Orlando, United States: The 65th PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s annual ‘Major of Golf Business’, welcomed nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from all 50 US states and 87 countries.
The 2018 edition delivered exciting product and industry announcements that energised 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 225 companies new to the PGA Show, creating the world’s largest business-to-business golf event, within one million square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and meeting space of the Orange County Convention Centre West Concourse Exhibit Hall.
As the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show attracted more than 7,500 PGA Professionals from around the world.
The top five countries (outside of the United States) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
The 2018 PGA Show was marked by significant industry announcements and product introductions including: Callaway’s new line of Rogue drivers and fairway woods with Jailbreak technology; Cobra’s all-new line of F8 drivers with Cobra Connect technology powered by Arccos; TaylorMade’s M3 and M4 drivers with new Twist Face technology to promote straight distance; Titleist’s new Tour Soft and Velocity golf balls, plus their SM7 Vokey Design wedges and Scotty Cameron Select putters; PING’s G400 Max driver, G700 irons, Glide 2.0 Stealth wedges and Vault 2.0 putter; Cleveland Golf’s new CVX wedges and Srixon’s new Q-Star Tour golf balls; among many other product announcements.
Apparel companies introduced their newest fashions for upcoming seasons featuring bursts of colour 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.
“The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show kicked off the new season with enormous energy, strong attendance, major product launches and a renewed optimism for the upcoming year,” said PGA Merchandise Show Event Vice President Marc Simon.
“In addition to making important purchase decisions for the new season, PGA Professionals and buyers took advantage of multiple business programmes to connect personally with manufacturers and industry leaders to drive golf forward in 2018.”
The global golf gathering began on January 23 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 Centre.
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 January 24, PGA champions Dave Stockton, Hal Sutton, John Daly, Steve Elkington and Davis Love joined PGA President Paul Levy to help open the PGA Merchandise Show, live on Golf Channel’s ‘Morning Drive’.
The PGA champions were among a long list of celebrities, renowned golf instructors and special guests, such as: Adam Scott, Greg Norman, Jesper Parnevik, Blair O’Neal, Chip Beck, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Michelle McGann, Brad Faxon, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Mike Malaska, Jim McLean, Stan Utley, Claude Harmon, Mike Schy, Lou Holtz, Ron Jaworski and many more.
In addition to the busy marketplace, 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 full schedule of compelling speakers and diverse programming for attending PGA Professionals and industry leaders.
Presentations began on January 24, with the event’s keynote programme, ‘100th PGA Championship Celebration’ – a panel discussion featuring Love and Daly, who shared memorable moments from their Major championship victories and announced the PGA’s plans for the 100th PGA Championship (August 9-12, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis).
Additional first-day programming highlights included the Sirius XM Teachers Town Hall, hosted by PGA Vice President Suzy Whaley and featuring Breed, Debbie Doniger, Haney, Leadbetter, McLean and Larry Rinker; and programming on technology in golf, environmental initiatives and employment opportunities.
Days 2 and 3 presentations on the PGA Forum Stage covered a diverse array of topics, including golf facility management, industry diversity, growth-of-the-game programmes, employment, technology, teaching and the new PGA Show Live Fashion Show.
PGA Professionals attending the annual PGA Show Education Conference were able to learn from industry experts presenting more than 60 educational seminars and workshops focusing on teaching and coaching, executive management and golf operations.
Additional educational programmes were offered throughout PGA Show Week at the PGA Global Youth & Family Summit presented by Omega; Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction stage, sponsored by TPI and the Club Spa Association; PGA Member Business Centre; and during complimentary Performance Textile Fair workshops on the PGA Show Floor.
Attendees experienced a dynamic PGA Show Floor, featuring interactive exhibits, hundreds of vendor show specials and promotions, plus 50 equipment testing bays at the indoor Equipment Test Centre, a centralised New Product Zone for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise, the Inventors Spotlight exhibitor pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail, the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction area, with a new Adaptive Golf Centre, and numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions, concentrating exhibits in the areas of travel, technology, international exhibitors, women’s accessories and new exhibitors.
More than 1,000 media from some 25 countries reported from the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show. Golf Channel provided comprehensive live coverage with nearly total 20 hours on Morning Drive, Golf Central and instruction programming delivered to a worldwide audience in more than 36 countries.
Also, complementing the many media outlets providing daily live digital coverage, SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio Network broadcast 32 hours live. Golf enthusiasts also followed the latest daily news through multiple online news channels such as PGA.com, CBSSports.com and through #PGAShow on social media.
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