collectors. However, I was not aware of the collect-ability of PING putters.

New Products from the PGA Show

Sonartec, Nickent, and Odyssey all brought new products to the market at the PGA Merchandise Show.

Bag DropA little Bag Drop bonus coverage for you this week. Most of the new product announcements at the recently concluded PGA Merchandise Show were telegraphed ahead of time. But there were a few surprises in the aisles in Orlando. Here are three of them you’ll want to know about.

Volume Forty-Four

This week we’ve got Jack Abramoff, golf pyramid schemes, and a Hunter S. Thompson article in the links.

Hittin' the LinksSo, the PGA Merchandise Show has come to an end. Anyone have the biggest winners or losers of the show? I would be like a kid in a candy store if I was able to attend this. All the gear!? Can you imagine?!

While I scour the web for all the coverage my little heart can take, I’ll leave you with the links.

News and Notes From the PGA Merchandise Show

The 2006 PGA Merchandise Show closed Sunday, leaving behind plenty of equipment news and notes.

Bag DropWe’re just back from Orlando, site of the 2006 PGA Merchandise Show. I’m still sorting through a notebook full of scribbles and a briefcase full of press kits and catalogs (and maybe just a bit of swag).

While I gather all the information, I’ve pulled together a few quick thoughts and notes from the Show to satisfy your Monday equipment jones.

Episode 011

A week before Erik’s Steelers and Jeff’s Seahawks face off in the Super Bowl, the big game and some of golf’s more colorful characters are in our sights in this weeks Golf Talk Podcast.

PodcastDespite Super Bowl distractions we manage to tackle the following topics this week: a slightly above-average price tag on a putter, Duval making two of two cuts, the great distance debate, equipment expenses, the “not so popular with peers” Phil Mickelson, the Daly Planet, viability of range balls, and the not-so-growing need for PGA Tour trading cards.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 011 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.

Nine Holes with Cristie Kerr

One of the LPGA’s hottest young stars, Cristie Kerr, is finally living up to her potential.

ProFilesCristie Kerr has undergone a transformation since joining the LPGA Tour in 1997. She has become one of the most recognized and loved talents in recent years. She could credit adversity, a major weight loss and health program, and the chipping off of some rough edges for her present popularity.

She has found a way to get into the winner’s circle as well. She has won five events in the last two years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Once called “the female Tiger Woods” by the Orlando Sentinel, Cristie Kerr is doing her best to make an impact on and off the course.

Pressel: Great Game, No Nickname

If there is any one LPGA golfer ready to take center stage it is none other than Morgan Pressel. But why hasn’t anyone come up with a more appropriate term of endearment for such a talented golfer?

Morgan Pressel UpsetNow that Morgan Pressel has been granted her request to become a full-fledged member of the LPGA it’s time to give her a nickname.

Paula Creamer is the “Pink Panther,” Michelle Wie is “The Big Wiesy,” Greg Norman was “The Shark” and some guy named Eldrick has cornered the market on “Tiger.” A popular golfer with such a big presence should have her own identifier.

New nicknames are turning up when talking about Morgan like “Pretzel” but these are unimaginative to say the least. I believe that by the end of this article either myself or one of our readers may just come up with something that really epitomizes the spunkiness and individuality of this impressive teenager.

SwingJuice Energy Drink

We all know hydration on the golf course is important. Let’s see if SwingJuice, a golf-focused energy drink, can find its way into the drink holders on our golf carts.

SwingJuiceThere’s been a change in the way players play and prepare for a round of golf. It used to be that players would eat a couple hot dogs and wash those down with a few cans of beer. There was no real thought to how nutrition might affect the player’s score. As many of us are aware, proper hydration can help a player offset fatigue and finish a round strong.

For me, a couple bottles of water throughout a round can get quite boring. Normally, I’m grabbing any type of sports drink I can to supplement the water intake. Prior to the 2005 Newport Cup, I was introduced to a new product, SwingJuice.

Callaway’s New X Factor

Callaway has gone to the power of “X” in 2006.

CallawayThe 2006 PGA Merchandise Show is underway in Orlando. That means the action has shifted inside the Orange County Convention Center instead of yesterday’s massive Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Club.

Another big event under yesterday’s sunny skies here in Florida was Callaway Golf’s media outing. Olin Browne was the guest of honor, and Callaway took the wraps off the new X series woods, Big Bertha irons, X-Tour wedges and Odyssey Tri-Ball SRT putter.