Friday, January 28, 2011

PGA Show Day 1 Highlight - the Chicken Stick

The golf industry’s annual gathering is taking place this week at the PGA Merchandise Show and Thursday’s opening day was a success.  Attendance appears to be up and the overall mood has improved from desperate to somber … with the operative word being “improved.”

I personally had a great first day and saw/heard/discussed several things that will appear in this blog in the coming weeks.  However, there was one game-changing idea in particular that caught my attention and imagination.

The product is called the Chicken Stick (a name I encouraged them to change) and is a golf-club Wii remote. 

This initially seemed simple and obvious to me so I didn’t put much thought into it.  Then I swung by the booth to find Dottie Pepper broadcasting from there.  I then saw/tried the product and had an enjoyable, real-life experience that exceeded expectations.  Finally, I learned that the company has defensible IP in the form of a purportedly strong patent that covers attaching a normal club handle to a device that holds a remote control.
 

The result is a product that is about 1/2 the length of a regular club, has a normal grip/shaft, and holds a Wii remote.  It is suitable for kids as well as adults.  A picture is to the right.

The implications of this “simple and obvious” product are large…

Imagine being able to practice golf in your living room … for $39.95 (the product’s price).  Want to play 18 at 9:00pm?  No problem … you can play whenever you want.  Need to take that call mid-round and hammer out a few follow-up emails?  No problem … pause the game.  Only have an hour to play?  No problem … that’s all you need.  Want to spend some quality family time?  No problem ... fire up the console.

The fact that this provided a real-life golfing experience out of the gate excites me because the technology, and thus the user experience, will only improve.  Ideas like this are exactly what the industry needs – affordable, quick and alternative ways to enjoy the game.

Coupled with Augusta National coming to Tiger Wood’s Golf on EA Sports this year, I’m tempted to get myself a Wii, a copy of the game and a Chicken Stick so I can start playing golf on my schedule for free at home.

I wish this company the best of luck and happy entrepreneuring…

3 comments:

  1. I have one and feel that it adds more authenticity to the game. I'm counting on the Chicken Stick to help me improve my real golf score.

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  2. I'll be sure to check this out, it looks very promising. Thanks.

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