LAS VEGAS -- The 28th edition of the PGA Expo tees off today at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, with thousands of influential PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders joining 200-plus top golf companies and brands to build a marketplace of inspired solutions for merchandising top new products, learning effective business-building strategies and sharing best practices in growing the game.
The 2012 PGA Expo runs from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. today and from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Wednesday in The Venetian Ballroom. Once again, the PGA Expo is positioned prominently in the heart of the apparel industry's "Fashion Week," which includes the MAGIC, MODA, MRket, and ACCESSORIES: The Show events in Las Vegas. PGA Professionals may attend co-located Fashion Week exhibitions with their PGA Expo badge.
The PGA Expo's opening day schedule is full of a variety of special events. Renowned instructor, and today's keynote speaker, Hank Haney will join PGA of America CEO Joe Steranka and Ed Several of PGA Golf Exhibitions to officially open the PGA Expo in a special ceremony at 8:45 a.m. this morning.
Haney then takes the main stage at 9:00 a.m. to present "Excel Through Golf," immediately followed by the PGA Expo Fashion Designer Panel at 10:00 a.m. The panel features John Ashworth of LinkSoul; Billy Draddy of Fairway & Greene/Zero Restriction; Mike Rowley of Straight Down; Ralph Dunning of Dunning Golf and Linda Hipp of LIJA. Golf Digest Fashion Director Marty Hackel and Win McMurry, Golf Channel reporter and resident fashion expert, are the moderators for the panel.
"The 2012 PGA Expo is packed full of inspiration with exciting new vendors and merchandise, valuable business resources, and fun events that bring together golf professionals from all regions and sectors of the golf industry," said PGA Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President Ed Several. "Last night's Demo Night was a terrific start to the week and we look forward to an energetic business atmosphere here at the Venetian."
The PGA Expo Industry Welcome Reception moves to a new venue tonight at 5:30 p.m. at Lagasse's Stadium in the Palazzo Hotel.
All PGA Expo attendees (with badge) receive complimentary admission, beverages and light hors d'oeuvres.
Instruction Workshops & Demo Night Start the Party in Las Vegas
The 2012 PGA Expo began with new instruction workshops presented by Eric Alpenfels, PGA, followed by a lively night of product testing at the annual PGA Expo Demo Night at the Callaway Golf Center, just off the Las Vegas Strip on Monday.
PGA Professionals, buyers and industry professionals, were able to field test the newest equipment, training aids and accessories first hand at the Center's driving range, putting and chipping greens. The Center's Divine Nine, a nine-hole lighted par-3 course, was the site of a social golf outing.
"Demo Night is a perfect chance for PGA Professionals to test the new Anser adjustable driver and learn more about our new clubfitting technologies," said Pete Samuels, director of communications for PING Golf. "We look forward to a busy two days on the Show floor after they have had a chance to experience our products on the range here tonight."
Nearly 40 manufacturers provided product testing opportunities.
"I like the laid-back nature of Demo Night because it's a great chance to see what's coming down the line in 2013," said PGA Professional and facility owner Greg Dennis of Dismal River Golf Club in Mullen, Neb.
Alpenfels, PGA Director of the Pinehurst Golf Academy and Golf Instruction at Pinehurst Resort, added a new dimension to Demo Night by hosting well-attended instruction workshops to develop skills and participation of junior and women golfers.
"Anything we can do as PGA Professionals to help make golf more enjoyable is really what these workshops and Golf 2.0 are all about," Alpenfels said. "It's important for us to come together and talk about effective practice routines and swing cues along with the influence of the club face and club path and how these, among other actions, can impact how players experience the fun of golf."
"Eric's program was a great addition to Demo Night because we were able to interact, ask questions and learn how young players react to different instruction keys. Demo Night in Vegas is always full of new things and this workshop was a great way to get it started this year," said PGA Professional Mark Adcock of Grandview Golf Course in Sun City, Ariz.
United Rentals, the Official Equipment Rental Partner of The PGA of America, was the presenting sponsor of the PGA Expo Demo Night. Pukka Headwear, Champ and Edel Golf also were official event sponsors.
What People Are Saying
"The thing I've always liked about the PGA Expo is that so much can be accomplished in three days. In addition to all the traditional benefits of a gathering like this, this is a great opportunity for PGA Members to learn more about the latest Golf 2.0 strategies." -- PGA of America President Allen Wronowski
"Our appointments are full coming into this show and we anticipate a good level of "buzz" around the E.P Pro, Fairway & Greene and Zero Restriction exhibits. With a full appointment schedule, exciting new lines and the fashion week atmosphere here, the question really is how could we miss it?'" -- Jared Henzlik, Executive Vice President of E.P. Pro at Summit Brands
"We're glad to be back at the PGA Expo after introducing our full line of apparel earlier this year. We're set to meet with influential PGA buyers and show off our color stories for Spring 2013. Attendance looks great heading into the event and we're excited to see buyers and exhibitors back here supporting it." -- Steve Coan, Trade Marketing Manager, FootJoy
"We had a great launch of our new wedges and irons at the PGA Show in Orlando and are excited to return to the PGA Expo. With the way the PGA Expo has grown over the past few years, we anticipate seeing many buyers that we do not typically see in Orlando for the launch of our new line of putters." -- Bobby Dean, Vice President of Operations, Edel Golf