2020 PGA Show LIVE Update: Day 3
23 Jan 2020
by Chris Brauner of AmateurGolf.com
The 2020 PGA Show rolled into day 3 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, with another full day of programs, promotions, and organized chaos.
Related: 2020 PGA Show LIVE Update: Day 2
Related: 2020 PGA Show LIVE Update: Day 1
Here are some random observations after another day of walking the floor:
• The PGA Forum stage runs programs all day long, touching on a wide variety of subjects. Today there were panels discussing golf travel (with a chance to win a trip to Morocco); succeeding as a PGA Professional; junior golf; entrepreneurship; a PGA Professional town hall; college coaching and recruiting; caddying; and the state of the industry presented by the CEO's of the USGA, PGA of America, National Golf Course Owners Association, and Golf Course Superintendents Association.
The junior golf town hall on the PGA Forum stage
• The putting greens that the equipment companies construct for the Show are interesting concoctions, slightly elevated and almost level artificial turf surfaces, with holes interspersed about. They are fun place to try out a wide selection of putters, even if it can be hard to hit a putt of more than 15 feet due to all of the legs to putt around or through.
On one green I counted 36 people, in addition to the bags, putters, alignment aids, tracks and other devices. I attempted a 20-footer, and then watched as someone took my ball before I could get to the hole.
• Everything changes when you cross the line from equipment section to apparel. Suddenly the clientele is younger, better looking, and more stylish, and the female-to-male ratio goes way up. The range of colors expands greatly.
• I would estimate that about 35% of the models shown in the images on the various apparel exhibits look like they have ever played golf. I'm pretty sure I saw one using a pencil grip on her driver.
• The brand I Suck at Golf (whose name essentially guarantees that no tour pro will ever endorse it) had a display case with a line of vacuum cleaners, each held by a hand wearing a different colored glove. I don't have the marketing expertise to interpret the message there, but if it is simply to draw attention then it worked for me.
• The fashion show stage is hidden next to the racquet and paddle sports show at the far end of the floor. The runway models (who, again, have probably have not ever played golf) were seen being coached on their catwalk skills in preparation for the fashion show. If the PGA Tour ever had a fashion show, I think Rory McIlroy
and Vijay Singh
would be the most natural runway walkers.
• It is in this same area where the winners of the Best New Product awards are displayed. My favorite new products: (1) Golf shoes by Lottusse, a shoe company based in Mallorca in Spain; known for its waterproofing technology. The shoes I saw were lightweight, waterproof, dark in color, very stylish. (2) The Tee Band, a Wonder Woman style wristband that turns you into a superhero on the course, ready to deploy your tees, divot tool and ball marker.
• I also noticed a significantly increased presence of CBD products: gummies, sprays, oils, creams, even dog treats.
• For those hoping to walk away with free gear from the PGA Show, the pickings are slim. It is easy to collect some pretty nice hats, as the companies essentially allow the hat wearer to advertise the product for them. Other than that, attendees with a sweet tooth can find something to sample (the logoed cookies at Peter Millar were a pleasant surprise.
AGC correspondent Hannah Leiner
with Kyle Rector at Puma
These lighter moments are a welcome respite from some of the more serious business going on at the PGA Show, and AmateurGolf.com has had a good week of solidifying relationships, and building new ones. Ideas are flying around, pleasantries being exchanged, familiar faces greeted, and plans being made for the 2020 season and beyond.
In the meantime, we will continue to bring you all of the latest equipment news and reviews, and everything else from the PGA Show as it wraps up on Friday.