2015 PGA Merchandise Show Highlights
The PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center is a treasured annual opportunity for PGA professionals, retailers and industry leaders to congregate, conduct business and celebrate the game of golf. Attended by more than 40,000 people, the 2015 show during January 20-23, featured celebrities like Greg Norman, Bubba Watson, Annika Sorenstam and Lexi Thompson as well as a wealth of product displays and important golf industry announcements. More than 1,000 companies were represented with attendees from all 50 states and 78 countries.
Here are some of the highlights:
The Golf Travel Pavilion
The travel industry was well represented at the show with most of the major players on hand. The Premier Golf booth was situated next to displays from Trump International and New Zealand and near Visit Scotland. Others with a presence at the show, included Ireland, Ballybunion Golf Club, Dublin East Coast Golf Alliance, Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Streamsong Resort and Visit Wales.
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing old friends and visiting with clients and prospective clients. It’s always great to meet people in person after you’ve communicated extensively via email, voice mail and text messaging.
Some of our key staff members–Jim Ward, president; Ann Mabry, managing director; Bill Hogan, director of international sales; Paul Schmidt, sales consultant; and Chris Gurney, outside sales–were at the show representing Premier Golf.
With so many PGA professionals in attendance, one of our strong messages at the show is to highlight our participation in Golf Retirement Plus and to let PGA Pros know they can earn significant contributions simply by referring golf travelers to Premier Golf.
2016 Olympic Games Update
As the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil approach, the PGA Merchandise Show presented a panel on the PGA Forum Stage to discuss the state of construction and the excitement for potential golfers. On the panel were Peter Dawson, president of the International Golf Federation (IGF); Ty Votaw, vice president of the IGF; LPGA Tour player Suzann Petterson; PGA Tour Player Graeme McDowell; former LPGA player Amy Alcott, who is part of the Rio course design, and Gil Hanse, president of Hanse Golf Course Design, the architectural firm in charge of the course construction.
“Golf in the Olympics is the biggest grow-the-game opportunity we have,” said Dawson, referring to the golf industry as a whole. “The growth of the game is worldwide. Golf in the Olympics will lead to extra exposure and extra government support for the game.
Streamsong Resort Announces Third Golf Course
During the show, Streamsong Resort, the highly acclaimed resort near Lakeland, Florida, announced it will add a third course to its golf complex. Slated to open in 2017, Streamsong Black will be designed by Gil Hanse, who designed the Olympic Course in Rio de Janeiro and Castle Stuart Links in Scotland. Streamsong’s courses, the Blue and Red, are award-winning layouts with spectacular sand dunes designed by Tom Doak, Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore. Premier Golf partners with Streamsong Resort to offer packages to this one-of-a-kind resort that’s often called “The Bandon Dunes of the South.”
Masters Champion Bubba Watson seemed to be everywhere at the show. He performed at a clinic at Demo Day at Orange County National Golf Club, cut the ribbon to open the show and delivered a presentation at the PGA Forum Stage to speak to attendees. Watson talked about how he worked the ball on his magical 52-degree wedge shot at the 2012 Masters, what it’s like to win a Green Jacket and his social media usage.