Despite Weak Economy, The 56th PGA Show Builds Optimism For 2009

More than 41,000 industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 74 countries came to the 56th PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 29-31 in Orlando to uncover the latest products and trends, write new business, share business best practices and strategize for the year ahead. The results found the industry’s most influential business leaders pleasantly surprised by the resiliency of the golf industry and recharged to navigate a predicted tough economy in 2009. PGA Professionals, retailers and industry leaders came to see the latest products of 1,100 golf manufacturers in 1.1 million gross square feet of interactive exhibit space of the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC).

PGA Merchandise Show days also were jam packed with indoor and outdoor product testing, more than 70 education seminars, special events and programs at the PGA Equipment Forum and new Fashion Gallery, plus celebrity appearances, networking events and the introduction of several industry growth of the game initiatives.

All of golf’s top names in manufacturing built an electric atmosphere at this year’s PGA Merchandise Show. On the hard goods side, Titleist and Cobra returned with a big presence on the show floor, at Demo Day and with the well-attended Titleist Experience programs in the OCCC Chapin Auditorium. Callaway Golf, exhibiting for the 26th consecutive year, drew a standing-room only crowd for their PGA Equipment Forum presentation with LPGA Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam and the debut of much-anticipated new products in their booth. And Ping kicked off its 50th anniversary with a memorable birthday celebration, compelling product introductions and an exciting presentation with LPGA star Lorena Ochoa.

From the new Fashion Gallery anchoring the apparel section to the Equipment Test Center and Indoor Demo Days, the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show was bustling with business. “There seems to be a very positive vibe at the show this year, despite the economy,” noted PGA Professional Keith Bach of Players Golf Academy, Hilton Head Island, S.C. “I’ve been coming to the Show for the past 10 years, and this is as good or better than any in recent memory. It just proves that the golf industry is strong. People still want to play golf, and the Orlando show remains the best place to see everything in golf under one roof.”

 

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