Education and learning opportunities are front and center at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show this week.
Beginning with the PGA Show Education Conference and extending through the co-located National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) Golf Business Conference, the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) Golf Retail Conference, and the Tennis Owners & Managers (TOM) Conference at the Racquet & Paddle Sports Show, PGA Professionals and golf industry insiders have nearly 100 education seminars, presentations and panel discussions designed to enhance their careers.
PGA Show Week also features multiple professional development opportunities, including presentations on the PGA Forum Stage presented by OMEGA and in the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction area presented by TPI; PGA Member workshops in the PGA Member Business Center; and a full day of outdoor Teaching & Coaching workshops at Tuesday’s PGA Show Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Center.
Add to the mix a multitude of Exhibitor Education programs from companies such as Titleist, V1 Sports, FlightScope and many others, and you have learning opportunities at every turn.
“We call it the PGA Merchandise Show, but for my assistant professionals and PGM students, I call it the PGA Education Show because the educational opportunities are so great,” notes Adam M. Scott, PGA Head Professional at Mississippi State University Golf Course in Starkville, Mississippi. “There are so many things to do and so much business to take care of at the PGA Show, but we always take time to attend as many education classes and presentations we possibly can. That’s a big part of our week.”
PGA Professionals and industry leaders are sharing their expertise in three primary education tracks Wednesday through Friday at the PGA Show Education Conference. The Executive Management track will feature strategies to drive facility revenues, improve business efficiencies, foster team building and spotlight leadership best practices. The Teaching & Coaching track is designed to help PGA Professionals enhance their teaching business, categorize player programs, and develop marketing and communication tactics for a fully integrated teaching and coaching service. The Golf Operations track is focusing on customer service, tournament management, tee-reservation services and merchandising, and all other operations that contribute to a successful golf facility.
“Education and learning is a high priority for us at the PGA Merchandise Show. We always budget time at the PGA Show to attend educational seminars that will help us develop new strategies and provide new ideas in all phases of golf operations,” says Barry Hinckley, PGA Head Professional at Jefferson Country Club in Blacklick, Ohio. “There are always educational seminars that benefit myself and my staff. In addition to the more traditional seminars, we like to attend a seminar or two from our key vendors such as Titleist. We try to schedule our time carefully, but education is always one of our top priorities.”
The 2020 AGM Golf Retail Conference takes place on Tuesday with numerous seminars focused on the retailing, merchandising and sales side of the golf business.
“The AGM Retail Conference serves as the perfect venue to enhance our members’ professional development with relevant and timely retailed-related education,” says AGM Executive Director Desane Blaney. “The AGM education component at the PGA Merchandise Show has become an annual tradition with our AGM members.”
The NGCOA Golf Business Conference, which concludes on Wednesday, includes more than 15 education sessions, comprised of industry and business experts, as well as peer panels. Education session topics included: Online Tee Time Agencies/Bartering/Pricing; Hiring/Training/Employee Retention; Business-Affecting Legislation; Marketing/Social Media/Branding; Membership Growth; On-course and Clubhouse Technologies; Real Estate Valuations; Customer Experience Enhancement; Diversity and Inclusion; Event and Tournament Planning; and more.
Many exhibitors utilize PGA Show Week to conduct educational classroom and training sessions. For example, V1 Sports — creators of video swing analysis software for teaching pros and golfers -— showcased its V1 Sports Pressure Mat with V1 Pro software and the V1 Golf and V1 Game mobile apps at the PGA Show Demo Day, at its 40-by-20-foot exhibition booth (1263), and during daily seminars in Classroom W313 at the Orange County Convention Center.
“Our best relationships in the golf industry are with the dedicated PGA teaching professionals who trust V1 Sports technology to power their lessons and build lasting bonds while improving their students’ games,” says V1 Sports CEO Bryan Finnerty. “The PGA Merchandise Show is the ideal place for us to demonstrate our latest versions of V1 Pro with Pressure Mat integration as well as the newest HD cameras.”
Titleist is demonstrating its ongoing commitment to education by hosting a series of workshops, presentations and interactive discussions featuring industry experts and some of the most respected teachers in the game this week at the PGA Merchandise Show.
“There is nothing better than attending a Titleist workshop where you have the opportunity to hear how Bob Vokey makes his wedges, or what Scotty Cameron is doing with his latest putter designs,” notes Eric Eshleman, the 2019 PGA Professional of the Year from Birmingham Country Club in Alabama. “Those types of presentations are extremely educational, and they make the PGA Merchandise Show extremely special.”