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PGA Merchandise Show
Large crowds at many PGA Show events this week is one sign of the golf industry's resilience. (Photo: The PGA of America)

PGA leaders meet media at State of Industry Roundtable

PGA President Jim Remy and Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka got together with golf and business writers to discuss topics ranging from the current economic conditions to health of the PGA Show itself.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Recognizing that challenging times demand that PGA Professionals be more visible and valuable to their facilities, PGA President Jim Remy and Chief Executive Officer Joe Steranka met Thursday with leading media representatives at the 56th PGA Merchandise Show

During the State of the Industry Media Roundtable, Remy and Steranka discussed a variety of subjects mostly related to current economic conditions, with golf and business writers from national and international media.

"This is a key time for our industry," said Remy, vice president and general manager of the Okemo Golf Division at the Okemo Valley Golf Club in Ludlow, Vt., and a veteran of 30 years in the sports recreation business. "I have seen downturns and recessions before. But golf is very special to people and we are encouraging PGA Professionals to act as ambassadors more than ever, and revisit their customers and occasional golfers to better grow the game."

Steranka, recently named as a PGA Honorary Member, said that The PGA is focused on areas it can control -- with multi-million-dollar investments in education and research for PGA Professionals -- so that "we can provide a greater service to the game, our members and those who employ our Professionals."

To help The PGA provide a higher level of service to its constituents, Steranka formally announced that Mercedes-Benz USA, makers of one of the world's most recognized luxury vehicles, has been named a PGA of America Official Patron, the highest level of partnership and designation granted by the world's largest working sports organization. The partnership will extend through 2013.

Remy and Steranka said there are nearly 1,000 exhibitors at the 2009 Show, with attendance expected to reach 40,000 over the three days of the Show. Further evidence of the relative stability and resilience of the industry was the attendance at the Outdoor Demo Day, held the day before the start of the Show. Some 5,900 PGA Professionals and other industry representatives turned out for this year's Demo Day, with 90 manufacturers exhibiting their products for testing.

The PGA leaders also pointed out that golf fee revenue per round was up 1.7 percent in 2008 over the year before; the return of Titleist to the PGA Merchandise Show; the celebration of PING's 50th anniversary; and the launch of Get Golf Ready, the new industry-supported player development initiative, as further reason to support their view that people want to play golf.

"We will see growth again in our game," Steranka said. "Businesses go through cycles or they die. Golf will not die. There will be some shakeout in the industry, but golf has so many positive values that we have a great opportunity to introduce the game to the next generation of golfers. The PGA can be a catalyst for that because PGA Professionals have never been more valuable to their employers and their operations than they are today."

About The PGA of America
Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold; to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry.

By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.

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