The 67th PGA Merchandise Show begins today at the Orange County Convention Center, with The MAJOR of Golf Business lighting the fuse on a promising, productive new year and new decade for the golf industry. For the next three days, PGA Professionals, industry leaders and retail buyers will source, sample and order the latest products and services from 1,000 leading companies, take advantage of myriad Education Conference seminars, and catch up on industry trends at numerous special networking events.
The PGA Show floor, spread over 10 miles of aisles and one million square feet of exhibition space, is open from 8:30 p.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Friday.
The 2020 PGA Merchandise Show tees off at 8:15 a.m. today in the Orange County Convention Center central lobby with a special salute to the PGA of America’s PGA Cup and Ryder Cup teams. Former PGA Tour and current PGA Professional Charlie Rymer will join PGA of America President Suzy Whaley and CEO Seth Waugh in welcoming attendees to the 67th PGA Merchandise Show.
Following video highlights of the Men’s and Women’s 2019 PGA Cup victories in Austin, Texas, Whaley will introduce members of her inaugural Women’s PGA Cup team, which made history by taking home the Cup against teams from Canada, Great Britain-Ireland, Australia and Sweden. The players participating in the Opening Ceremony will include 2019 Women’s PGA Professional Player of the Year Joanna Cole of Lutherville Timonium, Maryland; PGA Master Professional Dr. Alison Curdt of Reseda, California; PGA Professional Ashley Grier of Springfield, Pennsylvania, and PGA Professional Seul-Ki Park of Winchester, Massachusetts.
Joining the Women’s PGA Cup team at the ceremony is Past PGA President Derek Sprague, who captained the victorious 2019 Men’s PGA Cup team, and team members Danny Balin of Irvington, New York; Rich Berberian Jr. of Hookset, New Hampshire; Jason Caron of Oyster Bay, New York; Marty Jertson of Phoenix, Arizona; Ben Kern of Round Rock, Texas; Sean McCarthy of Solon, Iowa; and 2019 Senior PGA Professional Player of the Year Bob Sowards.
Before officially declaring open the 67th PGA Merchandise Show, The MAJOR of Golf Business also paid tribute via video highlights to the PGA’s two major championships of 2020 – the 102nd PGA Championship May 13-16 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, and the 43rd Ryder Cup Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin, where Team USA will try to avenge a 17 ½-101/2 loss to Team Europe in 2018 at Le Golf National outside Paris, France.
While officially opening the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show, PGA President Whaley shared a special message prior to Wednesday morning:
“The PGA Merchandise Show is about making special connections, and it starts right here and right now,” said Whaley. “An important part of our PGA mission is to enhance our Members’ careers. And as PGA Professionals, we truly have a massive ‘club’ that unites us. The PGA Merchandise Show represents a key spot to develop our professional networks, learn about the sport’s newest innovations, share best practices and connect as a community in the game.”
More than 40,000 attendees will pass through the doors at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show, which in 2020 includes the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Golf Business Conference; the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) Retail Conference, and the Racquet & Paddle Sports Show to provide a cross-section of educational and merchandising opportunities to virtually every golf-industry operative.
Special events such as today’s Titleist-FootJoy presentation at 8:45 a.m. in the Linda Chapin Theater; a full schedule of presentations and panel discussions on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA, and a full schedule of events at the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction Area presented by TPI are designed to educate and provide unique networking opportunities with industry leaders. On Thursday, the PGA Fashion Show and Block Party in the Apparel Hall at 5:45 p.m. will also provide an insight into the latest fashion styles coupled with valuable networking opportunities for PGA Show attendees.
Building on its “something for everyone in golf” mantra, The MAJOR of Golf Business will feature more than 60 seminars as part of the PGA Education Conference, with other presentations and panel discussions conducted in the PGA Member Business Center on the fourth floor of the OCCC, and on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA on the PGA Show floor.
The Golf Facility Innovation Center, the Equipment Test Center, the PGA Show Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction Area presented by TPI; the Inventor’s Spotlight, the Golf Travel Pavilion, the New Product Zone, the Apparel and Equipment Halls, The PGA Fashion Lounge and several other destinations on the PGA Show floor will provide products and services dedicated to specific needs of PGA Professionals and retail buyers Wednesday through Friday.
“The PGA Show seems to get bigger and better every year,” says PGA Professional Amanda Davis of Essex Country Club in Manchester, Massachusetts. “The PGA Show has become so large and with so many different departments that we divide the Show floor into sections and have various members of our team responsible for each section.
“We connect with old friends and associates, and we use the PGA Show to build relationships with our current team members. We use the Show as a motivator to get the team pumped up for the season ahead.”