First day of 2022 PGA Show spotlights renewed connections, brisk business and optimism

New connections were made and existing business relationships were rekindled as the 2022 PGA Show welcomed attendees back to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, on Wednesday. The 69th PGA Show was marked by a full day of steady traffic on the PGA Show Floor, with exhibitors reporting brisk business and attendees excited to enjoy an in-person event that included a plethora of networking and education opportunities.

“Based on the amount of traffic I see at the PGA Show, I’m really optimistic about what I’m seeing. It’s really important that we have the chance to get together and have a PGA Show right now,” said Dan Pasternak, the PGA General Manager at Essex Fells (N.J.) Country Club. “The situation with COVID-19 is obviously very challenging, but it is so important for us to be able to get together and talk with each other about what’s going on in our industry. There’s so much that you get out of speaking face to face with a vendor or a fellow professional – even when you’re wearing a mask – that you just don’t get from a video call. Everyone I see is truly glad to be here, and thankful that the PGA Show made this opportunity possible.”

In that spirit, the 2022 PGA Show kicked off at 8:15 a.m. with a festive opening ceremony honoring 2021 PGA National award winters Tom Wildenhaus (PGA Golf Professional of the Year), Jamie Mulligan (PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year) and Joe Assell (PGA Golf Executive of the Year) as PGA President Jim Richerson officially opened the PGA Show for business.

Media outlets like Golf Channel, SiriusXM Radio, CBS Sports HQ, SI GOLF, Fairways of Life, PGA Magazine and shared news live from the PGA Show Floor throughout the day, and social media buzzed with photos and posts tagged #PGAShow2022.

Throughout the day, hundreds of the top brands in the business stayed busy with buying and networking opportunities.

“We’re having a really busy, successful PGA Show,” said Dan Murphy, President and CEO of Bridgestone Golf. “It started at PGA Show Demo & Fitting Day and carried right over to the start of the PGA Show on Wednesday. We’ve had a full exhibit space all day, and it makes us very happy about our decision to be a part of this event.

“We’re building relationships with many new PGA Professionals and golf shop buyers who have never carried Bridgestone golf balls before, and we’re glad that we have this chance to tell them our story – and get feedback from them about what they’d like to see from us as a partner. We’re learning a lot about the business needs of golf facilities during this extraordinarily busy time for all of us, and that’s a big part of the value of being here at the PGA Show.”

Murphy’s sentiments were shared by TRUE linkswear CEO Jason Moore.

“We’re very happy with the amount of traffic we’re seeing and the business we’re writing,” Moore said. “We’re in a good position because we have inventory on hand, and attendees are excited when they hear that. We’re making a lot of new relationships and expanding the footprint of our brand thanks to being at the PGA Show.”

The new PGA Hub, located centrally near the main entrance to the PGA Show Floor, lived up to its name as a center of activity. The PGA Industry Stage hosted a number of presentations, including in-depth discussions of current golf supply and demand trends, how to use the Make Golf Your Thing initiative to retain new golfers, advancing workplace inclusion, and an update on the PGA Frisco project. The PGA Hub also featured coaching demos, a PGA Professional lounge, access to PGA staff.

The PGA Hub was also a popular destination for a pair of contests on golf simulators: a Closest to the Hole contest presented by Captech, and a Hole in One Contest presented by Club Car. Both contests were held virtually on the 17th hole at Whistling Straits, site of the 2021 Ryder Cup.

Winners were also crowned at the Inventors Spotlight, where a panel of industry experts chose three products as standing out above the rest at this year’s PGA Show. Those included:

Best Marketing: Kelken Enterprises – Incinerator (booth 3619)

Best Innovation: Stance Caddy (booth 3716)

Best in Show: RUNNER (booth 3615).

Multiple exhibitors hosted receptions at their booths as the day wound down, leading up to the well-attended PGA Show Live Fashion Show. New apparel and accessories lines from a dozen top designers and brands were the stars of a high-energy fashion show that accentuated the detail, attributes and craftsmanship of the game’s latest trends.