COVID causes smaller-scale event that still drives big business for those who attend
ORLANDO, Fla. – The 69th PGA Show reunited the global golf industry in person for the first time in two years, Jan. 25-28, in Orlando, Florida. Nearly 15,000 PGA Professionals, golf leaders, industry executives and retailers sourced new products from more than 600 participating brands, attended high-level industry presentations, learned timely business solutions and connected in person with peers and golf leaders to drive forward participation and the business of the sport. The 2022 PGA Show began with Demo & Fitting Day at Orange County National Golf Center (OCN) on Jan. 25 and continued at Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), Jan. 26-28.
Organized in partnership by PGA Golf Exhibitions and the PGA of America, the PGA Show implemented robust health and safety standards to support a responsible industry gathering during ongoing pandemic challenges. While smaller in scale than traditional PGA Shows, the event attracted influential industry executives focused on engaging with manufacturers and one another during a time of strong growth for the sport. Annually the largest annual gathering of the PGA Membership, the PGA Show remains an important connection for PGA Professionals to the golf industry where they can source new products, learn new business strategies and build relationships with peers, manufacturers and other industry leaders.
“It’s incredible to think that we haven’t been together as an industry for two years,” said PGA President Jim Richerson. “With what is going on in the golf world, as well as the world itself, for all of us to be back together in Orlando, driving the business of golf forward, is significant. It is a pleasure to have been here promoting not just the PGA of America and PGA Golf Professionals, but also the game of golf.”
PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh added, “”It was great to be back in person at the PGA Show. The energy was great and a real platform to showcase innovative ideas and products, as well as countless learning opportunities for the many PGA Professionals who were able to be here. It made for a very collaborative, social environment and a great reminder of the importance of the golf industry getting together and connecting through an in-person Show.”
The 19th PGA Show Demo & Fitting Day, produced in partnership between the PGA Show and PGA Magazine, began PGA Show Week at OCN in cool temperatures and a light drizzle but didn’t deter industry professionals from experiencing new golf innovations in outdoor golf conditions, while also learning from experts in coaching, clubfitting, fitness and range operations.
The 69th PGA Show opened at OCCC with a special ceremony by the PGA of America, featuring musician Sam Harrop; and an announcement of the Association’s national award recipients, highlighted by PGA Golf Professional of the Year Tom Wildenhaus, PGA Teacher & Coach of the Year Jamie Mulligan and PGA Golf Executive of Year Joe Assell. Following the brief ceremony, attendees entered a reimagined Show floor featuring new products from more than 600 participating brands and multiple new experiential elements. The new PGA Hub, located at the main entrance and center of the Show floor, became a popular meeting spot where PGA Professionals could attend industry presentations, participate in golf coaching demonstrations and contests, see the PGA premier championships trophies up close and connect directly with PGA partners and Association departments. The new Equipment Test Center, featuring a relocated putting green near the indoor driving range and anchored by the Golf Channel broadcast stage, became a popular product testing and networking location at the south end of the exhibit hall. The Fashion Buyer Lounge, home to the annual live fashion show, anchored the north end of the exhibit hall and popular exhibitor pavilions stretched the expanse between the ends, including the New Product Zone, Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion, Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction Pavilion and Stage, Golf Travel Pavilion and Adaptive Golf Center.
More than 600 exhibitors showcased thousands of products and services to attending PGA Professionals and golf buyers resulting in new business and new customers (exhibitor reactions below). Many new innovations caught the interest of reporting media including:
- Bridgestone – new Tour B line of golf balls and OTTO the new automated golf ball fitting cart
- Sportsbox AI – A 3D motion analysis studio in the palm of your hand
- Makefield Putters – driver weighted technology in a flatstick
- Shot Scope – PRO LX+ rangefinder with GPS distance and performance tracking technology
- Golfzon – new TwoVision simulator
- FlightScope – new Mevo+ Pro Package that adds Fusion Tracking
- E-Z-GO – new carts using advanced Samsung SDi lithium technology this week.
- Motocaddy – new M7 GPS model, the world’s first remote controlled touchscreen caddy
- Pub Og – custom-built, mini-Irish pub for golf courses or backyards
- Lyle & Scott – new men’s High Summer 22 collection
- Kinona – new women’s 2022 Fall and Resort collection
- Sunday Golf Bags – short course golf bags
- Anatomie – introduced first menswear collection
The 2022 PGA Show also shined a spotlight on new products and talented inventors in the New Product Zone and Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion. New Product Zone innovations were displayed and judged by a panel of award-winning PGA Professionals and golf buyers. The judging panel selected three overall “Best New Product” Award winners – Alignment Ball Mark, Fireside Tumblersand Oars + Alps.
The Inventors Spotlight pavilion, organized in partnership with the United Inventors Association (UIA), showcased new golf products developed by independent inventors. Products were reviewed by UIA experts and top inventions were presented with one of three awards: Best Marketing to Kelken Enterprises – Incinerator Golf Ball; Best Innovation to Stance Caddy Training Aid; and Best in Show to The RUNNER Putter.
