2018 PGA Merchandise Show Highlights
The 65th PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando January 23-26 was attended by nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 87 countries. This year there were 225 companies new to the Show among the more than 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands.
Celebrities making appearances included golf icon Greg Norman, PGA Tour star Adam Scott and ex-NFL Philadelphia Eagles star and golf course owner Ron Jaworski.
Premier Golf’s top sales and marketing executives were on hand to greet old friends and valued clients. Among those at the Premier Booth were Jim Ward, president of Premier golf; Ann Mabry, managing director; Bill Hogan, international travel consultant; Euan Findlay, manager of European operations; Chris Gurney, sales consultant; Paul Schwartz, golf travel specialist, Barbara Gutstadt, founder of Women’s Golf and Travel Concierge; and Ryan Brandenburgh of Pure New Zealand.
Making a special appearance on Thursday was Chip Beck, a 3-time Ryder Cupper and 4-time winner on the PGA Tour. The fun and affable Beck will host the Premier/Viking 2018 Ryder Cup Cruise September 25th to October 5th.
Beck told lots of interesting stories about his Ryder Cup experiences and his days on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.
“I’m very excited about the Ryder Cup cruise,” said Beck, who represented the U.S. in 1989, 1991 and 1993 Ryder Cup matches and had a 6-2-1 record. “I love to talk about golf and I can’t think of anything better than being on a cruise with a great group of Ryder Cup enthusiasts. The scenery and backdrop in northern France will be absolutely fabulous, too.”
Attendees that stopped by the Premier Golf booth talked about various destinations around the world and some of the prominent events coming up in 2018 such as “The Royals” International Pro-Am in northwest England/Liverpool (June 3-9), Womens’ Golf Day Weekend at Pinehurst Resort (June 3-6), British Open Championship at Carnoustie (July 19-22) and the 2018 Ryder Cup near Paris France (September 26-October 1).
Travel Industry Highlights
– A wide variety of golf travel destinations were represented in the “Travel Pavilion” section, including Australia, Ireland, Scotland, France, Northern Ireland, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco and numerous resort destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
– Emerging destinations for 2018 include South Africa, New Zealand, Korea, Vietnam, France and Italy.
– The 2018 Ryder Cup was a hot golf travel topic at the Show. Atout France, the French Tourism Development Agency, had a prominent booth to showcase various accommodations, sightseeing and dining offerings in France, the site for the 2018 Ryder Cup matches near Paris at the Albatross Course at Le Golf National in Paris.
– John Charnes of Miromar Lakes G.C. was the lucky winner of Premier Golf’s PGA Show drawing for a trip for 4 to the Masters.
– Golf travel trends for 2018 include an increased popularity in river/golf cruises, wine/golf tours and destinations that feature soft adventures such as safaris, hot air ballooning and bicycle touring.
– Destination Kohler had representatives at the Show talking about the American Club, Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run and their new Lodge Kohler in Green Bay, Wisconsin, which is located across the street from Lambeau Field, home to the Green Bay Packers.
– Heading the list of new courses for 2018 is Hogs Head Golf Club in Waterville, Ireland, Streamsong Black in Bowling Green, Florida, Sand Valley Golf Resort in Rome Wisconsin, Norman Signature Course in Nayarit, Mexico, Panorama Golf Resort near Praque, Czech Republic and Danzante Bay Golf Club in Mexico.