The PGA Expo was in town this past week and I got to experience it up close for the first time. Monday was the Demo Night at the newly named TaylorMade Experience, formerly known as The Las Vegas Callaway Golf Center, where a gathering of some of the biggest names in the industry too place to showcase some of the newest products on the shelves.
High on my list of “must do’s” while I was there was to swing the SLDR Driver from TaylorMade. It took me a while to get to the front of the booth because of the crowd but after waiting for the buzz to subside, and after walking the grounds for a while, I got my opportunity to swing one of the most talked about clubs currently on the market.
There’s been a lot of good and lot of bad talk when it comes to TaylorMade’s choice to bring out yet another new driver to the market. For me I could really care less, I’m swing one of the first generation RocketBallz Driver and love it so no matter what I don’t find myself looking to upgrade or add another driver to my bag.
Ummm, yeah… well that’s what I thought as I walked up to the hitting stall to swing the SLDR. Twenty minutes later I’m writing down all the spec’s we set the driver to during the session so when this club is in my bag, and it will be, I can duplicate the settings.
Holy shit was I impressed. Had it not been for the other participants at the Demo Night I would have closed the range down. Swing after swing I hit great shot after great shot. With some minor tweaking to the adjustments to get some if the numbers in a more manageable range I was hitting easily some of the best drives I’ve ever hit.
I left after that session with the SLDR. The high I was on wasn’t about to be reduced by going and tinkering with another long stick. There were plenty of options though. Nike, Callaway, Tour Edge, Ping, Fourteen, Wilson and Cobra were all in attendance and even though I did hit several of those clubs nothing performed for me like the SLDR.
Over on the putting green I had a great experience because I got to meet Kenny Giannini of Kenny Giannini Putters. It’s not every day you get to sit down with a person who’s been making putters for over twenty years. I was honored that he took the time to chat, what a great guy and let me tell you he makes an outstanding putter line. Some of the best looking and best rolling putters I’ve seen in a long time! I’m not quiote ready to give up on my Versa yet but with how well their putter feel… let’s just say the wheels are turning and leave it at that for now.
Overall for me this was the best demo night I’ve been to since I started going to them a few years ago. The vendors that are attending are great, the people who attend are a pleasure to be around and it’s hard to argue that it’s not fun as hell to go from booth to booth swinging some of the best equipment on the market.