From Trevino to Watercolors, PGA Show had surprising buzz and interest to the end

This year’s PGA Show in Orlando, which is typically open only to golf professionals and golf merchandisers, had a new buzz to it, reflecting the continued uptrend in golf participation in the US.
Lee Trevino - PNC Championship - Final Round
Lee Trevino - PNC Championship - Final Round / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages

From the crowds that made for traffic snarls on day one to the last day which is typically very quiet but this time wasn’t, the 2024 exhibition seemed to say that golf has completed an important comeback.

In addition to the new products that are typically offered at the exhibition, drivers, irons, balls, and so forth, there were some interesting and totally unexpected items from portable AC-type units doubling as coolers to illustrated silk scarves and pocket squares.

But let’s start with a legend. Lee Trevino.

Trevino, as many know, started his golf career as a caddie at the Dallas Athletic Club. In fact, he left school at age 14 to be a looper. While it’s not what most would recommend now, in those days, it was not completely uncommon. He would go on to win 29 PGA Tour events and 29 PGA Tour Champions, including two US Opens, two PGA Championships, and two British Opens.

Then he became a golf announcer for NBC until he decided to play senior golf.

Early in his professional career, fans at the pro tournament in Cleveland, predating the PGA Tour, started calling him “Super Mex,” a nickname he embraced. However, unlike Jack Nicklaus with his Golden Bear or Arnold Palmer with his multicolor umbrella, Trevino did not develop the Super Mex theme at the time.

Now he has, utilizing what has become his distinctive sombrero and golf club logo.

At the PGA Show, Trevino’s son, Daniel, rolled out what they call the Super Mex Golf line.

Some things are flying out of the online store faster than Trevino can crack a joke, Lee that is, not Daniel.

Headcovers in the colors of the Mexican flag (even though Trevino was born in Texas) are sold out.  The Impact Tee, which has a silhouette of Trevino’s swing at impact on the back, is priced to please at about $40. Tees with a photo of Trevino raising a glass of beer after a 5th-place finish in the British Open in 1983 are similarly priced as are the Super Mex Crest tee. 

Super Mex hats, which come in white, black, khaki, blue, green, and tan are $40 and have the sombrero and golf club logo on the front.  

Retro-design golf polos come in a variety of colors, all with the Super Mex logo. One is an all-over print of the logo in a small size, which the website says is “thoughtfully designed to withstand the Texas heat in an athletic fit.”

“Being Hispanic, and coming where I came from, I’m proud of this logo because it shows if you have perseverance, if you sacrifice, if you work hard – you can be successful. Not just in golf, in anything, you can be successful,” Trevino wrote about the design he has sported for many years.

If, like Trevino, you come from a hot climate, you’ll appreciate this new invention, the SoloKool, which is kind of like a personal, portable, AC unit that can operate nearly anywhere because it’s solar-charged. But you’ll need ice to make it work.

It might be a great thing to have when power goes out during a weather event. It’s not the same thing as having a generator, but food and drinks can be kept cold in the ice chest portion of the SoloKool while it blows cool air for between three-and-a-half and 10 hours, depending on the setting you choose. 

The unit is encased in durable plastic, and the secret ingredient is what they call the Kold Plate, which is made from aluminum. They show it attached to a golf cart, but you may want to have one on the patio for chilling out during hot summer days. It has detachable wheels for convenience.

Not cheap at about $500, but if you have ever worked up a sweat waiting for the power to come back on, the price may be secondary to having some cooling air. It’s just that it won’t work without some ICE.

One of the most beautiful products ever to grace the PGA Merchandise Show, and this includes several decades of shows on both coasts, are the hand-painted watercolor designs printed on silk as scarves or pocket squares on fabric or on paper done by Grey Hall Design, although they use all lower case: grey hall design.

They aren’t just any drawings. It’s a collection of exquisite florals, funny dogs, hysterical hippos, ballet-like butterflies, famous buildings and -- stop the presses – golf resorts and clubhouses which is what brought them to the PGA Show.

The company was formed by two sisters, Grey Hall and Page Hall Stehlar, from Cincinnati. Grey is an artist, and Page specializes in business operations and product development.

Their entrée into golf happened when someone from Sea Island Plantation contacted them about creating a custom design for the resort. 

After creating a four-color scarf and pocket square for Sea Island, they utilized the same art and did a blue and white version of the design and then a pink and white one. They’ve become collector’s items for the members as well as guests who visit the resort often. 

The scarves turned out so beautifully that, as often happens in any business, others began to call for something similar.

The Broadmoor, River Oaks Country Club, Cincinnati Country Club, Kenwood Country Club, and more came calling. That is what brought them and their artwork to their first – but hopefully not last -- PGA Show where they were delighted with the reception they received.

In addition to scarves, the custom designs can be made into – you have to love this – cutting boards, small dishes which can serve as whatever you like, notecards, prints, really just about anything that can be printed. 

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Grey and Page also make custom fabrics, and certainly, it’s not a stretch to imagine that a club could order its own custom art fabric for chairs, sofas, or draperies, like something out of House Beautiful in the 1960s and 70s.     

The next PGA Show article will feature crazy headcovers, portable shade, and purses that are really "cool."