Casey Alexander, who covers the golf industry as senior vice president and research analyst at Compass Point, snapped pictures of 18 CBD companies pitching their products at January’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.
“As my son likes to say, 18 is a thing,” Alexander tells The Forecaddie. Turns out he missed one booth, but no matter.
Depending on whom you ask, CBD – or as it is officially known, cannabidiol – is either a miracle compound or all hype. It’s been dubbed the new avocado toast, and one thing is certain: It is the trendiest supplement on the market. Customers are trying CBD products for a range of ailments, including as an aid for inflammation, pain relief, an anxiety reducer and a protector of the nervous system.
Golfers seem to be a perfect fit.
“There are a lot of old farts like me that are breaking down,” said Arthur Viente of Asheville Botanicals, whose company markets products called “Fairway” geared for first-tee jitters and anxiety and “Swing” to prevent inflammation and pain post-round.
The Man Out Front ran out of fingers trying to count all the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions pros that have signed on as CBD product endorsers, a list that includes Bubba Watson, Marc Leishman, Brandt Jobe and Scott McCarron.
On his eighth hole of the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Charley Hoffman suffered from back spasms, so he rubbed a topical lotion from Medterra, a THC-free product he endorses, on his back and the relief was almost instantaneous.
“Everyone (on the PGA Tour) has tried it,” Hoffman, 43, said. “It’s real. I’ve talked to people who are older than me, and it’s life-changing.”
In addition to topical products, CBD is consumed in pill form and as gummies, tinctures and chewing gum. After Tiger Woods won the Masters chewing what was rumored to be CBD-laced gum – Tiger has neither confirmed nor denied what it was – Greg Moore, Medterra’s vice president of sales, told CEO Jay Hartenbach they had to develop a CBD gum. It launched in February.
Davis Love III prefers spearmint, while other brands have cinnamon and raspberry flavors. One maker signed a licensing deal to produce a Red Bull version.
TMOF is willing to try something other than Pepto-Bismol to quiet those first-tee butterflies, but for now he’s holding out for someone to perfect a Doritos Cool Ranch flavor.
This story originally appeared in Issue 1 – 2020 of Golfweek magazine.