Show helps advance golf, say industry leaders
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf business leaders, manufacturers and PGA Professionals alike lauded the annual industry gathering for helping to move forward the business of the game in 2013.
"This is my 33rd Show and our 20th year as an exhibitor," said Harris MacNeill, president of Champ and MacNeill Engineering Worldwide. "For us, the PGA Merchandise Show has helped us establish our brand and establish relationships with national and international customers. It's the single most important thing we do all year."
"The buzz from Demo Day carried over to the Show floor, where there was exceptional traffic and energy from the opening of the Show right up to Saturday afternoon. For us, as a brand, FootJoy would have to give the Show an A grade from start to finish," said Chris Garrett, senior manager, FJ Consumer marketing.
"The PGA Merchandise Show is fantastic this year," noted PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Now, if we can transfer this positive energy to the year ahead, it promises to be another productive year. The industry is moving in a positive direction."
"For us, it was definitely an A Show. The quality of the attendees was extremely high and we had appointments from the opening bell Thursday until the closing Saturday. The fact that we are able to invite people to come and design their own headwear has been beneficial. The PGA Merchandise Show has helped Pukka build its brand over the past several years, and the momentum at the Show this year was extraordinary," said John Bond, vice president of sales, Pukka Headwear.
"There seems to be more energy and enthusiasm at the Show this year, and there seems to be a lot more new product introductions than I remember in a long time," said Becky Iverson, PGA director of golf at The Bridges Golf Course in Madison, Wis. "The cool factor is higher than in many years. The most difficult thing is separating what I want to buy for myself from what I need to buy for our members. This is also the best organized Show I've seen in a long time. It seems similar products are near each other so you don't have to walk the entire exhibition hall to see similar companies."
"We were slammed the first two days, which is a very positive sign for a new company. The real surprise was the quality and quantity of international buyers who stopped by our booth. We had people from South Africa, France, Germany and the United Kingdom who saw our Black Clover hats, belts and hat caddies for the first time and loved them," said Black Clover president Michael Henry.
"There is a sense of excitement with all of the new equipment introductions, and a lot of positive vibes at the Show this year," explained Scott Glass, PGA head professional at Rolling Rock Club in Laughlintown, Pa. "The thing I like about the Show is you always find something unique and different."
"You can't beat the efficiency of the PGA Merchandise Show, as far as being able to meet with more than 1,000 buyers in a single setting," said Jeff Herold, founder and president of Club Glove. "Judging by the traffic and the interest, there are positive signs that the economy has turned and there are better times ahead."
"It's amazing how many companies are introducing new products at the Show this year," said Mark Parisi, PGA Professional at Hudson National Golf Club in Newark, Delaware. "There seems to be a lot more electricity and optimism on the Show floor this year, too."
"We're seeing customers who are ready to buy," said Jake Rawson, Cutter & Buck's global golf sales director. "2012 was a strong year with great sell-through in a lot of golf shops, and people look like they're trying to build on that momentum. There are a lot of great activities going on all around the Show, and you can really feel the energy in the building."