The strong attendance and vendor participation for this year’s Orlando show was seen as a harbinger for a strong 2013 for the golf industry.
After it closed on January 26, the 60th PGA Merchandise Show, held in Orlando January 23-26, was hailed as a highlight of what many felt to be the most vibrant PGA Show Week in recent history—and as a sign of a strong 2013 to come for the golf industry.
The 2013 PGA Merchandise Show brought together more than 1,000 companies and brands, along with more than 43,000 PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders from 75 countries, to introduce the latest in golf equipment, apparel, accessories and services.
“It’s gratifying to see the PGA Merchandise Show back in great form,” said Ted Bishop, President of The PGA of America. “This is the biggest the PGA Show has been since 2008, and that’s a great signal that golf is vibrant again.”
Introductions from industry leaders such as Titleist, Callaway Golf, TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Ping, Nike, Bridgestone and Cobra Puma Golf created strong buzz on the show floor, organizers reported, for attending industry professionals who came from all 50 U.S. states. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, New York, Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania, and the top five countries
represented outside of the U.S. were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Korea.
While the PGA Merchandise Show is not open to the public, golf enthusiasts were provided with an exclusive window into the most innovative new equipment, accessories and products, along with leading CEOs and personalities of the game, by reviewing PGA Show Week action at several websites, including www.PGA.com, www.pgashow.com and www.golfchannel.com. Also, a one-hour, prime-time Golf Channel television special captured all the news and newsmakers on Sunday, January 27, at 5:30 p.m. (The show was scheduled to re-air on Monday, January 28 at 8:00 p.m.)
Among golf professionals attending the show, Becky Iverson, PGA Director of Golf at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison, Wis., said, “There seems to be more energy and enthusiasm at the Show this year, and there seems to be a lot more new product introductions than I remember in a long time.
“The ‘cool factor’ is higher than in many years,” Iverson said about the new products on display. “The most difficult thing is separating what I want to buy for myself from what I need to buy for our members. This is also the best-organized show I’ve seen in a long time. It seems similar products are near each other, so you don’t have to walk the entire exhibition hall to see similar companies.”
Added Scott Glass, PGA head professional at Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown, Pa.: “There is a sense of excitement with all of the new equipment introductions, and a lot of positive vibes at the show this year. The thing I like about the show is you always find something unique and different.”
“It’s amazing how many companies are introducing new products at the show this year,” added Mark Parisi, PGA Professional at Hudson National Golf Club in Newark, Delaware. ”There seems to be a lot more electricity and optimism on the show floor this year, too.”
Voted as the top new products among new merchandise displayed in the PGA Show New Product Zone were:
· CamCaddy Pro, a smartphone stand to record golf swings (www.camcaddypro.com)
· Pukka, custom mobile case for the iPhone 5 (www.pukkainc.com)
· Vibram Five Fingers, innovators in the toe shoe category (www.vibramfivefingers.com)
Show organizers also announced a new day schedule for the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show. Following feedback from exhibitors and attendees about shifting PGA Show days away from the weekend, the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show will run from Tuesday through Friday, January 21-24, with the traditional Outdoor Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Center now held on Tuesday, January 21.
For more information on the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show, visit www.pgashow.com