January 25-26, 2013. The 60th PGA Merchandise Show played host to the biggest week of golf business, with over 1,100 interactive exhibits from leading golf companies and brands, more than 41,000 of the most important people in golf, and representation from all 50 U.S. states and 74 other countries. The PGA Merchandise Show is organized by PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions in partnership with The PGA of America, experts in the Game and Business of Golf. The Show serves as a global platform for PGA Professionals, industry leaders, top manufacturers, and golf organizations aiming to grow the business, participation and interest in golf. Vendors representing every business sector of golf were there, from market leaders to start-up companies. Golf industry leaders addressed key issues. There were education seminars and opportunities to share relevant best practice. And for those wanting a foot on the green, new golf employment initiatives were launched. You got the job? Hole in one!
Sept. 11-13, 2012. The IHCA acronym stands for Illinois Health Care Association. These medics evidently take seriously the age-old medical injunction “First, do no harm”, since the first thing they wanted to talk about was the 2012 IHCA Golf Outing. Said the opening paragraph in the welcome message: “The first new event is the “Celebrity Caddy” auction. Everyone can use a caddy on the links; whether it means someone to drive your cart, clean your clubs, or replace your divots, we can all use a hand, right? Well, not only can you hire a caddy at this year’s event…you can hire a high-powered long term care mover-and-shaker! The following VIPs and members of the IHCA Board of Directors have all agreed to serve as ‘Celebrity Caddies’. These ladies and gentlemen all have agreed to be auctioned to the highest bidder to serve as your caddy for the event. To bid on one of them, just click here”. What? Tonsillectomies? I usually use a 4-iron…
Golf Industry Show Floor
The big question being asked at the Golf Industry Show was “What’s in your bag?”. And they didn’t just mean your golf bag. Answers ranged from golf hats and other golf apparel to brochures and price lists to kids’ toys. (Fathers occasionally seem to get the guilts for all the time they spend on the links and at, well golf shows. There was quite a focus on the women’s game. Veteran lady golfer and TV commentator Judy Rankin gave a keynote, and offered her thoughts on making the game more accessible and enjoyable, especially for women. In another keynote Pat Williams elucidated his views on leadership and revealed who he would choose to create his ultimate golf foursome. (Sorry, you weren’t on the list).
Back in the 1950s, they apparently used to sell golfing equipment in parking lots. That was before the game of golf had developed into a multi-billion dollar industry and a national obsession, and those informal little selling meets have now evolved into the behemoth that is the PGA Merchandizing Show. It’s now a “comprehensive multi-purpose business platform for 1000+ vendors representing every business sector of golf from market leaders to start-up companies”. Golf industry leaders addressed key issues, there were education seminars and chances to share and discuss best practices. New golf employment initiatives were launched, as the industry tries to shrug off the recent economic unpleasantness. Spirits were high, and the attendees all wandered around with those strangely goofy grins that people get at sport shows and sport celeb encounters.