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For Immediate Release:
January 28, 2012

For more information contact:
Sherry Major | PGA Golf Exhibitions - 716.662.3855 | smajor@reedexpo.com

 


Productive, upbeat
PGA Merchandise Show draws to a close today

If the 59th PGA Merchandise Show is a measuring stick for what lies ahead in the golf industry, then 2012 should be bustling with business. There was a discernable aura of optimism and upbeat economic outlook during PGA Show Week, Jan 25-28, 2012 in Orlando, Fla.

"TaylorMade-adidas had its best year in history in 2011, and judging by the first two days of the Show, this year is going to be even better," predicted Mark King, company president and CEO. "The energy and enthusiasm at the Show has been phenomenal, which certainly sets a positive course for the industry in 2012."

The PGA Merchandise Show concludes its 2012 run today with another round of Education Conference seminars, industry presentations, Golf 2.0 discussions, celebrity appearances, marketing, merchandising and networking with 1,000 leading companies and thousands of PGA Professionals and golf merchandisers. And if the initial two days on the Show floor are an accurate barometer, 2012 promises to be productive with a capital "P."

 


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See the PGA Merchandise Highlight Show on the Golf Channel

Monday, 1/30 at 8:00p
Tuesday, 1/31 at 5:00p
Friday, 2/3 at 1:00p
Saturday, 2/11 at 5:00p

(all times eastern)

 

"The PGA Merchandise Show has provided the industry with a lot of positive momentum going forward," said PGA of America President Allen Wronowski. "Everyone throughout the industry has really embraced the Golf 2.0 Strategic Plan to grow the game this week, starting with the PGA Annual Meeting and continuing with the PGA Merchandise Show. Everyone is asking, 'What can we do to reconnect with golfers?' Everyone is excited to implement Golf 2.0 and re-ignite and re-energize the golf industry."

Added an enthusiastic Brian Meyer, PGA Professional at Mount Pleasant Golf Course in Baltimore, Md.: "On a scale of 1 to 10, I would have to give the PGA Show a 10 or 11 this year. The two main reasons I came to the Show this year was the PGA Awards Night, and to hear how Golf 2.0 will work for me and my facility."

Appearances by World Golf Hall of Famers Billy Casper, Lee Trevino and Tom Kite, along with U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer and several additional celebrities and teachers, lent an extra buzz to the Show floor on Friday. Meanwhile, seminar classrooms were packed as industry professionals continued to review Golf 2.0 programs designed to grow the game.

As the final day of the 2012 PGA Show approached, optimism abounded. "It has been a wonderful Show for FootJoy; it has exceeded our greatest expectations," said Acushnet Company's Chris Garrett, senior manager for FootJoy consumer marketing. "Traffic has been tremendous. We did a lot of research before deciding to return to the Show this year, and we are glad we made the decision to come back with such a significant presence."

"There is definitely a bigger buzz at the Show this year," said Mike Attara, PGA Professional and president of Spirit Golf Management. "The addition of FootJoy and its line of apparel have added a lot to the Show, but virtually every major company is here with new products this year. It's a good sign for the golf industry."

The Ping booth was not only bustling with business the first two days of the Show, but PGA Professionals were lined up hundreds strong to participate in the Ping $5,000 Skins Game Putting Challenge, which introduced the iPing putter app to industry professionals in an interactive environment.

"We had four Ping fitters devoted to the iPing putter app on the first day of the Show, and they helped 220 PGA Professionals familiarize themselves with iPing and sign up for the Ping Skins Game," said Pete Samuels, Ping director of marketing. "Traffic has been terrific, and the reaction to the Ping i20 and G20 lines has been extremely positive this week at the Show."

"I would call this year's Show very upbeat and exceptional," said Todd Trifaux, vice president of Sundog Eyewear prior to welcoming LPGA standout Paula Creamer to the Sundog booth Friday to sign autographs for a long line of Show attendees. "This is the best traffic we have experienced in four years. We're seeing a lot more buyers and genuine customers, which is a very positive sign."

New exhibitors add excitement to PGA Show product mix

Of the more than 1,000 companies at this year's PGA Merchandise Show, more than 300 are exhibiting at the event for the first time. To help attendees quickly identify which companies are making their maiden appearance, booths are sporting signs that identify them as first-time exhibitors.

"The signs kind of jump out at you," said PGA Professional Terry Wilbanks, the 2007 Dixie PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for private facilities. "We're all here looking to find something new to spark our golf shop mix, and it's nice to be able to find those companies so easily."

New exhibitors this year range from the high-end apparel of Leisure Society to innovative golf bag designs from Golf-Vue Concepts. While the products and services these companies provide are dramatically different, the experience each new exhibitor has had is very similar, and positive.

"We were told that we really needed to be here at the PGA Merchandise Show, and I see that's true," said Jonathan Tudor, chief marketing officer for Leisure Society, which produces upscale, heirloom-quality apparel and eyewear. "Buyers seem very excited to see a line like ours, which is more muted and classic, in today's marketplace."

At the other end of the Show floor, Golf-Vue Concepts is turning heads with its Club-Vue golf bag--which turns the idea of a golf bag on its head. Instead of accessing all clubs from a top-loading system, the Club-Vue bag allows golfers to pull their irons out of the side of the bag.

