Each January, the PGA of America holds its (almost) week-long PGA Merchandise Show. You may know it by its more common name, “The Show.” Invitees flock to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Upon arriving, guests see products from companies trying to make an impact for that year. The sheer size of this event can be eye-opening, creating a kid in a candy store feeling for many attending. Several experiences are available during the week. Here are the 3 best representing the PGA Show.
PGA Show Exhibits
The main exhibit area features over 1,100 interactive booths, with a wide range of products. With so much to see, it’s crucial to wear a good, comfortable pair of shoes while eyeing the exhibits. Established vendors unveil their latest and greatest products. At the same time, new vendors introduce themselves and their product to the industry. Competing for the upcoming year’s market share is the name of the game for the exhibitors.
PGA Show Demo Day
As exciting as the show floor and new product showcases are, the highlight for the majority is the demo day. The Orange County National Golf Center plays host for the day. Testers hit on a circular range, with hitting areas running the entire 360 degrees. Attendees hop from station to station, testing the latest products from various companies. At the conclusion of the Show, testers relate the knowledge to their customers and members.
As a bonus, PGA and LPGA stars also make appearances during the demo day. They offer clinics and showcase their talents to the crowds. There is no doubt this is one of the highlights of the week.
PGA Show Education Sessions
The PGA Merchandise Show also provides education opportunities for PGA professionals. PGA professionals attend seminars on many topics. Topics range from golf instruction, merchandising products, and increasing revenue at their course. The hallmark of the sessions is the PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit. Over the course of two days, attendees learn the latest techniques from some of the top instructors in the country. These sessions help PGA Professionals keep up with ever-evolving golf business. They then pass the knowledge gained to their customers and members.
So much to see, do, and learn makes it easy to see why the PGA Show is thought of as the “Major” of the golf business. Should an opportunity to attend present itself, the experience will not disappoint.
Rudi Fann has been a Class “A” member of the PGA of America since 2008. He began his career in 1998 as the Assistant Golf Professional at Wake Forest Golf Club in Wake Forest, NC. In 2002, Rudi accepted a similar position at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. He spent a year there before moving to Nipomo, CA where he worked at Blacklake Golf Resort. Over the next 10 years, he worked his way from Assistant Golf Professional to Head Golf Professional and finally Director of Golf Operations. In his time at Blacklake, Rudi devoted much of his time to running tournaments and other activities in order to create a social atmosphere at the club. After Blacklake, Rudi spent one year as Head Golf Professional at Paso Robles Golf Club before deciding to return home to North Carolina. Since returning to North Carolina, Rudi has worked with the First Tee of the Triangle helping to instill life skills and core values through the game of golf to local youth.