More than 1,000 companies tee off PGA Show
ORLANDO, Fla. -- PGA of America President Ted Bishop and Davis Love III will officially open the 60th PGA Merchandise Show this morning, teeing up an exciting three days of action for an expected 40,000-plus attendees at the Orange County Convention Center. All 50 U.S. states and 80 countries will join more than 1,000 of the biggest brands in golf on the PGA Show floor during the next 72 hours to set the course for the 2013 golf season.
After Love helps local PGA Junior League Golf players hit ceremonial drives to begin the 60th Show with a bang, Annika Sorenstam and Bishop take to the PGA Forum stage at 10 a.m. Following opening remarks by Bishop, Sorenstam will deliver the 2013 keynote address on the future of golf and current growth-of-the-game initiatives. Sorenstam's presentation will be followed by a brief question and answer session.
"Growing the game is very important to me," said Sorenstam, who has become a global ambassador for golf since stepping away from full-time competitive play in 2008 after winning 10 major championships. "We need to do everything we can to build interest in golf for the next generation. We need to keep the game friendly and fun."
Ian Poulter and Dottie Pepper will deliver presentations on the business of golf from their perspectives following Sorenstam's address. The presentation will be moderated by NBC Sports broadcaster Jimmy Roberts.
The PGA Forum Stage schedule of presentations today includes Golf 2.0 initiatives such as PGA Junior League Golf and growing your women's business, plus an entertaining "Golf Feud" program by Cobra Puma Golf.
"The PGA Merchandise Show has become an annual summit meeting for the golf industry," explained Bishop, who is presiding over his first PGA Merchandise Show as PGA President. "It's really the only function each year where all golf associations, all golf industry leaders, and all golf businesses come together to discuss the direction golf is going and to map the future of the game."
That focus on the future will be reflected at this year's Show by an emphasis on the Golf 2.0 Strategic Plan and a streamlined, redesigned PGA Education Conference dedicated to three core subjects – instruction, leadership and player development.
"As is tradition, there is a strong education component, insightful product demonstrations provided by the top golf companies and brands in golf, and a dynamic business environment at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show," said Ed Several, senior vice president of PGA Golf Exhibitions. "It's gratifying to see all of the major companies – and I mean all of the major companies – joining us for the 60th anniversary celebration. It sends a positive message that the golf industry is progressing."
New areas on the Show floor for 2013 include the FIT to W.I.N. Pavilion, sponsored by the Titleist Performance Institute, featuring daily presentations by industry health, fitness and teaching experts. The new Golf Travel Pavilion invites attendees to source the latest resort, golf facility and travel services, while the new Fashion Showcase & Networking Lounge is spotlighting the latest apparel designs and new apparel accessory offerings.
Specialty pavilions in 2013 include the New Exhibitor Discovery Zone; PGA Partners; and International Exhibitor Pavilions for the United Kingdom, Korea and Taiwan. The Indoor Demo Days at the Equipment Test Center will again feature the country's largest indoor driving range.