"The biggest reaction we're getting is, 'Wow, great idea!'" said John Neyland, vice president of Golf-Vue Concepts. "People are glad to see something new and innovative, and we're getting a lot of traffic."

A pair of new exhibitors focusing on women's products are also garnering interest. Equipt For Play is spotlighting a new line of ultra-comfortable and fashionable golf shoes and golf gloves, while Blue Pacific Fashion is showcasing a large line of scarves and wraps.

"I'm really pleased to have the opportunity to talk to so many types of golf facilities in one setting," said Annie Jaroszewicz, owner of Equipt For Play. "Each is really its own universe, with a distinct opportunity and demographics. Being here also gives you a chance to reach international distributors, which was a goal for us."

"Buyers are telling us that our product crosses over well to golf shops," added Fernando Todeschini, owner of Blue Pacific Fashion, which offers its scarves in silk, cashmere, cotton and linen. "What we have complements what's already in their shop, and works as either an impulse buy for women or a gift idea for men."


Products and Services companies unveil new lines for 2012

Companies exhibiting in the Golf Products and Services area arrived at the 59th PGA Merchandise Show with a vast variety of new products and an optimistic outlook for 2012. Many companies are using the Show to introduce new technologies, launch their latest innovations, and provide creative purchasing options and specials for Show attendees.

"The PGA Merchandise Show has been an ideal launch pad for us to unveil our innovative solutions in a variety of categories to new and existing customers," said Harris MacNeill, President and CEO of Champ/MacNeill Engineering Worldwide, maker of Champ spikes, which is showcasing its new "My Hit" Zarma FLYTee, Flix Divot Tool and its full line of renowned spikes and accessories at booth 2629.

"And the PGA Show has provided the most efficient platform for us to reach our clients and demonstrate our products to everyone in the golf industry."

Dynamic Brands, the parent company of Bag Boy, Burton, Datrek, Devant and Sir Christopher Hatton, is utilizing the Show to debut its 2012 line of golf products, which include new and innovative push carts, cart bags and a travel cover from Bag Boy, stand bags, staff bag and den caddy from Burton, a new women's cart bag line and a travel cover set from Datrek, and premier custom towels by Devant and Sir Christopher Hatton.

Dynamic Brands is the official golf bag merchandiser of the 2012 Ryder Cup and Devant is the official merchandiser of the 2012 Ryder Cup and PGA Championship.

Bag Boy is introducing its new TriSwivel push cart, the only cart that features a front wheel that swivels 360 degrees, giving golfers effortless maneuverability. Bag Boy is also introducing a T-2000 travel cover featuring a Pivot Griphandle that rotates 360 degrees, reducing arm and wrist strain while transporting clubs. Burton, the company known for its premium quality golf bags, is introducing the Pro and Player stand bags. Datrek is offering a new line of women's cart bags called the D-Light that weighs only 4.5 pounds.

"The Show provides a lot of value in that we can be in one location for three days and work with an unlimited number of domestic and international customers, as well as golf professionals and golf retailers," explained Craig Ramsbottom, president of Dynamic Brands Golf Division. "We are seeing a lot of positive economic signs for 2012. This has been one of Bag Boy's most productive Shows yet."

Pukka, designer and manufacturer of premium custom golf headwear, is unveiling exciting new cap styles, fabrics, color combinations and trending designs at the Show while offering its proprietary production model at industry-low minimums. Pukka's new collections for 2012 feature more than 100 new pre-designed styles, but also allows customers to create fully-custom headwear.

"Our theme at the Show this year is 'Breaking the Rules of Customization,'" said Pukka Headwear President Tate Miller. "Simply put, if you don't see what you are looking for, Pukka can create it for you, stemming from nearly 10 years of experience in designing custom headwear. Complete customization is the foundation of our core headwear program."

Judging by the heavy traffic at the Club Car, E-Z-GO and Yamaha Golf Car booths, 2012 could be a successful year for golf car companies, which are streamlining lease programs and providing financial terms to make fleet purchases more manageable in a challenging economy.

Range equipment companies such as Easy Picker, Range Servant, Fiberbuilt and Wittek are displaying new, high-tech golf ball dispensers, range pickers and ball washers in their respective booths on the Show floor.

The latest technology is also on display in golf simulators and launch monitors, with Foresight Sports, Full Swing Golf, Flightscope and aboutGolf all launching new software and new technology for game-improvement and clubfitting platforms.

aboutGolf is introducing aG Mobile, a portable training aid/launch monitor, to its exclusive golf equipment ensemble. "aG Mobile is versatile and robust enough to use both indoors and out with the same accuracy," said Chuck Faust, president of aboutGolf. "And it's more than a launch monitor. Using the same 3Trak technology found in our PGA Tour Simulators, aG Mobile provides accurate ball and club data where you need it."


About the PGA Merchandise Show
The PGA Merchandise Show is not open to the public. Organized in partnership with The PGA of America as a trade-only event, the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show will be held in the Orange County Convention Center ~ 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 26-27; and 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Jan. 28. For more information, visit www.pgashow.com.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
PGA Merchandise Show: Sherry Major, (716) 662-3855, smajor@reedexpo.com 
PGA of America: Jamie Carbone, (561) 624-8446, jcarbone@pgahq.com

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