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PGA merchandise show demo day draws pro golfers

Latest golf gear unveiled in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is home to some famous pro golfers like Tiger Woods and Graeme Mcdowell, likely because the weather here makes it the perfect place to play. 

That's probably why the Sunshine State is home to one of the country's largest golf courses: Orange County National Golf Center.

That's where thousands of people gathered Tuesday for the PGA's Demo day, which is part of the association's merchandise show, where pro golfers can get a look at some of the most innovative equipment in the industry.

"We have more than 100 exhibiting brands. We bring in more than 8,000 PGA professionals and buyers. We get attendees and visitors from more than 90 countries and from all 50 states," Marc Simon, vice president of the PGA Golf exhibitions, said.

All the top names in golf showcased their latest gear, giving attendees a chance to check it out for the first time.

"We launched some new wedges in September. They're packed with spin technology--helping people hit the ball closer," Brian Schielke, Marketing Director for Cleveland Gold said about some of their newest equipment. "They get to see our products that are just launching now or just recently launched, hit all the products, test them, talk to us about them and it's really a good way to kick off the golf season," Schielke said.

From the latest in golf clubs, to accessories, to unique caddies, everything was available to try out. 

"This is a stand-up golf cart based on a skateboard frame with two electric motors and a 30-mile battery range. You get to stand up and exercise and play the entire time, so you stay loose in the golf swing, you don't have to sit down, stand up, sit down," Kenny Koldenhoven, owner of the Golf Skate Caddy.

It's the first of its kind in the industry of golf, manufactured in Florida.

The event also featured pro golfers like former world Long Driver Jamie Sadlowski, who can hit as far as 445 yards. Long drive champion Troy Mullins was also there. In 2017, she broke the world record among women with a hit of 402 yards.

"I didn't expect to break anything. I didn't expect to get that far in this sport, and it's just pretty incredible that, you know, being a woman in a very male-dominated sport, you can come out and still be yourself and not feel that intimidation and feel like you're out of place," Mullins said.

She said she didn't plan to be a golfer. She actually went to law school. After she finished college, a friend introduced her to what would become her passion.

"When I first started, I didn't realize that I hit it far for a woman. Long Drive is a totally different animal than golf. For those that aren't familiar, it's just about hitting the ball as hard and far as you can," Mullins said.

She hopes her drive for the sport will inspire others.

"I hope to make it on tour and show that, you know, even starting late that you can do whatever you want. I want to make the game colorful, fun and more inviting and inclusive for women that want to try it and get out there," Mullins said.


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