The 63rd PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s annual “MAJOR of Golf Business,” came to a close Jan. 29, in Orlando, after successfully marking the kickoff to the PGA of America’s Centennial Celebration and welcoming more than 42,000 golf industry professionals from 91 countries around the world. PGA Professionals and buyers uncovered the newest products, trends and technology from more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands, including 284 companies new to the event, 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.
The 2016 PGA Merchandise Show attracted more than 7,000 PGA Professionals from around the world to drive a 3 percent increase in overall attendance, despite the early-week Winter Storm Jonas impacting the East Coast of the United States. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico and Germany. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
As the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show was a perfect occasion to kick off the 100-day PGA Centennial Celebration and commemorate the widespread impact of PGA Professionals on the game, the industry and grassroots enjoyment and growth of golf. The Centennial was celebrated with a special opening tee shot at the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day and opening ceremony at the PGA Merchandise Show. Also, the Centennial was marked with a history exhibit in the lobby of the convention center, a #ThxPGAPro Lounge on the PGA Show floor and during a special PGA Professional Reception on the opening night of the PGA Merchandise Show.
“This was truly a special PGA Merchandise Show, where the golf community was able to mark the Centennial of the PGA of America and celebrate the impact PGA Professionals have had on the game,” says PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Several. “As is the tradition of the PGA Merchandise Show, the world of golf came together here in Orlando to drive forward the business of the game in a face-to-face environment. In addition to sourcing from a wide spectrum of the newest merchandise, attending PGA Professionals and golf buyers were able to personally experience the most advanced technologies in demo events, personal interaction with the game’s leaders and product designers, a sharing of best practices among colleagues and a full calendar of professional resources to impact their businesses and careers.”
The global golf gathering began on Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a special PGA of America Centennial Tee Shot to open the 14th Annual PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day. Covered live by Golf Channel on “Morning Drive,” the opening ceremony featured PGA of America officers and representatives from the PGA’s 41 Sections, along with 41 PGA Junior League Golf participants from Greater Orlando. Thousands of PGA Professionals and invited golf retailers then previewed and personally tested the newest equipment, training aids and accessories from more than 100 top golf companies at the 42-acre practice facility, to create the world’s largest professional golf demo event.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, PGA of America Hall of Famer Lee Trevino was joined by his longtime mentor, instructor and friend, PGA Master Professional Bill Eschenbrenner, as they shined a spotlight on the century-long impact of PGA Professionals and helped open the PGA Merchandise Show, the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, live on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive.” Trevino was among a long list of celebrities, renowned golf instructors and specials guests, such as Lexi Thompson, Bubba Watson, Jesper Parnevik, Lydia Ko, Blair O’Neal, Ian Poulter, Greg Norman, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Troy Merritt, Annika Sorenstam, Johnny Miller, Hal Sutton, Justin Thomas, Nancy Lopez, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Mike Malaska, Cameron McCormick, Jim McLean, Claude Harmon, Lynn Swann, Lou Holtz and many more who participated in the 2016 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 emerging technology, employment initiatives, and instruction best practices, plus multiple presentations with celebrities and industry leaders, which both enlightened and entertained the audience.
Also, the comprehensive PGA Education Conference, PGA Youth & Family Golf Summit, Outdoor Instructional Workshops, the FIT to W.I.N. stage, sponsored by TPI, and the new 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 PGA Centennial programs, 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 a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for 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.
More than 1,000 media from some 23 countries came to the PGA Merchandise Show to cover the newest golf products, trends, industry announcements and newsmakers of the game. Golf Channel delivered a record 25 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 2016. Additionally, Golf Channel instruction programs originated from the PGA Show with “School of Golf” at the PGA Show Outdoor 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 35 hours live during PGA Merchandise Show Week. Daily video and blog reports are available at www.PGA.com and the daily PGA Show News, the official daily publication of the PGA Merchandise Show, is available at www.PGAmagazine.com. A social media campaign promoted content at #PGAShow and #ThxPGAPro 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 2016 New Product Zone winning products were:
- Scarborough & Tweed – tastefully branded canvas bags for corporate gifts. www.scarboroughtweedgifts.com
- Team Tables – creative tables that “stand out”. www.teamtables.com
- Just 4 Golf – club covers that you can mix and match to your personal style. www.shopjust4golf.com
Organized in partnership with the United Inventors Association (UIA), the Inventor’s Spotlight pavilion showcased golf inventions not yet available at retail.
The 2016 Inventor’s Spotlight winning products were:
- The Pinnacle Award (Best in Show) – Donna Mete with The Falcon Grip Glove. www.swipets.com
- Most Innovative Concept – N.D. Bittner with Putting Robotic Training. www.puttingtrainingsystems.com
- Best Marketing Effort – Jason Cianci & Jonathan Marcanio with TeeYouOff. www.teeyouoff.com
Influential PGA Professionals and golf buyers voted two exhibitors new to the PGA Show as recipients of the Top Buyers Choice Awards.
The 2016 Top Buyers Choice winners were:
- One Putt Designs, www.oneputtdesigns.com, Home of the Hand Beaded Ball Marker Ankle Bracelet (Apparel/Apparel Accessories & Gifts)
- Rival and Revel, www.rivalandrevel.com, creator of innovative golf accessories. (Gifts, Golf Equipment & Golf Products & Services)
PGA Shows – Save the Dates 2016 & 2017
The next U.S. PGA Golf Show, the 2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience takes place Aug. 15-17 at The Venetian Hotel and Casino during Fashion Week on the famous Las Vegas Strip. On the international scene, the PGA Merchandise Show-China is scheduled for March 4-6, 2016, in Beijing. The 2017 U.S. PGA Merchandise Show is scheduled for Jan. 24-27 in Orlando, Fla.
For more information on the 2016 PGA Merchandise Show and upcoming PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions events, visit www.pgashow.com.