This year’s Show put more than 43,000 attendees up close and personal with the more than 1,000 exhibitors on the floor at the cavernous Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Reed Expo (the company that owns the PGA Merchandise Show and runs it for the PGA of America) said golf buyers came from all 50 states (Florida, New York, Georgia, Illinois and Pennsylvania largest number attending) and 75 countries with Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Korea topping the list.
“It’s gratifying to see the PGA Merchandise Show back in great form,” said Ted Bishop, presiding over his first PGA Merchandise Show as President of The PGA of America. “This is the biggest the PGA Show has been since 2008, and that’s a great signal that golf is vibrant again.”
Compared with the recent past golf had a relatively good business year in 2012 which helped attendance and many PGA Professionals and buyers coming specifically to see the newest offering from the leading equipment makers such as TaylorMade-adidas Golf, Acushnet, Callaway Golf and Nike Golf.
“There seems to be more energy and enthusiasm at the Show this year, and there seems to be a lot more new product introductions than I remember in a long time,” said Becky Iverson, PGA director of golf at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison, Wis. “The cool factor is higher than in many years. The most difficult thing is separating what I want to buy for myself from what I need to buy for our members. This is also the best organized Show I’ve seen in a long time. It seems similar products are near each other so you don’t have to walk the entire exhibition hall to see similar companies.”
“There is a sense of excitement with all of the new equipment introductions, and a lot of positive vibes at the Show this year,” explained Scott Glass, PGA head professional at Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown, Pa. “The thing I like about the Show is you always find something unique and different.”
Along the nearly 10 miles of Show aisles there any number of interactive exhibits, hundreds of vendor specials and promotions; plus some 47 equipment testing bays at the Indoor Demo Days; a centralized New Product Zone for a one-stop shopping of the newest golf merchandise; a new Fashion Showcase and Lounge; an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail and numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including a new PGA Golf Travel Pavilion, PGA Partners Pavilion, New Exhibitor Discovery Zone, and several international exhibitor pavilions.