As the world’s largest professional golf equipment testing event, the PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day will welcome some 5,000 PGA Professionals and invited VIP retailers for the industry’s exclusive preview and hands-on testing of the newest innovations in golf equipment, tomorrow (Wednesday), Jan. 26, at Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla. (The event is not open to the public.)
Within 200-plus hitting bays of the circular range and short game areas of the 42-acre practice facility of Orange County National, influential PGA Professionals and golf retailers will test the hottest equipment and accessories that will drive golf retail sales in the upcoming season from more than 90 top manufacturers including Bridgestone, Callaway Golf, Cleveland Golf/Srixon, Cobra-PUMA, Mizuno, Nike Golf, PING, TaylorMade Golf, Titleist, Tour Edge, Wilson and more.
The PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day also will feature several special appearances by PGA Tour and LPGA players.
While Outdoor Demo Day tees off the biggest week in golf for many, the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show doors officially open to more than 40,000 industry attendees from more than 75 countries on Thursday, Jan. 27, at the massive Orange County Convention Center. Nearly 1,000 top golf manufacturers and brands, from today’s golf market leaders to emerging companies, create the world’s largest business-to-business golf event. All of golf’s market leaders join industry manufacturing veterans and emerging companies are introducing an abundance of new products to drive golf retail in 2011.
The PGA Merchandise Show annually attracts international industry leaders, top CEOs, influential retailers and scores of celebrity endorsers from the realms of professional golf, golf instruction and entertainment. Matt Kuchar, 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup Team member and winner of the 2010 Vardon Trophy for lowest average score by a Tour professional, will be joined by celebrated saxophonist and golf enthusiast, Branford Marsalis, and PGA of America officials in the event grand opening at 8:15 a.m. on Thursday morning, Jan. 27.
Kuchar and Marsalis are among a long list of participating celebrities at this year’s industry-only PGA Merchandise Show. Many exhibiting companies will host PGA and LPGA players and renowned PGA teachers including Greg Norman, Paula Creamer, Peter Jacobsen, Annika Sorenstam, David Leadbetter, Rosie Jones, Brittany Lincicome, Dave Pelz, Rick Smith, Hank Haney, Natalie Gulbis, Brian Gay, Ryan Moore, Michael Breed, Lexi Thompson, Anna Nordqvist, Nancy Lopez and Johnny Damon.
In addition to the busy marketplace among nearly 12 miles of Show aisles in the Orange County Convention Center, Show days are full of professional learning opportunities in the PGA Show Education Conference, at the PGA Equipment Forum industry presentations and within a full schedule of events at the PGA Show’s Fashion Gallery stage. Each setting offers multiple opportunities for PGA Professionals to earn MSR credits.
The PGA Merchandise Show Opening Day features a global golf announcement by the PGA World Golf Alliance and subsequent headliner panel discussion on the Asian golf marketplace with Greg Norman, Hank Haney and Michael Breed. Also, The PGA/USA Today Golf Tips Hotline 2.0, the PGA Merchandise Show’s only consumer connection, will take place on Opening Day, Jan. 27, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., to include live streaming golf lessons by the nation’s top teachers, plus PGA Professional golf instruction via telephone, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and E-mail.
Attendees will find an energetic Show floor featuring exhibits, hundreds of vendor Show specials and promotions, plus some 47 equipment testing bays at the Indoor Demo Days; multiple New Product Centers to centralize the latest introductions for buyers; a new Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail; numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including fitness, training aids and golf travel; plus the second annual PGA Merchandise Show Career Fair.
Each day offers a full calendar of special events and each night, attendees can participate in and network at special industry events including the Association of Golf Merchandisers Product Preview and Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; the prestigious PGA Awards Night on Thursday, Jan. 27, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.; and the entertaining Elations “Rocks the Joint” Industry Concert featuring Lou Gramm of Foreigner on Friday, Jan. 28, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.