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Original Issue

Hot Stuff

The PGA merchandise show is golf's biggest, best bazaar. Each
January everybody who's anybody in the biz heads for Orlando's
1.1-million-square-foot Orange County Convention Center to show
off the latest gear or to place bets--uh, orders--for the
upcoming season. With nearly 1,500 exhibitors and 50,000
potential customers on hand to haggle over everything from
pencils and divot-fixers to Godzilla-sized drivers and
Rolls-Royce look-alike carts, the show is a golfer's best sequel
to Christmas. Here's what rang our bells this year.

Determined to stay ahead of the curve? Check out the new
Liquidmetal irons ($2,700), made from an alloy so strong and
dense that paint won't stick to it--the company has to
laser-etch its name on the clubs. The relative energy transfer
efficiency of the irons is about double that of titanium sticks.

TourPure woods by McHenry Metals ($566) may be sleeping giants.
They're the brainchild of Gary Adams, who started Taylor Made
and Founder's Club. With a forged, milled face and a titanium
shell, the TourPure claims to give a low, boring trajectory.

The Heavy Hitter (Heavy Hitter Golf, $89) is a weighted warmup
club you can hit full shots with. The weight of the club forces
you to swing with your arms, not your hands, and develops tempo
and maybe even a few muscles.

The AllTrek carry bag (Top-Flite, $225) has double straps filled
with a gellike material, making the bag soft on the shoulders.
Also, the flip-up legs stay out of your way when you walk.

Alternative spikes are taking over, but they wear out quickly
and are difficult to change. To the rescue: the Champ Q-LOK
System. Just insert the spike, give it a one-quarter turn, and
it locks into place. Etonic and Nike are using the system on all
'98 models.

FOUR COLOR PHOTOS [Liquidmetal and TourPure golf clubs; Heavy Hitter golf club; AllTrek carry bag; shoe with Champ Q-LOK System alternative spikes]