Today we continue our series of top products seen at the PGA Expo in Las Vegas earlier this week. Sean, the editor of PutterZone.com, was in attendance and takes the story from here:
When a company is really good at something, it can combine staying power with innovation. Such is the case with CHAMP/MacNeill Engineering, which has been going strong since 1931. Today, CHAMP is the worldwide leader in traction technology for athletes, including golfers. Nevertheless, the company remains a privately owned family corporation, and the CEO’s last name is MacNeill.
CHAMP offers a variety of golf spikes, but is most known for its Zarma and Stinger spikes. The Zarma is a comfort-oriented cushioned spike with flexible prongs that resist clogging. The Stinger spike is more geared for traction and durability. Both are widely used on the professional circuits, making CHAMP the top cleat brand on tour. Rory McIlroy uses the Stinger, Brandt Snedeker uses the Zarma. CHAMP spikes are also found on stock golf shoes made by Nike and ECCO.
At the CHAMP booth, national sales manager Martin Greenwald shows me the features and benefits of both spikes. The Zarma is truly a marvel. It is composed of three layers of material: a soft cushion layer sandwiched between a traction layer and rigid attachment layer.
Next, Martin shows me CHAMP’s latest creation—the FLYtee, a biodegradable synthetic tee that comes in an assortment of colors, from bright green to orange. Not surprisingly, Rickie Fowler has adopted the orange model. The FLYTee is designed with a six-prong head and a shallow cup to reduce friction. Best of all, the tee is super durable. I know, because I put one to the test, and it lasted the entire round and is ready for another. A pack of 40 FLYtees costs $5.99—a bargain, when you consider that its contents could last for 40 rounds or more.
Stay tuned in the days ahead for more picks for the best products from the PGA Expo, featuring everything from swing trainers to exercise equipment to new putters. These products are all made by entrepreneurs, folks who built their own businesses by themselves, not because of red tape, but in spite of it. We met one inventor who spent eight years refining and testing his product before bringing it to the market. We met a woman who created a magnificent training aid from scratch, turning a mere idea into a retail product, which is no small feat. We encountered up-and-comers in the putter world, burning rubber on interstate, their initial creations stowed in the trunk of their car. This is the spirit of golf, and it is alive and well.