ORLANDO, Fla. – The 66th PGA Merchandise Show, the industry’s annual “Major of Golf Business,” came to a close Jan. 25, in Orlando, as it welcomed nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 89 countries.
The 2019 edition delivered product and industry announcements that energized the industry for the New Year. PGA Professionals and buyers uncovered the newest products, trends and technology from more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands. This included more than 200 companies new to the PGA Show, creating the world’s largest business-to-business golf event, within 1 million square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and meeting space of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) West Concourse Exhibit Hall.
As the world’s largest gathering of PGA Professionals, the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show attracted more than 7,500 PGA Professionals from around the world. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan and China. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, California, New York, Georgia and North Carolina.
The 2019 PGA Show was marked by significant industry announcements and product introductions including Titleist’s new ProV1 golf balls, Cameron putters and Vokey wedges; PING’s G410 drivers/woods; Callaway’s Epic Flash Driver; Cobra’s Speedback Driver; Odyssey’s Stroke Lab putters; Bridgestone’s E12 golf balls; and Mizuno’s new ST190 woods and JPX919 Hot Metal Pro irons, among many others.
Golf lifestyle apparel and accessories are also well represented, with companies such as adidas Golf, AHEAD, Antigua, Bobby Jones Apparel, Callaway Apparel, Cutter & Buck, Dunning, FootJoy, Greg Norman Collection, Peter Millar, Polo/Ralph Lauren, PUMA Golf, Summit Brands (B. Draddy, Fairway & Greene, EP NY, Zero Restriction), Travis Mathew, Under Armour and Vineyard Vines anchoring the PGA Merchandise Show apparel section. The newest fashions for upcoming seasons featured bursts of color and new styles, sports performance fabrics, classic styles and leisurewear with sporty details. In all, hundreds of thousands of products and services were showcased within nearly 10 miles of Show aisles in the Orange County Convention Center.
“The 2019 PGA Merchandise Show kicked off the new season with enormous energy, strong attendance, major product launches and exciting industry and manufacturer activations for the upcoming year,” said PGA Merchandise Show Event Vice President Marc Simon. “In addition to making important purchase decisions for the new season, PGA Professionals and buyers took advantage of multiple business programs to connect personally with manufacturers and industry leaders to drive golf forward in 2019.”
The global golf gathering began on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the PGA Show Demo Day, when thousands of PGA Professionals and invited golf retailers previewed and personally tested the newest equipment, training aids and accessories from more than 100 top golf companies at Orange County National Golf Center. The newest products were tested within 200 hitting bays, multiple putting greens, a golf cart track and the vendor village at the 42-acre practice facility, to create the world’s largest professional golf demo event.
The first Global Golf Innovation Competition, a new “Shark Tank”-style competition for golf startups, showcased ten up-and-coming innovators in golf to a full audience and an esteemed panel of judges on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the OCCC. Spain’s Fabio Peral and his startup company Golf Boo, an online travel platform, was named the winner of the inaugural competition. HYPE Sports Innovation, an established global platform facilitating connections and investments among the sports innovation ecosystem, hosted the competition in cooperation with PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions.
On Wednesday morning, Jan. 23, PGA President Suzy Whaley and PGA CEO Seth Waugh paid tribute to military veterans, the PGA’s 2018 Patriot Award Winner, Ken Juhn, and the PGA HOPE program with a live band and a red-carpet entrance for special guests at the PGA Show Opening Ceremony in the Central Lobby of the OCCC.
PGA Show days were full of professional learning opportunities during industry presentations. The PGA Forum Stage was a popular destination on the PGA Show floor, with a full schedule of speakers and diverse programming for thousands of attending PGA Professionals and industry leaders. Presentations covered industry initiatives and topics such as #inviteHER, workforce diversity and digital branding, plus teaching and PGA Professional presentations such as the future of coaching.
Many exhibiting companies hosted renowned PGA teachers, PGA and LPGA touring professionals and celebrities at the PGA Show including Greg Norman, Jim Nantz Brad Faxon, Luke Donald, Blair O’Neal, John Daly, Paula Creamer, Karrie Webb, Brooke Henderson, Nancy Lopez, Troy Mullins, Brooke Henderson, and top teachers such as Michael Breed, Hank Haney, David Leadbetter, Jim McLean, Mike Malaska, Gary Gilchrist, Mike Bender, Mike Schy and Stan Utley.
PGA Professionals attending the annual PGA Show Education Conference were able to learn from industry experts presenting more than 50 educational seminars and workshops focusing on teaching and coaching, executive management and golf operations.
Attendees experienced a dynamic PGA Show Floor, featuring interactive exhibits; hundreds of vendor show specials and promotions; plus 50 equipment testing bays at the indoor Equipment Test Center, sponsored by Insane Impact; a new Golf Facility Innovation Center, featuring PepsiCo; a centralized New Product Zone, sponsored by Chippo Golf, for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; the Inventors Spotlight exhibitor pavilion, in cooperation with the United Inventors Association, for patented products not yet available at retail; the Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction area, with the Adaptive Golf Center; and numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions, concentrating exhibits in the areas of travel, technology, international exhibitors, women’s accessories and new exhibitors.
More than 1,000 media from some 23 countries reported from the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show. Golf Channel provided comprehensive live coverage to a worldwide audience in more than 36 countries, including 14 hours of Morning Drive live from the PGA Show Demo Day and from a PGA Show Floor studio and demonstration stage.
PGA Merchandise Show Winners
Award-winning PGA Professionals and top golf buyers voted for the three best new products among the merchandise displayed in the PGA Show New Product Zone.
The 2019 New Product Zone winning products were:
Kaeli Smith – timelessly chic women’s apparel https://kaelismith.com/
Organized in partnership with the United Inventors Association (UIA), the Inventor’s Spotlight pavilion showcased golf inventions not yet available at retail.
The 2019 Inventor’s Spotlight winning products were:
The Media Stick (Best Marketing Effort) – handles all media devices so you don’t miss a thing http://www.themediastick.com/
Fourball (Most Innovative Concept) – a simple mobile app to meet golfers around you http://www.fourballapp.com/
Guided Knowledge (The Pinnacle Award – Best in Show) – digital coaching tools providing a brand new view of the player’s unique swing signature http://www.guidedknowledge.com/
Influential PGA Professionals and golf buyers voted two exhibitors new to the PGA Show as recipients of the Top Buyers Choice Awards.
The 2019 Top Buyers Choice winners were:
· SIC Cups (Seriously Ice Cold) – double wall vacuum insulated, stainless steel drinkware with a lifetime warranty http://www.siccups.com/
· Oliver Thomas – bags for everyday carry with modern function https://theoliverthomas.com/
2019 Global Golf Innovation Competition, hosted by HYPE Sports Innovation, winners were:
· Golf Boo (First Place) – golf travel platform https://www.golfboo.com/en/
· CaddieNow (Second Place) – a service that connect golfers with caddies https://caddienow.com/
· Kinexit (Third Place) – a training system to promote better golf https://kinexit.com/
The 2020 U.S. PGA Merchandise Show is scheduled for Jan. 21-24 in Orlando, Fla.