The 64th PGA Merchandise Show Kicked Off The 2017 Golf Year In Style

image credit PGA Merchandise Show

by Lisa 'Longball' Vlooswyk

The golf industry’s annual convention, also known as the “MAJOR of Golf Business,” was held January 24-27, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. 

It is the largest annual golf show in the world with 40,000 golf industry professionals from 85 countries in attendance and is the official start to the 2017 golf season.

To get into the swing of the season the first day of the PGA Show is Demo Day.  It was held at Orange County National Golf Centre. It offers a unique driving range in the shape of a circle with 200 hitting bays. 

Thousands of PGA Professionals and invited golf retailers were on hand to preview and personally test the newest equipment, training aids and accessories from more than 100 top golf companies. 

In addition to the hitting bays there were multiple putting greens located around the range and a vendor village at the 42-acre practice facility. PGA TOUR players and celebrities were on hand to give demonstrations and clinics for their sponsors and to meet and chat with attendees.

image credit PGA Merchandise Show

The Circular Driving Range Was A Focal Point For New Equipment Demos By Annika Sorenstam (Lower Left), Bubba Watson (Lower Right) And Celebrity Encounters (Jesper Parnevik Gets To Meet Lisa Longball, Centre Top)

The remainder of the Show runs for 3 days at Orange County National Convention Centre. This year, World Golf Hall of Fame inductees Colin Montgomerie and Annika Sorenstam kicked off the show to an excited crowd.

There were more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands that included 271 companies new to the PGA Show spread out over 1 million square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and meeting space. Over 7,500 PGA professionals were in attendance which is an increase from 2016. 

Major manufactures made significant industry announcements and product introductions including: Tiger Woods joining the TaylorMade tour staff, Michelle Wie joining Callaway Golf’s professional staff, plus major equipment announcements including Cobra Puma Golf’s King F7 line; PING’s new iBlade irons and Vault series of putters; Callaway Golf’s Great Big Bertha Epic and Epic Sub-Zero drivers and fairway woods; TaylorMade Golf’s new M family of clubs and TP Putter; Titleist’s new 917 drivers and woods and new Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls; Srixon’s new Z-Star and Z-Star XV golf balls, and Cleveland’s RTX3 wedges. 

image credit PGA Merchandise Show

Canadian companies present at the show included; Dormie Workshop, BRADLEY ALLAN, TLink Golf, Levelwear, SUNICE, Biion Footwear, ACCRA Golf Shafts, Nivo Sport, Sligo, Projekt and 2UNDR.

Apparel companies also used the PGA Show to launch their new colours, styles and fabrics that will be new and hot for 2017.  Trends include use of bright colours, sports performance fabrics and details along with timeless classic styles and leisurewear. 

Always popular at the show are the celebrity appearances which included Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson, Jesper Parnevik, Blair O’Neal, Greg Norman, John Daly, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Johnny Miller, Michelle McGann, Brad Faxon, Nancy Lopez, David Leadbetter, Hank Haney, Michael Breed, Jim McLean, Stan Utley, Ken Griffey Jr., Johnny Damon, and iconic wedge maker Roger Cleveland. 

In addition to hundreds of booths peppering nearly 10 miles of exhibit aisles, the PGA Show offered the PGA Forum Stage, with programming that included golf charitable giving, emerging technology, junior golf, employment initiatives, and instruction best practices, plus multiple presentations with celebrities and industry leaders. 

Other specialty offerings included 47 testing bays at the indoor Equipment Test Centre, a New Product Zone, an Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion focused on patented products not yet available at retail, PGA Golf Travel Pavilion, PGA Partners Pavilion, Women’s Accessories Pavilion, New Exhibitor Discovery Zone, and several international exhibitor pavilions.

image credit PGA Merchandise Show

Popular Canadian Companies featured at the PGA Show included 2UNDR, Projekt, Levelwear, Biion, BodiTrak, Dunning, Dormie Workshop, Sunice, Nivo, Sligo and TLink to name a few. 

The PGA of Canada also hosts a packed house for Canada Night, a celebration of 10 National Award recipients including honours such at Golf Professional of the Year, Coach of the Year and Junior Leader of the Year. There is also a PGA of Canada Hall of Fame Induction. One of the honourees this year was LPGA Tour player and PEI native Lorie Kane. 

For those who could not attend, Golf Channel delivered nearly 20 hours of coverage from the PGA Show and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio Network broadcast 34 hours live during PGA Merchandise Show Week. 

The PGA Merchandise Show New Product Zone winners were, Frogger Golf (golf bag latching technology), Tzu Tzu Sport (colourful apparel collection) and Saber Sports Trainer (fitness and teaching tool). 

If the PGA Show was any indication, the 2017 golf season will be better than ever. 

About the Writer: Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk is a 7-time Canadian Long Drive Champion and currently ranked Top 5 in the World.  She is a Keynote Speaker, Golf Journalist, Golf Entertainer and just launched a new Instructional Video.  Lisa can be reached through her website or through Twitter @LisaLongball