2017 PGA Merchandise Show Highlights
The 64th PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando (January 24-27) was teeming with celebrities this year. Among the golf glitterati attending were Greg Norman, Annika Sorrenstam, Johnny Miller, Bubba Watson, Nancy Lopez, Jimmy Walker, Colin Montgomerie and John Daly.
Included in the more than 40,000 attendees were thousands of PGA Professionals, golf industry leaders and media members. More than 1,000 companies were represented with attendees from all 50 states and nearly 90 countries.
Premier Golf’s top sales and marketing executives were on hand to greet old friends and valued clients and make new ones.
“The Show is a great opportunity for us to showcase all of our fabulous travel offerings and to talk face-to-face with our clients and potential clients, “says Jim Ward, president of Premier Golf. “ The dollar is strong right now and it’s a terrific time to travel and take a dream golf trip.”
Other booths in the Travel Pavilion area included the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Moroccan National Tourist Office, Rovos Rail, Visit Scotland, Tourism Ireland, Pure New Zealand and Streamsong Resort.
Travel industry highlights:
–Several new exceptional resort courses will debut in 2017, including Sand Valley in Wisconsin, the Black Course by Gil Hanse at Streamsong Resort in central Florida and the Shepherd’s Rock golf course at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania. Opened in October at Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island is Davis Love III’s newest design, Atlantic Dunes.
–Emerging golf destinations for 2017 include New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Vietnam and Thailand.
–Trends for 2017 will include increased popularity in golf cruises, rail/golf tours, wine/golf tours and package trips to The Masters.
–Premier Golf’s representatives said many attendees were excited about the Solheim Cup in 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa and Ryder Cup 2018 in Paris, France.
–Several companies were at the show displaying the latest in golf travel bags, which are highly portable in a variety of colors and patterns. Among those with impressive selections were Bag Boy, Club Glove, Cutler Travel Bags, Ogio, Molhimank and Ray Cook Golf.
–For those attending next year’s show, Topgolf Orlando is slated to open fall 2017. The 65,000 square-foot golf entertainment complex, located near the Orange County Convention Center, will feature 100+ climate-controlled hitting bays, full-service restaurant and bars, private event space and meeting rooms, rooftop terrace with fire pit, over 200 HDTVs and free Wi-Fi.