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Stars of the Show

Vardon Trophy winner Matt Kuchar and saxophonist Branford Marsalis are the special celebrity guests set to open the 58th PGA Merchandise Show. They top a long list of participating celebrities at this year's industry get-together.

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Matt Kuchar will formally receive the Vardon Trophy as part of the PGA Show's opening festivities. (Getty Images)

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Matt Kuchar, 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team member and winner of the 2010 Vardon Trophy for lowest average score by a Tour professional, will be joined by celebrated saxophonist and golf enthusiast, Branford Marsalis and PGA of America officials in the grand opening of the 58th edition of the global golf industry’s PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 27-29, 2011, in Orlando, Fla.

Marsalis, a three-time Grammy winner, will entertain attendees beginning at 7:45 a.m. in the Grand Lobby of the Orange County Convention Center.  At 8:15 a.m., PGA of America officials will officially present Kuchar with the Vardon Trophy and Kuchar will hit the ceremonial first ball from the 2nd floor stage to open three jam-packed days of golf business among nearly 1,000 golf companies and brands and more than 40,000 PGA Professionals and industry executives from around the world.

“We are thrilled to have our 2010 Vardon Trophy winner Matt Kuchar and the world-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis join us to open the 58th PGA Merchandise Show,” said PGA President Allen Wronowski.  “The Grand Opening has become an exciting new tradition to begin the PGA Merchandise Show and a tremendous way for our industry to launch the business of the new golf season.”

Kuchar and Marsalis are among a long list of participating celebrities at this year’s industry-only PGA Merchandise Show.  Many exhibiting companies will host PGA and LPGA players and renowned PGA teachers including Greg Norman, Paula Creamer, Peter Jacobsen, Annika Sorenstam, David Leadbetter, Rosie Jones, Brittany Lincicome, Rick Smith, Hank Haney, Natalie Gulbis, Brian Gay, Ryan Moore, Michael Breed, and Nancy Lopez. 

Nearly 1,000 top golf manufacturers and brands, from all of today’s golf market leaders to emerging companies, create the world’s largest business-to-business golf event. The very best names in golf are introducing an abundance of new products to drive golf retail in 2011 including Bridgestone, Callaway Golf, Cleveland Golf/Srixon, Cobra-PUMA, Nike Golf, PING, Titleist, TaylorMade-adidas, Fairway & Greene, E.P. Pro, Zero Restriction, Greg Norman Collection, Under Armour, Gear for Sports, Callaway Apparel, Ahead, Club Car, Wilson Golf, Mizuno, Imperial Headwear, Antigua, E-Z Go, Cutter & Buck, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Divots Apparel, Yamaha, Peter Millar, Adams Golf, Yonex, Byron Nelson, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, SkyGolf, Dynamic Brands, Seemore Putters, Ben Hogan/Sport Haley, Sunice, Tour Edge, Pima Direct, Bugatchi Uomo, ProQuip USA, Flightscope  and many more.

In addition to the busy marketplace among nearly 12 miles of Show aisles in the Orange County Convention Center, Show days are full of professional learning opportunities in the PGA Show Education Conference, at the PGA Equipment Forum industry presentations and within a full schedule of events at the PGA Show’s Fashion Gallery stage.  Each setting offers multiple opportunities for PGA Professionals to earn MSR credits.

The PGA Merchandise Show Opening Day features a global golf announcement by the PGA World Golf Alliance and subsequent headliner panel discussion on the Asian golf marketplace with Greg Norman, Hank Haney and Michael Breed.  Also, The PGA/USA Today Golf Tips Hotline 2.0, the PGA Merchandise Show’s only consumer connection, will take place throughout Opening Day, Jan. 27, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., to include live streaming golf lessons by the nation’s top teachers, plus PGA Professional golf instruction via telephone, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and E-mail.

Attendees will find an energetic Show floor featuring exhibits, hundreds of vendor Show specials and promotions, plus some 47 equipment testing bays at the Indoor Demo Days; multiple New Product Centers to centralize the latest introductions for buyers; a new Inventor’s Spotlight Pavilion for patented products not yet available at retail; numerous specialty exhibitor pavilions including fitness, training aids and golf travel; plus the second annual PGA Merchandise Show Career Fair.

Each day offers a full calendar of special events and each night, attendees can participate in and network at special industry events including the Association of Golf Merchandisers Product Preview and Reception on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; the prestigious PGA Awards Night on Thursday, Jan. 27, 5:30 -7:30 p.m.; and the entertaining Elations “Rocks the Joint” Industry Concert featuring Lou Gramm of Foreigner on Friday, Jan. 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

As the largest, annual gathering of PGA Professionals, there are multiple events organized especially for PGA Members during Show Week.  The PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day offers PGA Professionals and invited VIP retailers a first look and hands-on testing of the latest innovations in equipment on Wednesday, January 26, at the 42-acre practice facility of Orange County National Golf Center in Winter Garden, Fla. 

Also, golf’s top instructors and teaching takes center stage early in Show Week when the 12th Biennial PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit is added to the PGA Merchandise Show calendar of events, Jan. 24-25 at the nearby Faldo Golf Institute in Orlando.  The schedule of presenters include World Golf Teacher Hall of Fame member Bob Toski; coaching legend Lou Holtz; and a foursome of PGA Teacher of the Year recipients in Dr. Gary Wiren (1989), Martin Hall (2008), Mike Bender (2009) and Todd Anderson (2010).

Each Show day, every aspect of membership service is available at the PGA Merchandise Show.  Comprehensive PGA Professional services are available in The PGA Member Business Center (OCCC - 4th floor, Valencia Room).  Free workshops are provided.  PGA Mentor lunches for apprentices and assistants are held daily.  PGA Professionals may participate in the PGA Section Short Game Challenge for daily cash prizes to their Section at Indoor Demo Days.  A PGA Member Town Hall with Association leadership is held.  In all, more than 20 MSR Credits may be earned by PGA Professionals for their participation in various PGA Merchandise Show events and programs.

More than 1,000 media have made plans to attend and report from the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show.  Golf enthusiasts can learn the latest news from the PGA Merchandise Show daily at www.PGA.com, www.pgashow.com and in nightly reports on the Golf Channel’s Golf Central news program.  Additionally, a one-hour television special will capture all the news and newsmakers at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show and will be presented on the Golf Channel Sunday, Jan. 31, at 3:00 p.m.

About the PGA Merchandise Show
The 2011 PGA Merchandise Show, held Jan. 27-29, in Orlando, Fla., will welcome some 1,000 top golf companies and brands and more than 40,000 industry professionals from around the world to the industry’s 58th annual global summit for the business of golf.

The PGA Merchandise Show Outdoor Demo Day, the world’s largest professional golf testing event, tees off the Show on Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the Orange County National Golf Center. During Show days, PGA Professionals, retailers and industry leaders will uncover the latest trends, source the newest golf merchandise, test the latest equipment, learn proven business best practices, network among peers and move forward the business of the game. 

Organized in partnership with The PGA of America as a trade-only event, the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show will be held in the Orange County Convention Center from 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Jan. 27-28; and 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Jan. 29.