“It was especially gratifying to bring the golf community back together, to see important business taking place on the Show Floor and to feel first-hand the positive energy that came from the reunion,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions Vice President Marc Simon. “The cross-industry collaboration on programming resulted in tremendous resources for PGA Professionals to adapt, learn and grow through the increasing demands and rising popularity of the sport. While the PGA Show transformed this year under the challenges of COVID, it became a bridge to help many in the industry drive their business forward in 2022 and beyond.”
A heightened focus on providing solutions to the current business climate was evident through extensive education and industry program opportunities. PGA Show Week included the National Golf Course Owners Association Golf Business Conference, AGM Golf Retail Conference, PGA Education Conference, PGA Hub Industry Stage presentations, PGA Member Business Center workshops, Golf Fitness, Wellness & Instruction Stage sessions, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum, and the National Alliance for Accessible Golf Conference.
More than 500 media professionals attended and reported from the 2022 PGA Show, including several media outlets with studios on the Show floor. Golf Channel interviewed industry leaders and covered more than 60 product innovations during live Golf Todayprogramming. CBS Sports HQ interviewed industry leaders and shared dozens of product innovations during multiple live features each day and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio network broadcast more than 15 hours from the event. Additionally, SI Golf, PGA.com and Fairways of Life produced extensive content from the Show Floor to share with their engaged golf audiences.
- Richard Prosser, International Sales Manager for Lyle & Scott – “I think coming to the PGA Show this year is the best decision we could have made. The engagement with golf professionals and buyers is truly great. It’s given us a chance to tell our story in a way that you just can’t do on the other end of the phone or a laptop. That’s integral to our success, and people really like being here together.”
- Steve Rentschler, Executive Vice President of Sterling Cut Glass – “All the attendees we’re seeing are happy – happy to be here, happy to see the commitment to the PGA Show that these companies have made. I’ve seen nearly all of our major customers in the last two days, and they are here to buy. We’re glad that we brought our full booth to the PGA Show, and the entire footprint has been needed to accommodate our customers.”
- Dan Murphy, Bridgestone Golf President & CEO – “We’re having a really busy, successful PGA Show. It started at PGA Show Demo & Fitting Day and carried right over to the PGA Show. 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.”
- Henri Johnson, FlightScope Inventor & CEO – “What I see are customers who are here with intent to learn and to place orders. We’re extremely pleased with the outcome of exhibiting this week. This is our 18th consecutive PGA Show, and what I’ve decided is that it will always be an annual part of our plans.”
- Katie McCarthy, Kilo Tango Founder – “It’s a great opportunity for us as a new apparel line to meet people face-to-face and get our name out there. On Tuesday night, we were saying how this was going to be a big day for us, and the Fashion Show only made it that much more productive.”
- Tom Sproat, F45 General Manager – “It was really big to have an in-person PGA Show – to a person, everyone we’ve talked to this week was surprised how much traffic there was throughout the week. We’ve had a lot of media attention and visits with interested customers, and there was a great flow of people throughout the week. It was great for business, and to get a feel for what is going on in the industry right now.”
- Jason Moore, TRUE Linkswear CEO – “We’re very happy with the amount of traffic we’re seeing and the business we’re writing. 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.”
- Logan Bettencourt, SwingJuice Account Executive – “This week, we made connections and we made sales. That’s the easiest way to say it. Buyers are looking for younger brands, and we got to know a lot of them. Especially as a newer brand, buyers want to see and feel the product to be sure it fits their shop. Coming to the PGA Show helps us build for the future, and I think this puts us in a position to explode this year.”
- Lisa Lazure, Flint and Flame Head of Corporate Partnerships – “We’ve been to the PGA Show before, but this was the best year we’ve ever had here. Everything’s been super positive. We were featured on Golf Channel, which was a great way to show off our brand. On the Show Floor, interactions with buyers were much less hurried this year. They came to our booth and stayed for meaningful conversations, and buyers were here with a hunger to find unique products for their clubs.”
- Scott Morrison, Radmor Golf Co-Founder – “We were on the fence about coming, and at the last minute we decided to take the plunge. I’m glad we did, because the impact of being here is going to be significant on our business. We’re a new brand, and we don’t have sales reps to cover the entire country. If we could see three or four customers on a normal day, we can see 300-400 at the PGA Show. Plus, we’re making connections in the industry that will help us fill out our sales team as we grow our brand. Coming to the PGA Show was definitely the right decision for Radmor.”
- Martin Wyeth, Power Tee Founder – “The 2022 PGA Show has been a very pleasant surprise. Coming out of the virtual show last year created questions for many in the industry. We have had quality contacts with existing customers and had more quality conversations with new contacts than ever before. The industry is broadening its appeal and Power Tee provides a solid foundation for driving growth at ranges, golf clubs, home use, and retailers.”
About PGA Golf Exhibitions
The PGA Show, PGA Buying & Education Summit and PGA Show Connects are organized in partnership by PGA Golf Exhibitions (part of RX) and the PGA of America. Since its inception in 1954, the PGA Show has grown into the largest annual business event for the global golf industry. Regional PGA Show Buying & Education Summits and the PGA Show Connects digital platform connect the industry year-round and drive business leading up to the annual PGA Show. Learn more at PGAShow.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About the PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals who work daily to grow interest and inclusion in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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