The foot massage tables at the PGA Merchandise Show tell the story.
“It was the hottest spot at the Show,” said Jeremy Rider, AJGA Director of Purchasing. “But you never saw any of our staff there. I credit that to our FootJoys.”
Rider, of all people, would have been excused for stopping off for some TLC on his feet. Having walked 26 miles over two days, Rider won a contest among AJGA staff members.
Each of the 11 AJGA staff at the PGA Show wore a pedometer to track their steps each day. Combined, they trekked 209 miles in two days – an average of 19 miles per person. Rider tallied 52,777 steps – the rough equivalent of a marathon – during his two-day stint.
Lucky for him, he had on a pair of FootJoy Premiere Classics Dry Joys, Style #55859. The people waiting in line for foot rubs were surely wearing something else.
Footwear may not be of great concern to every attendee, but it should be. The ability to walk the floor at the PGA Merchandise Show helps the AJGA achieve its mission.
“We use the Show as an opportunity to thank the AJGA’s many supporters in the golf industry, as well as seek out new ones,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “It’s important that we have the stamina to survive what could be a grueling two days.”
Hamblin refers to the Show’s concrete floor as “the hardest surface in golf; running at least a 40 on the Stimpmeter.”
“I was thinking of getting insoles before the Show,” Hamblin said. “But I knew my FJs would be there for me. ….. I never had a problem!”
The runner-up in the AJGA pedometer competition was Larry Berroya, AJGA Regional Director, West Region, who walked “a mere 21 miles.”
“I think I planned my meetings a little better than Jeremy, so I didn’t have to walk as far,” Berroya said. “But I could have easily gone another five miles if necessary, because my feet felt like dancing after two days in my FootJoys.”
Berroya recorded 42,418 steps in his FootJoy Premiere Classics Dry Joys, Style #55562.
Unfortunately, not every AJGA staff member had such a happy tale. One individual, who asked for anonymity, because of what he called his “stupidest mistake ever,” wore a different brand of shoes on the second day.
“I needed brown shoes to complement my new Polo Ralph Lauren suit,” he said. “I couldn’t find my brown FootJoy saddles, so I had to improvise. My feet felt horrible at the end of the day. I had Jeremy and Larry carry me out of the convention center on their shoulders.”
Some lessons are learned the hard way.
“My feet were red and blistered,” he said. “I would have been more comfortable crawling on my hands and knees on the concrete floor. My first priority when I returned home was to find my brown FJs.”
What is to become of those off-brand shoes?
“I’ll wear those other shoes only on days I don’t plan to walk.”
The weekend culminated with Hamblin congratulating Rider as the winner of the pedometer contest, and declaring him the winner a new pair of FootJoys – the well-deserved prize for walking the most steps.
“He told me his FootJoys are his new best friends,” Hamblin said. “I don’t know if he’ll ever wear anything else.”