A second day of aisles bustling with business, a fresh schedule of panel discussions and presentations on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA, a full schedule of Education Conference seminars, a long leaderboard of celebrity appearances and an electric, live Fashion Show and Industry Reception Happy Hour placed an exclamation point on Day 2 of the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center.
The MAJOR of Golf Business again welcomed thousands of golf-industry professionals from around the world to source and sample the latest products from 1,000 golf companies and brands. A leaderboard of celebrities added spice to the PGA Show floor Thursday, including World Golf Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez and Bernhard Langer, Chip Beck, Stan Utley and Ken Duke.
“There are so many special events and educational opportunities – the challenge is finding time to do everything you want to do,” observed Steve Greiner, PGA Professional at Links to Freedom in Arlington, Virginia. “The Show floor is the networking capital of the golf world, and the presentations on the PGA Forum Stage have been fabulous.”
For PGA Professionals and industry insiders who haven’t accomplished all they need to yet, there is one more day to tie a ribbon on the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show. The Show floor and all education opportunities begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.
“The PGA Show is probably the most important thing we do every year as a staff,” said Ryan Bill, PGA General Manager at Apple Mountain Golf Club in Citrus Heights, California. “We bring four to six members of our staff to Orlando each year, and it’s a great team-building opportunity. We send different staffers to vendor meetings or special events, and then we all meet in the evening and discuss what we found and accomplished at dinner. For me personally, the PGA Show is extremely valuable. I have attended several education seminars and done a lot of networking. The PGA Town Hall meeting also was informative. It’s always nice to keep track of what the PGA is doing and to hear about new trends.”
“I heard a couple of guys say attendance at the PGA Show had fallen off, but I’m seeing quality and quantity at the Show this year,” said Seth Heinrich, PGA Professional at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida. “There is a great diversity of products and new vendors this year. I’ve seen a lot of products I’ve never seen before, so it was definitely worth the investment of time to stroll the Show floor.”
PGA of America officers and staff members appeared at numerous special presentations on the PGA Forum Stage and in the PGA Member Business Center Thursday, while a buffet of Education seminars in Executive Management, Golf Operations and Teaching & Coaching gave PGA Professionals a golden opportunity to enhance their careers and earn MSR credits.
“I would give the PGA Show this year a solid A, if we are grading it,” said Tara Morris, PGA Professional at the Country Club of Castle Pines in Castle Pines, Colorado. “We are building a new teaching and learning facility at our course, so I am looking for all of the things we need to make it work. The PGA Show is the only place I can find everything I need under one roof.”
Fashion moved into the spotlight Thursday evening with the latest in fall apparel and accessories on display at the PGA Show Live Fashion Show, presented by Polartec, in the Fashion Lounge of the Apparel Hall. The high-energy presentation gave a large crowd a preview of colors, fabrics and styling trends the industry can see in fall 2020.
“The Fashion Show was great. We do things outside the box and are always on the lookout for new vendors and new products that will resonate with our members,” said Justin Marano, PGA Head Professional at Silo Ridge Field Club in Verbank, New York. “There are always some unique products at the PGA Merchandise Show. I was impressed with what Fling Golf is doing – giving people an alternative to regular golf. Our members always like to try new things like that.”
The PGA Merchandise Show concludes Friday with coaching the focus on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA. Former Detroit Lions’ head coach Jim Caldwell, who has also coached with the Colts, Ravens and Dolphins, and former NFL player Tracy Porter will present “Keys to Motivating Athletes at All Levels” at 9 a.m. A College Coaches Town Hall will follow at 10 a.m., with a Women’s Golf Town Hall scheduled for 11 a.m.