Saturday, February 15, 2014

Like the Robin, Golf Show Means Spring is Coming

Last weekend was the annual Greater Philadelphia Golf Show. Despite all the snow, ice and freezing temperatures we've had, the Golf Show is a time to let our minds, bodies and souls begin to focus on the fact that in another 4-6 weeks, we will be able to again roam the fairways and greens of our favorite courses.

I have not been to the Golf Show in a few years for various reasons, but I was determined to make it this year. I usually attend on Sunday, which is a time when vendors begin discounting what is already significantly discounted deals on clubs and equipment. But this year, Saturday was the only free time available, so off I went. Admission is only $10 and with that you get a year's subscription to Golf magazine. So even if you don't buy anything, you still come ahead.

Shoppers at's booth

The Golf Show attracts a wide variety of vendors offering everything from discounted clubs, apparel and accessories, to golf vacations, to golf courses, to golf memorabilia, to financial services, to even home improvement services. Some of this year's vendors included Golfsmith;; Golf Galaxy; Tee Time Golf Pass; Ocean City, Md.; Myrtle Beach; Mad Golfer; and the Greater Atlantic City Golf Association. The show also features a Demo Range, which offers the opportunity to try some of the latest clubs from TaylorMade, Callaway, Cleveland and Ping. Plus there are always golfing celebrities that make appearance, and this show was no different with the likes of golfing legend Chi Chi Rodriguez, The Golf Channel's Michael Breed, "The Putting Doctor" Joe Bermel, Jr., and PGA Nathional Teacher of the Year Lou Guzzi.

Golfing legend Chi Chi Rodriguez delighted with stories

My strategy for the Golf Show is to pick up information about interesting courses that I might be able to play and potential travel destinations, while also shopping for a specific thing, whether it be a golf club or accessory. This year, I had my eye open for anything from Wilson Staff. To that end, I picked up information about golfing trips in Ocean City, the Lehigh Valley, and Atlantic City, and yardage books for Fox Hollow Golf Club and Skippack Golf Club.

As for golfing equipment, my favorite online golfing retailer RockBottomGolf had Wilson Staff Fybrib RS's on sale, so I picked a 24-degree hybrid to replace my Wilson Staff Ci-7 4-iron. I also wanted to get a 21-degree, but all they had were models with a stiff shaft, which would not suit my particular swing.

Golfers could try the newest clubs at the Demo Range

My other purchase was an Orange Whip Trainer, a golf swing trainer designed to create rhythm, tempo and balance in your swing, as well as you with flexibility. The Orange Whip consists of a weighed orange ball on the end of a very flexible golf shaft, with a counter weight that looks similar to a golf ball attached to the shaft.  The Orange Whip comes in three sizes and I chose the 44-in model, which is the equivalent to the long iron. The Orange Whip's inventor Jim Hackenberg a PGA Teaching Professional was at the show selling the trainers. Here is a video which demonstrates how the Orange Whip works:

Numerous PGA Tour golfers use the Orange Whip and if you ever see pictures of their bags on the driving range at various tournaments, you will see the distinctive orange ball protruding from their golf bags. One of the main reasons I picked up an Orange Whip was so few courses have driving ranges anymore, I thought this would be an ideal device to use to warm up and establish a a swing tempo prior to teeing off. I think will also complement any practice session on the driving range.

So now I have my new golf toys, my course information...c'mon Mother Nature, lighten up, get rid of this snow and give us that golf playing weather.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging...

After a year-and-half break, the Muni Golfer is returning to the virtual links of cyberspace. As I prepare for the upcoming 2014 golf season, over the next several weeks I will recap my golfing in 2013, review some equipment changes, relive my attending the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion and my visit to the recent Greater Philadelphia Golf Show. So get ready world, the Muni Golfer is back!