I entered the Golf Dome at the Turning Stone Casino humming the classic Katy Perry hit “California Gurls” right at 1pm as the golf show kicked off. While I fully expected the offerings to melt my popsicle, I was not prepared to find a place where the grass was really greener.
46-year-old me and a gaggle of excited geezers burst through the doors, hobbling as fast as we could toward the various club bro reps with their big smiles, tight pants and toned torsos. Grandpas everywhere broke their necks try’na to creep a sneak peak at the latest offerings. Clubs packed with this much tech would surely help them lower their 36 handicaps and win over the honeys at the senior center wearing their daisy dukes and bikinis on top. With so much at stake, it was helpful that there were no women to be seen to distract from the business at hand.
Notes on what I saw and experienced:
- Titleist– the T series irons are nice to look at but I wasn’t a huge fan of the T200/T300. T100 felt pretty good when struck on the button but still felt I should have been more wowed. On the drivers, I loved the size of the smaller TS4 head but saw a noticeable difference in dispersion and distance than with the bigger TS3. Both felt great.
- The worst swings gravitated to the Callaway and PXG tents. Club reps did their best to stay positive and not cringe as their gorgeous tools were pounded into the mats like sledge hammers on walls of granite.
- The Ping Blueprint irons were terrific but the short heads would require a lot of faith. Couldn’t help but wonder if they would make my feet look bigger. Might be some good subliminal messaging for when the cart girls roll up.
- Saddest looking reps were from Srixon and Tour Edge. I cheered up the Srixon guy with my gushing about the Z 785 irons and driver. “Hey gang! Hideki Matsuyama’s WITB!!!”. Unfortunately, nothing could cheer up the Tour Edge guy. He was either depressed that no one wanted to hit his clubs or embarrassed at the awful new “Because I Win With It” ad campaign.
- Forethought Golf had some wonderful promotions that I bet had great appeal to the attendees. Buy 24 pairs of Etonic golf shoes and get a personal pair free. Also, if you buy any combo of 12 terrible putters/chippers/drivers or wedges you get one free. With their wide selection of Ray Cook, Bullet, Alien, Hot Z and Solus gear how can you go wrong?
- The Lounge at Caesar’s Sports was offering bets on the Masters. At 300-1, I love me some Lanto Griffin for $5.
- Felt like a real jerk lying to the guy at the Prudential Financial booth who wanted to discuss my portfolio. I took three pens from his basket and said I would be right back.
- Had a riveting conversation with the gent at the Golf Pride booth. I told him I like Jumbo grips just like Bryson. He agreed and said he used them because of his arthritis. For me I said it was just a super familiar handle width that made me feel like I was alone in my bedroom sitting on a chair with my favorite magazine. He nodded with a seriousness that communicated full understanding.
- Hoffman Sausage was showing off their latest new beef jerky product. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was appropriate to show off all those meat bags but not offer any samples. I was also perplexed by the Hoffman’s representative, who had a huge lipper of Skoal in his mouth with no cup to spit in.
- The Mizuno tent made me the most giddy. Not only did they give me a free fitting, the air of fanciness around their beautiful equipment and gorgeous branding gave me the feeling I was the richest member of Bushwood. We agreed the perfect set for me would be MP 20 irons 6-PW, and MP 20 MMC in the 4/5 iron. Feel was superb. Also tried their new lineup of drivers and loved how they set up. Sound and sensation at impact was different but still felt like I could bang it.
- Last stop was with Cobra. I told the guy I wanted to hit the Forged One Length and he seemed genuinely surprised. I get this sense this has been a total disaster for them but still I’ve been very eager to give them a whack. Received this compliment that I have to share…. “I just love watching your golf swing. I could watch it all day.” Pretty sure he wanted me. Anyway, have to say the clubs felt awesome and if money was no object I’d very much want to give them a shot as my “Vanguard Friday” sticks.
To sum up, you could travel the world but nothing comes close to the golden coast. It’s undeniable. Out there they don’t even mind getting sand in their stilettos and they freak in their Jeeps. But if you find yourself in Syracuse in February next year I fully encourage you to put it in your calendar. Fine, fresh, fierce they have it on lock.