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Demo Day Notebook: Centennial Celebration Highlights Exhibition

The 63rd PGA Merchandise Show kicked off on Tuesday from Orange County National Golf Center in Orlando with its annual Outdoor Demo Day, a unique opportunity for top golf companies to showcase their products with industry professionals.

The PGA of America is celebrating its 100th anniversary, which created an early buzz on a cool morning in central Florida. Each of the Association’s 41 sections were represented by a PGA professional as they hit a ceremonial tee shot alongside 41 Orlando-area PGA Junior League players to officially begin the centennial celebration.


Paul LoCicero, the PGA Head Professional at the Legend at Bristlecone in Hartland, Wisc., represented the Wisconsin section.

“This is just an exciting thing to be a part of,” LoCicero said. “I’m proud to be a PGA professional who helps to grow this great game. The future of golf is with the generation you’re seeing here today.”

In a week where over 40,000 PGA professionals, golf vendors and others will attend the PGA Show, optimism toward the future remains high. One reason many believe the game is headed in the right direction is the PGA Junior League; there was explosive growth in 2015 with nearly 30,000 junior participants.

“I really believe the game is going in the right direction,” LoCicero said. “We’ve had our struggles, but the role of PGA professionals encouraging our youth has always been vital. You can feel a buzz growing in the industry.”

 

Look Out From Above!

The ceremony was prefaced with four paratroopers plummeting from the sky and landing smoothly in front of the participants. Bubba Watson even made a guest appearance, emphasizing how crucial it is to continue growing kids golf.

 

Home on the Range

Demo Day is one of the first places that new equipment and products are tested out by those in the industry. Here is a look at a few of the clubs that patrons were happy to take a crack at.

  • Cobra King LTD Driver

Released in November, the latest Cobra driver is the first Cobra driver to have zero center of gravity.

  • Callaway XR 16 Driver

Designed for maximum speed and better forgiveness, the XR 16 drivers also have a sharp look.

  • Titleist 716 T-MB Irons

This is a big release for Titleist as their tungsten-laden irons featured a new style with enhanced performance.

 

Bubba, Lexi and Others Put On a Show

What happens when you get some of the most talented golfers and teachers in the world to convene in the same place? A lot of learning and a slight bit of envy among the masses.

Bubba’s swing continues to leave Demo Day guests in awe:

Lexi Thompson is now an official ambassador of PGA Junior League Golf, much to the delight of the juniors in attendance.

And it wasn’t just players enjoying themselves in Orlando. Teachers such as Mike Malaska and Lou Guzzi, both national PGA Teachers of the Year, were amongst several notable instructors to give clinics.

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