Golf gear shines for PGA Show first-timer

Sun, green grass and easy breezes were in abundant supply early at the PGA Merchandise Show's 2014 Demo Day at the expansive practice range of Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge near Orlando, Fla.

Sun, green grass and easy breezes were in abundant supply early at the PGA Merchandise Show's 2014 Demo Day at the expansive practice range of Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge near Orlando, Fla.

Sun. Green grass. An easy breeze. The mood was good early in the media tent for a journalist's first PGA Merchandise Show experience.

A handful of chores stood between dropping the briefcase and venturing out onto a huge driving range shaped like a morning doughnut and topped with the newest gear in golf. No problem: Get to work pushing pixels first and the reward will be waiting.

After all, a desk editor waits for days like this, craves them even.

Once things were caught up, sure enough, it was time to head out. Pros and onlookers alike wove along the round maze of tents. Clubheads got inspections, shafts got flexed, grips got gripped. A beautiful day worth sharing on Twitter.

@GolfweekZ: "Plenty of flags to take aim at during #PGAShow Demo Day. #countthebrands #morewherethesecamefrom pic.twitter.com/Tc4BWuKmG2"

It wasn't all club gear, either. From items as simple as unique tee designs to elaborate practice equipment for swinging or wearing, the offerings were plenty to make the mind active – and happy.

Sadly, all it took was one fateful hashtag to risk drowning the party's first day. And no, it wasn't #Orlando or #PGAShow:

@GolfweekZ: "Putting for dough at #PGAShow 2014 near #Orlando at @OCNGOLF. #perfectweather pic.twitter.com/CH1tWpkFIY"

Sure enough, just as lunch hour was winding down, the skies opened up. And in the interest of accountability, an apology tweet did follow.

Several companies packed up waterlogged gear and headed home early. Others allowed patrons to keep enjoying their displays while everyone waited for the all-clear to resume sampling the goods.

The bottom line: Golf is in many capable hands when it comes to playing, practicing and enjoying this great game. Tomorrow, the scene winds a 17-mile path from the grassy hills of Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge to the friendly confines of the Orange County Convention Center. But the message will be the same.

Play through.

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