The 67th PGA Merchandise Show – The MAJOR of Golf Business – began a three-day run at the Orange County Convention Center on Wednesday with an upbeat opening ceremony, numerous celebrity appearances, a variety of panel discussions, presentations and Education Conference seminars, and a series of special events for attendees from all 50 states and 88 countries. At the center of opening-day festivities, of course, was the opportunity for golf industry professionals from around the world to source, sample and test the latest products and services from 1,000 leading companies amid 10 miles of aisles on the PGA Show floor.
Opening day at the PGA Merchandise is traditionally fraught with energy and enthusiasm, and Wednesday’s first day of the 2020 PGA Show featured thousands of PGA Professionals and golf-industry operatives buzzing about the latest innovations from golf’s biggest, brightest brands.
“Every year, I think it can’t get any bigger or better, but it always does,” noted Don Allan, PGA General Manager at Raccoon Creek Golf Course in Littleton, Colorado. “There are always some unique, crazy things we find at the PGA Show, and this year is no different. We’ve already found two new companies with things we plan to order.”
Gushed LPGA Professional Julie Plumley of Shingle Creek Golf Club in Orlando: “On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this year’s PGA Merchandise Show an 11 or 12. It’s amazing how many companies have new lines they are introducing at the Show this year. It’s electric.”
A full day of special presentations on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA, on the PGA Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction Stage sponsored by TPI, and on the Inventor’s Spotlight stage highlighted Day One of the PGA Show. While the aisles were bustling with business, PGA Professionals and industry operatives also took advantage of several special events and networking opportunities designed to lay the groundwork for a prosperous new year and new decade.
Some 40,000 attendees are expected to shop the 2020 PGA Merchandise, and Wednesday’s opening day saw large crowds at 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 that conducted seminars and special programming for PGA Professionals and retail buyers.
“A perfect 10,” is how Brian Kelley, PGA Head Professional at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio, described opening day at the 2020 PGA Show. “The Show floor is great this year. The CBD craze is sweeping the golf market, so I’m learning about all the benefits of CBD and what goes into different products. The new FlightScoope Nevo is also a product I discovered. Great little portable launch monitor at an affordable price.”
“The first-day traffic was tremendous, very solid,” reported Tom Gocke, who introduced his new company, Subtle Patriot, which features golf bags, lifestyle items and accessories with patriotic patterns to support military veterans. “We were busy from the opening gun and didn’t have time to break for lunch. That’s a great sign and a great start to PGA Show week.”
The PGA Merchandise Show resumes Thursday, with the Show floor opening at 8:30 a.m. and closing at 6 p.m. Friday’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.