Click here to see photos from Demo Day.
Like the New York Stock Exchange’s opening bell, the 18th annual PGA Show Demo Day teed off 2020 PGA Merchandise Show Week Tuesday at the 42-acre Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Florida, with thousands of PGA Professionals and golf industry leaders testing the newest products from more than 100 companies, and setting the stage for a bellwether week in Orlando.
A series of outdoor instructional workshops added an educational element to the world’s largest golf demo day, while a lengthy list of celebrities and tour professionals provided energy and enthusiasm through a medley of demonstrations, new product introductions and autograph-signing sessions amid the 200 hitting bays, multiple range-side practice greens and an expansive vendor village at Orange County National.
The PGA Show Demo Day has become a traditional start to PGA Merchandise Show Week for many PGA Professionals, industry operatives, retail buyers and equipment experts. With leading brands such as Bridgestone Golf, Bushnell, Callaway Golf, Cobra Puma Golf, FlightScope, Ernest Sports, Foresight Sports, Mizuno USA, Lynx Golf, Nikon, Ping, Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO, Titleist, Tour Edge, Wilson Golf, Yamaha Golf-Car Company and Yonex Corp., making their latest products available for hands-on testing, there was something for everyone.
“We have started PGA Show Week at Demo Day for the past eight or nine years, seeing what’s new and being able to test everything under real world conditions,” noted Larry Ray, a PGA Assistant Professional at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Missouri. “PGA Show Week always begins for me at Demo Day, with the opportunity to actually gauge performance in real time.”
Added Ramon Valdez, PGA Director of Golf at Isleta Golf Course in Albuquerque, New Mexico: “Demo Day gives us a chance to see what’s new in golf equipment and actually do some hands-on testing. We like to see all the companies who don’t send reps to our facility, and we like to see what’s new from the smaller companies whose products we often don’t hear about.”
With Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” airing live at Orange County National from 7-11 a.m. and thousands of attendees testing the latest equipment, training aids and technology, the 2020 PGA Show Demo Day had a big-time feel on a brisk, breezy day with temperatures in the mid-50s.
“PGA Show Demo Day is our bread and butter, and an important opportunity for us to connect with PGA Professionals, especially in a setting where we can shoot our laser rangefinders and demonstrate new products in the field,” said John DeCastro, Director of Global Products for Bushnell, which was launching several new product lines. “Opportunities to let people put our products in their hands and see for themselves how easy they are to use is priceless.”
A long list of celebrities added a unique layer to a packed schedule at PGA Show Demo Day. Short game guru Stan Utley, PGA, and Tania Tare helped Ping unveil its latest putters and products; Greg Norman, Lexi Thompson and trick-shot artist Ryan Rustand were big hits at the Cobra Puma compound; wedge master Bob Vokey, Brad Faxon and Aaron Dill showed off the latest Tileist products; Peter Jacobsen, NHL Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr and long driver Jamie Sadlowski represented Srixon/Cleveland Golf/XXIO, and several other luminaries interacted with Demo Day attendees and signed autographs.
“I look at Demo Day as a sneak preview of all the new products we’re going to see in the golf industry for the coming year,” said Michael Connor, PGA Head Professional at Hooper’s Landing Golf Course in Seaford, Delaware. “Demo Day is great; where else can you see a demonstration of the latest Titleist wedges by the man who designed them, Bob Vokey? It’s a great opportunity to learn.”
Four instructional workshops at the 2020 PGA Show Demo Day also proved popular. GOLFTEC Vice President of Instruction Nick Clearwater, PGA, used data collected from 25,000 GOLFTEC clubfittings to provide content for his presentation titled “How to Provide a Better Clubfitting Experience.” TPI-certified trainer Lance Gill and PGA Professional Mark Blackburn teamed to present “Power Multipliers & Where to Find Them in Your Swing.”
Afternoon instruction workshops included “Trends in Driving Equipment & Instruction Revenue” by Brett Meyer, Senior Certified Instructor and Master Clubfitter at the Leadbetter Golf Academy, followed by “Where Does Speed Really Come From” featuring 2011 PGA Teacher of the Year Mike Malaska on the demonstration tee at Orange County National.
The 2020 PGA Show Demo Day was produced by PGA Golf Exhibitions and PGA Magazine. This year’s Presenting Partners included Boomer Golf, Insane Impact, KT Tape, Toptracer, ToughLie 360, Wittek Golf and Yamaha. Offical Product Partners were FlighScope (registration tent), Pukka (headwear) and Under Armour (apparel).
Click Here to see photos from Demo Day.