A Sneak Peek at the 2018 Show

Stay on trend and attract new golfers with these innovative products and programs.

The three most important words that golf professionals hear these days are probably grow the game.

We’ve heard it for years at seminars and in newsletters, from industry experts and inventors, and, yes, at the PGA Merchandise Show. And the best way to grow the number of golf participants is to invoke another three-word term familiar to parents of young children—collect them all. But instead of Pokémon cards, Lego figures, or American Girls, we’re talking about “collecting” (attracting) new golfers: Millennials, Gen-Xers, women, minorities, and juniors.

“Everyone’s trying to crack the code to make golf more inclusive,” says Colorado PGA Section Executive Director Eddie Ainsworth, who has attended the show every year since he can remember. “And there’s some great stuff out there. But every golf course doesn’t need every program or product. The Show does a great job of exposing PGA Professionals to the latest trends in merchandise and programming. You see and hear so much. It’s then up to you to determine what would and won’t work for your particular customer base.”

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With that in mind, it’s no wonder the New Product Zone—where hundreds of the newest, on-trend products are showcased—is one of the most popular attractions at the Show. Here’s a preview of what’s worth keeping an eye on.

Fashionably Great. Many of this year’s men’s and women’s clothes will utilize high-tech, high-performance fabrics (featuring sun protection and climate-control material in shirts, jackets, pants, and even shoes), about which you can learn during complimentary sessions Wednesday and Thursday with industry experts at the Performance Textile Fair Stage. Looking for women’s fashion for the younger set? Check out the short pleated skirts from Tory Burch and Golftini; daring, athletic lines from established labels like Puma, adidas, Under Armour, and Antigua; and edgy feminine items from Sydney Elizabeth, Hedge, EPNY, Ellabelle, CHASE54, and dozens of other rising fashion brands.

On the men’s side, the hip threads from Puma, adidas, Greg Norman Collection, Cutter & Buck and Under Armour benefit from their high-profile endorsers. But also check out the bold patterns from G/Fore, the fashion-forward geometrics of J. Lindeberg, and the retro polos with tipped plackets, collars, and sleeves—as well as pockets with flaps and buttons—from companies like Criquet. Take note, too, of the cool looks from Johnnie-O, Travis Mathew, B. Draddy, and Linksoul—all of which benefit both the golf course and the main course at a local restaurant.

See all the latest styles on display at the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM) product preview Tuesday at 5:30 in Exhibit Hall A, and attend the PGA Live Fashion Show Thursday, January 25, at 5:45 on the PGA Forum stage.

No Free Launch. As big data becomes a bigger part of our culture, even junior golfers have become stat obsessed. Head to PGA Show Demo Day on Tuesday, January 23, to see what technological innovations TrackMan, Foresight, FlightScope, and Ernest Sports will unveil. “I’m still looking for one that accurately accounts for bulge and roll,” says longtime Met Section PGA professional Brad Worthington.

Caddie Hack. Want to attract the Smartphone Set? Check out these two very different caddie apps: Arccos Caddie and CaddieNow. The Arccos app leverages the powerful real-time data provided by Arccos 360 to provide highly personalized on-course information on club selection, hole strategy, GPS distances that account for weather, elevation, and more. CaddieNow, which has received endorsements from The First Tee, Youth On Course, and numerous PGA Sections, is similar to Uber in that it allows golfers to book different levels of loopers at a growing number of participating courses.

Suite Ride. Take a spin in one of Club Car’s new Shark Experience carts—a partnership between Greg Norman, Verizon, GPSi and Club Car. It features GPS, Shot Tracer technology, built-in speakers, streaming television, music, and golf lessons from Norman, and myriad other digital bells and whistles to entertain players between shots.

And for the programs designed help you grow the game, here are a couple you’ll want to catch.

The Early Show. Attend the PGA Global Youth & Family Summit presented by OMEGA. The two-day symposium takes place January 21-22, prior to the opening of the PGA Merchandise Show. You get 16 PGA Required MSR credits and the benefit of hearing experts from around the world share pioneering research into parental psychology and youth development; successful nontraditional programming approaches; techniques to engage families, drive revenue and future-proof your facility; and much more.

The 15th Club. Golf has done a great job changing its image from a soft-bellied game into an attractive, athletic sport. Keep up the good work by attending an Education Session with TPI-certified PGA Professionals like Mike Malaska, Dave Francis, and Dillon Johnson. Discover the most successful performance-based programs and how to incorporate them into your teaching and business. And be sure to visit the Golf Fitness, Wellness, & Instruction area in the 1000 aisle, where you can glean knowledge from dozens of presenters and more than 75 specialized exhibitors.

No matter what your goals are, you’re sure to find inspiration to help you achieve them at this year’s Show. Learn more and register today.

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2019 PGA Merchandise Show


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