The 2011 PGA Expo began with a new Demo Night and industry networking party at the Callaway Golf Center, just off the Las Vegas Strip on Monday. PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders attending the PGA Expo, set for Tuesday and Wednesday, were able to field test the newest equipment, training aids and accessories first hand at the Center's two-tiered 113-stall lighted driving range, plus the putting and chipping greens. The Center's Divine Nine, a nine-hole lighted par-3 course, was the site of a social golf outing.
Roger Cherico, PGA Head Professional of Honey Creek Golf Club in Conyers, Ga., traveled out to Las Vegas for the PGA Expo and Demo Night. "Demo Night gives us a chance to talk technology with manufacturers and learn more in depth about how the latest equipment is changing. It also allows us to get together with colleagues and exchange ideas -- find out what is working and what isn't. Demo events like this and the one at PGA Merchandise Show are opportunities you really don't find anywhere else."
Nearly 40 manufacturers provided product testing opportunities including companies such as Callaway Golf, FlightScope, Foresight Sports, PING, SCOR Golf, SNAG Golf, Tour Edge and Yonex. Additionally, a PGA Sports Academy demonstration, a clinic by PGA Tour player Chip Beck and a Pro's Fore Charity contest were among multiple special events that kept attendees busy and having fun throughout the evening.
"Demo Night not only provides a unique opportunity to hit the latest equipment and judge performance in a real golf atmosphere outdoors, but it has become a great networking opportunity with company reps and other PGA members," said Gary Schneiter, PGA Head professional of Pebblebrook Golf Links in Sandy, Utah. "Especially for those of us who can't attend the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the PGA Expo has become the one time every year we can meet with new companies, see what's new in the industry and exchange ideas."
United Rentals, the Official Equipment Rental Partner of The PGA of America, was the presenting sponsor of PGA Expo Demo Night. Pukka Headwear, SCOR Golf and St. Andrews Products also were official event sponsors and Grip Guides for Golf presented the Chip Beck clinic.
Beginning Tuesday at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, thousands of influential PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders representing top golf destinations, renowned golf clubs, golf retail stores, mass merchandisers and golf organizations will attend and take advantage of a robust schedule of 200-plus exhibits, product demonstrations, education seminars, industry presentations and professional networking events.
Exhibits, education seminars and special events will take place at the Venetian through 5:00 p.m. Tuesday and from 9:00 a/m/-3:00 p.m. on Wednesday. Renowned golf instructor Butch Harmon, veteran NBC/Golf Channel broadcaster Mark Rolfing and TNT Broadcaster Jim Huber are among presenters on the main stage which also include industry leaders, golf fashion designers and PGA Professional instructors.
Attendees also can participate in the comprehensive education conference; test equipment right at the Golf Performance & Training Center; uncover the newest merchandise at the New Product Zone; and network with colleagues among displays of the latest golf fashion lines in the new Fashion FOREward Spotlight. Tonight concludes with the popular Elations Industry Reception at the TAO Nightclub and a new Opening Night After-Party at LAVO Nightclub.
The PGA Expo is held at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in the heart of the apparel industry's "Fashion Week" and the MAGIC, MODA, MRket and ACCESSORIES: The Show events. It is an industry-only event and is not open to the public.