The 62nd PGA Merchandise Show held in Orlando, Fla. 21-23 January, bringing together more than 1,000 companies and brands introducing new and innovative golf equipment, apparel, accessories and services to more than 41,000 attending PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders from 79 countries.
The 2015 edition of the PGA Merchandise Show saw exciting product introductions in every sector of the business, with over 6,600 PGA of America Professionals in attendance (a six percent increase over 2014) and an additional 1,000 International PGA Professionals, some 12 hours of live television coverage by the Golf Channel, the highest attended PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day, strong participation in educational sessions and compelling industry presentations to grow the business of golf and participation in the game.
The PGA Merchandise Show covered 1 million square feet of interactive exhibit and demonstration space in the Orange County Convention Center West Concourse Exhibit Hall. Among the 1,000 exhibiting companies and brands, the game’s hottest new companies and established market leaders showcased the latest technology in golf with new product introductions from industry leaders such as Adams Golf, Bridgestone, Callaway, Cleveland/Srixon, COBRA PUMA GOLF, Mizuno, Nike Golf, PING, TaylorMade Golf Company, Titleist, Tour Edge, Wilson and Yonex. The latest fashions were in the spotlight from golf, resort and lifestyle apparel leaders such as adidas, AHEAD, Antigua, Ashworth, Bobby Jones, Callaway Golf Apparel, Chase 54, Cutter & Buck, Dunning Golf, EP Pro, Fairway & Greene, FJ, Full Turn Direct, Greg Norman Collection, Izod Golf, J.Lindeberg, Lacoste, LinkSoul, Nike, Oakley, Peter Millar, PING Apparel, Polo, Puma, Sport Haley, Straight Down, Sunice, Tommy Hilfiger Golf, Travis Mathew, Under Armour, and Zero Restriction.
More than 200 exhibitors were new to the PGA Merchandise Show in 2015. PGA of America Professional attendance grew by six percent, while overall industry attendance increased by one percent to total more than 41,000 PGA Professionals, retailers and industry leaders from all 50 U.S. states and 79 countries. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Korea and Sweden. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were Florida, California, New York, Georgia and North Carolina.
In total, Golf Channel’s news franchises broadcast 12 hours of live coverage over four days from an expanded set located in the heart of the PGA Show floor and incorporating new production elements like the overhead “Fly Cam,” a unique camera technology made popular in televising football and other sports. Suspended above the PGA Show floor, the Fly Cam spanned 1,200 feet giving viewers an aerial viewpoint of all of the excitement inside the Orange County Convention Center. Golf Channel’s PGA Show Fly Cam set a record for the longest span of any camera of its type used for indoor events. The Fly Cam is widely known for its use in televising action sports and downhill skiing.
Additionally, more than 1,400 media representatives from 29 countries came to the PGA Merchandise Show to cover the newest golf products, trends, industry announcements and newsmakers of the game.
PGA Show Week kicked off with a veritable Hall of Fame of golf instructors, teachers and mentors sharing their expertise with a capacity crowd of 900-plus PGA Professionals during the 14th PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit presented by OMEGA, Sunday and Monday, Jan. 18-19, at the Linda Chapin Theater of the Orange County Convention Center.
The PGA Merchandise Show began with an exciting opening as two-time Masters Champion and three-time Ryder Cup team member Bubba Watson joined PGA President Derek Sprague for the televised Opening Ceremony on Wednesday morning, Jan. 21. Additionally, Watson made several special appearances at the PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day and during PGA Show Week.
The Olympic Golf Forum attracted a standing-room only audience to learn the latest news on the return of golf to the Olympics after 111 years to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016.
PGA Show Week also featured a strong line-up of outdoor instructional workshops, daily keynote sessions, certification programs and classroom seminars which created a comprehensive educational calendar at the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show.
Attendees also enjoyed an energetic PGA Show floor featuring interactive exhibits, hundreds of vendor specials and promotions; plus some 47 equipment testing bays at the Indoor Demo Days; daily fashion shows, the FIT to W.I.N. sports performance pavilion, a centralized New Product Zone for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including the Golf Travel Pavilion, women’s accessories pavilion, PGA Partners Pavilion, New Exhibitor Discovery Zone, and several international exhibitor pavilions, plus an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail.
On Tuesday, Jan. 20, more than 7,000 PGA Professionals, invited golf retailers and media – an event record attendance and increase of nine percent over last year – previewed the newest equipment, training aids and accessories from more than 100 top golf companies to create the world’s largest professional demo event at the 2015 PGA Show Outdoor Demo Day at Orange County National Center and Lodge in Winter Garden, Fla. Additionally, renowned PGA Professionals Mike Malaska and Stan Utley, PGA/LPGA Professional Nancy Quarcelino, instructor Dr. Jim Suttie and sports medicine expert Dr. Tom LaFountain presented one-hour outdoor golf instructional workshops directly on the range of OCN.