The 64th PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s annual “MAJOR of Golf Business,” came to a close Jan. 27, in Orlando, as it welcomed more than 40,000 golf industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 84 countries around the world. The 2017 edition delivered exciting product and industry announcements that energized the industry for the New Year. PGA Professionals and buyers uncovered the newest products, trends and technology from more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands. This included 271 companies new to the PGA Show, creating the world’s largest business-to-business golf event, within 1 million square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and meeting space of the Orange County Convention Center West Concourse Exhibit Hall.
As the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show attracted more than 7,500 PGA Professionals from around the world, a 3 percent increase over 2016. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Mexico. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, New York, Georgia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
The 2017 PGA Show was marked by significant industry announcements and product introductions including: Tiger Woods joining the TaylorMade tour staff, Michelle Wie joining Callaway Golf’s professional staff, plus major equipment announcements including Cobra Puma Golf’s King F7 line; PING’s new iBlade irons and Vault series of putters; Callaway Golf’s Great Big Bertha Epic and Epic Sub-Zero drivers and fairway woods; TaylorMade Golf’s new M family of clubs and TP Putter; Titleist’s new 917 drivers and woods and new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls; Srixon’s new Z-Star and Z-Star XV golf balls, and Cleveland’s RTX3 wedges. Apparel companies introduced their newest fashions for upcoming seasons featuring bursts of color and new styles, sports performance fabrics, classic styles and leisurewear with sporty details. In all, hundreds of thousands of products and services were showcased within nearly 10 miles of Show aisles in the Orange County Convention Center.
“The energy level and optimism on the PGA Show floor were at an all-time high,” observed PGA Merchandise Show Event Director Marc Simon. “The fact that so many leading companies were launching new products this year, the long list of celebrity appearances, industry insights offered on three live stages, and a strong PGA Education Conference lineup combined to generate an exciting, compelling week.”
The global golf gathering began on Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the PGA Show Demo Day, when thousands of PGA Professionals and invited golf retailers previewed and personally tested the newest equipment, training aids and accessories from more than 100 top golf companies at Orange County National Golf Center. The newest products were tested within 200 hitting bays, multiple putting greens and the vendor village at the 42-acre practice facility, to create the world’s largest professional golf demo event.
On Wednesday, Jan. 25, World Golf Hall of Famers Colin Montgomerie and Annika Sorenstam joined 2016 PGA Professional of the Year Cary Cozby and PGA President Paul K. Levy to help open the PGA Merchandise Show, the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, live on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive,” from the Orange County Convention Center. Montgomerie and Sorenstam were among a long list of celebrities, renowned golf instructors and specials guests, such as: 2016 PGA Champion Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Jesper Parnevik, Blair O’Neal, Greg Norman, Brooke Pancake, Tim Petrovic, Russell Knox, John Daly, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Johnny Miller, Michelle McGann, Brad Faxon, Nancy Lopez, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Mike Malaska, Jim McLean, Stan Utley, Lou Holtz, Jake Owen, Dierks Bentley, Russ Ortiz, Ken Griffey Jr., Johnny Damon, Robbie Gould and many more who participated in the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show.
In addition to the busy marketplace among nearly 10 miles of exhibit aisles, PGA Show days were full of professional learning opportunities during industry presentations. The PGA Forum Stage, presented by OMEGA, was a popular destination on the PGA Show floor, with a compelling schedule of focused programming on golf charitable giving, emerging technology, junior golf, employment initiatives, and instruction best practices, plus multiple presentations with celebrities and industry leaders, which both enlightened and entertained the audience.
On the Opening Day at the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA, the PGA of America and GOLF 20/20 – a collaboration of leading organizations representing all segments of the U.S. golf industry – announced details about the game’s $3.9 billion annual charitable impact with more golf facilities than ever (12,700) hosting an event in 2016. Also, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and the PGA of America announced a partnership to bring the game of golf to thousands of underprivileged youth across the country through scholarships to PGA Junior League Golf. Over the next three years, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation will commit $500,000 through a Sports Matter grant to the PGA of America for youth at Boys & Girls Clubs, The First Tee and other communities across the country to have the opportunity to learn to play golf in a fun, team atmosphere coached by PGA Professionals.
