The Golf Show has become a must attend event for hundreds of golf industry professionals. Nat Sylvester finds out why.
Harrogate has many claims to fame from Bettys Tea Rooms to its links with whodunnit novelist Agatha Christie who was discovered at the town’s Old Swan Hotel after mysteriously vanishing in 1926. While its tourist attractions, not to mention its abundance of restaurants are not without their appeal, for the hundreds of PGA Professionals who converge on the West Riding of Yorkshire town every October, the lure is much more practical.
The Golf Show 2014, taking place from October 7-9, is an unparalleled business, education and retail opportunity packed under one impressive roof (Harrogate International Centre), taking place over three days with unrivalled networking, business and learning opportunities.
The Golf Show in 2014 marks the fifth edition of Europe’s largest golf trade and education event, which has built on its success year-on-year, strengthening and making it relevant to the needs of golf industry professionals. The introduction of a Teaching and Coaching Conference in 2012, to wrap up the three days, proved an instant hit with PGA professionals and the list of high profile speakers booked to headline the show finale in past years include legends of the game David Leadbetter and Pete Cowen.
The 2014 keynote speaker is no less impressive as famed short game coach Dave Pelz takes centre stage, with The Golf Show continuing to offer new perspectives and business insight to PGA professionals. Networking is cited as one of the many benefits of attending but it is more than just having a beer and a chat. PGA professionals making the effort to attend are drinking in new ideas, information and practices that they can apply in their day-to-day businesses at golf facilities up and down the UK and beyond.
With golf facilities and golf professionals under pressure to meet revenue targets and stay viable in the face of rising numbers of nomadic golfers and increased competition from other demands on modern life, the knowledge and information that can be gleaned at Harrogate is invaluable.
David Colclough, The PGA’s head of member education, has been pleased with how the Golf Show has evolved over the years to become a firm fixture in the calendar. “We know that PGA professionals, golf club managers and greenkeepers are the key staff at any golf facility and should be involved in the core of all activities at the club.
“The Golf Show is an ideal platform for doing forward business, meeting up with new and existing retailers, picking the brains of some of the sharpest people in the industry with the best practices and also a fantastic networking opportunity. Golf, both as a sport and an industry, faces a number of challenges and attending the Golf Show is almost essential for any golf industry professional keen to improve the performance of their facility.
“The feedback we get from PGA members is that they leave the show, energised and with improved knowledge and better equipped for the challenges ahead. In this day and age, with many PGA professionals in managerial roles, ditto club managers and green keepers, we should look at the three day show as a chance to learn and encourage them to take a day away from their golf club come here and bolster their knowledge and expertise to take back to the club for its benefit.
A highlight last year was a joint presentation by Dan Webster (St Annes Old Links) and Michael Brooks (Malton & Norton) – Foremost and TGI PGA Pros of the Year winners respectively. The pair have both been hugely successful at their clubs and shared an insight into some of the key points that made them successful.
Webster’s rise came on the back of nearly quitting the profession six or seven years ago due to disillusionment with the golf industry. However, with the application of hard work, effective marketing, better engagement and clever use of social media – topics which are routinely discussed in the free education offered at The Golf Show – he has transformed his fortunes and now has nine staff employed at his driving range and three full time coaches at a thriving St Annes Old Links.
Brooks, an ex-Walker Cup player, showed how through increased involvement in all aspects of the club, he had not only broadened his role but more importantly changed the mentality of the club. The pair’s hour long seminar was both inspiring and illuminating and if that was the only session a pro went to, it was worth the cost and effort of attending.
Of course, there was so much more as there will be this year. Seminars scheduled for this year include interactive presentations on time management, coaching mental skills, creating an online presence, ball striking, moving into management, staff attitudes and the influence on bottom line profits and many more – all of which are tailored to benefit the businesses of PGA professionals
For more information about The Golf Show 2014, visit: www.golftradeshow.co.uk where PGA professionals can register to attend by clicking on ‘Register’.