With the most extensive showing of leading golf brands and a significant increase in attending industry
professionals, the 2013 PGA Expo proved to be a valuable platform for previewing new golf merchandise from some 200 vendors, testing the latest equipment; participating in hands-on, high impact teaching and business education programs and networking among peers during PGA Expo events, Aug. 19-21, at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Market leaders such as Callaway Golf, COBRA PUMA GOLF, Nike Golf, PING,
TaylorMade Golf and Wilson Golf among others showcased their newest equipment,
while nearly 100 golf and resort lifestyle apparel brands featured their newest
Main Stage industry programs brought both an informative and entertaining twist
to the launch of new technology and new fashion trends with the return of the
PGA Expo Fashion Designer Panel and the new PGA Expo Technology Symposium.
Simultaneous again to Las Vegas Fashion Week, the PGA Expo attracted a large
crowd of fashion buyers and apparel vendors to its traditional Fashion Designer
Panel featuring renowned designers Mossimo Giannulli of G/Fore, Chris Rosaasen
of Travis Mathew and Tim Dally of Old Tom Morris. Golf Digest Fashion Director
Marty Hackel and Golf Channel fashion aficionado Win McMurry moderated the
lively discussion on the latest trends and crossover merchandising opportunities for golf, resort and lifestyle apparel.
The PGA Expo “Fashion Row” display of golf apparel collections greeted PGA Expo
and Fashion Week attendees in the corridor outside the Show floor and attracted
many apparel buyers to visit fashion exhibits inside the Venetian Ballroom.
With an emphasis on technology advancements in equipment and teaching aids, the
new PGA Expo Technology Symposium was according to the organisers well received by a standing
room-only audience of attending PGA Professionals. Golf World Equipment Editor
Michael Johnson moderated two panel discussions – “Better Equipment
Technology and How to Sell It to Your Customers” and “Teaching With
the Latest Technologies.” Panelists included some of the brightest minds
in golf , including PING’s Marty Jertsen, Callaway’s Austie Rollinson, Nike’s
Tom Stites, TaylorMade’s Benoit Vincent, FlightScope’s Henri Johnson, Full
Swing’s Brian Farley, Foresight’s Rick Cuellar, and GolfTec’s Doug Rikkers.
Additionally, the latest technology software providers also enjoyed a new
platform to share information with attendees in the Tech Talk Live
Demonstrations on the Main Stage.
“The combination of top-level apparel brands, the professional education
programs, and the strongest showing of equipment companies at the PGA Expo in
recent years provided PGA Professionals and attendees with new business,
marketing and merchandising opportunities they can put to use immediately at
their facilities,” noted PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Event Director
Marc Simon. “There was a tremendous takeaway over three days in Las Vegas
for everyone who attended.”
PGA Professionals and buyers from top golf clubs, resorts and retail facilities
converged at the PGA Expo to create a fresh merchandising mix for 2014
including Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Congressional Country Club, Haggin Oaks,
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Medinah Country Club, Pinehurst Resort, The
Broadmoor, Torrey Pines, PGA Village, Dick’s Sporting Goods, GolfSmith, PGA
Tour Superstores, Play It Again Sports and The Golf Warehouse among others.
Attendees came from 48 U.S. states and 26 countries to the 2013 PGA Expo.
Industry professional attendance increased by 8% over 2012 with significant
increases in the number of participating PGA Professionals and apparel buyers.
Top states by attendance were California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and Texas.
Top countries outside of the U.S. by attendance were Canada, Japan, Mexico,
China and the United Kingdom.
The 2013 PGA Expo kicked off on Monday, Aug. 19, with testing of the latest
equipment and training aids by nearly 40 manufacturers during the PGA Expo Demo
Night at the TaylorMade Golf Experience (formerly the Callaway Golf Center).
Mike Malaska, the 2011 PGA National Teacher of the Year, began the evening with
a special “hands-on” instructional clinic for some 100 PGA
Professionals that focused on “Understanding and Developing Your Student’s
Athletic Personality” and other teaching fundamentals.
PGA Expo educational programming attracted large audiences including the PGA
Fast Track to Leadership Development Seminar, PGA CPP 2.0 Certification
session, PGA Education Conference seminars, the Association of Golf Merchandisers
Summer Forum, plus education sessions from FlightScope and U.S. Kids Golf.
Once again, professional networking was an important part of the annual
industry gathering on the Show floor, within education programs, at PGA Expo
Demo Night and during the popular PGA Expo Industry Welcome Reception at
Lagasse’s Stadium in the Palazzo Resort Las Vegas.
Several PGA Expo vendors were award prizes of distinction from attending PGA
Professionals and influential buyers including:
New Product Zone Winners
A panel of influential merchandisers and PGA Professionals voted for the top
three products of the New Product Zone, a specialty exhibitor pavilion
displaying new products in one convenient setting:
• Glove Caddie, www.glovecaddie.com
• The Swing Set Up, www.theswingsetup.com
• Digital Print Mobile Case by Pukka, www.pukkainc.com
Top Buyers Choice Award
Smathers & Branson (www.smathersandbranson.com),
a provider of hand-stitched needlepoint belts and accessories and a new PGA
Expo exhibitor in 2013, was voted by influential merchandisers and PGA
Professionals to receive the PGA Expo Top Buyers Choice Award from nearly 75
new exhibiting companies.
The PGA of America and PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions will next host the PGA
Merchandise Show, Jan. 24-27, in Orlando, Fla. For more information on the 2014
PGA Merchandise Show, visit www.pgashow.com.