The comprehensive PGA Education Conference, PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit, Outdoor Instructional Workshops, the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction stage (sponsored by TPI and the Club Spa and Fitness Association), and the Performance & Sports Textile Sourcing Pavilion offered many educational programs on a diverse spectrum of golf, retailing, fitness and business topics.
Attendees experienced a dynamic PGA Show floor, featuring interactive exhibits, hundreds of vendor show specials and promotions; plus some 47 testing bays at the indoor Equipment Test Center, a New Product Zone for one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion focused on patented products not yet available at retail; and numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions, including a PGA Golf Travel Pavilion, PGA Partners Pavilion, Women’s Accessories Pavilion, New Exhibitor Discovery Zone, and several international exhibitor pavilions.
Nearly 1,000 media from 31 countries came to the PGA Merchandise Show to cover the newest golf products, trends, industry announcements and newsmakers of the game. Golf Channel delivered nearly 20 hours of coverage from the PGA Show with “Morning Drive” and “Golf Central,” giving viewers worldwide insider access to the “MAJOR of Golf Business,” featuring interviews with industry leaders and insight on the latest products and trends for 2017. Additionally, Golf Channel instruction programs originated from the PGA Show with “School of Golf” at the PGA Show Demo Day and “The Golf Fix” from the PGA Merchandise Show floor. Also, complementing the many media outlets providing daily live digital coverage, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio Network broadcast 34 hours live during PGA Merchandise Show Week. Daily video and blog reports are available at PGA.com. A social media campaign promoted content at #PGAShow on multiple social media platforms and was widely successful, resulting in strong engagement.
PGA Merchandise Show Winners
Award-winning PGA Professionals and top golf buyers voted for the three best new products among the merchandise displayed in the PGA Show New Product Zone.
The 2017 New Product Zone winning products were:
• Frogger Golf – golf bag latching technology – froggergolf.com
• Saber Sports Trainer -fitness and teaching tool – sabergolf.com
• Tzu Tzu Sport – colorful apparel collection – tzutzusport.com
Organized in partnership with the United Inventors Association (UIA), the Inventor’s Spotlight pavilion showcased golf inventions not yet available at retail.
The 2017 Inventor’s Spotlight winning products were:
• Most Innovative Concept – Fatt Matt- Awkward lie training tool and other training aids – fattmatt.com
• Best Marketing Effort – Ligature Technologies – “Red” Data Golf Course GPS Phone App – ligaturetech.com
• The Pinnacle Award (Best in Show) – Neuro Connect – sport enhancement technology neuro-connect.ca
Influential PGA Professionals and golf buyers voted two exhibitors new to the PGA Show as recipients of the Top Buyers Choice Awards.
The 2017 Top Buyers Choice winners were:
• Tzu Tzu Sport – colorful apparel collection – tzutzusport.com
• TSI Products, Inc./Climate Caddy – an innovative solution to enhance Golfers’ comfort – climatecaddy.com
PGA Shows – Save the Dates 2017 & 2018
The next U.S. PGA Golf Show, the 2017 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience takes place Aug. 14-16 at The Venetian Hotel and Casino during Fashion Week on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The 2018 U.S. PGA Merchandise Show is scheduled for Jan. 23-26 in Orlando, Fla.
For more information on the 2017 PGA Merchandise Show and upcoming PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions events, visit pgashow.com.
Learn more at PGAShow.com
PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions/Media: Sherry Major, (716) 662-3855, email@example.com
PGA of America/Media: Michael Abramowitz, (561) 624-8458, firstname.lastname@example.org
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