The 27th edition of the PGA Expo teed off Tuesday morning at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, with thousands of influential PGA Professionals, buyers and industry leaders joining 200-plus exhibitors to chart a fresh business and educational course for 2012 and beyond through education seminars, industry presentations, product demonstrations and a variety of professional networking events.
The 2011 PGA Expo runs from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Tuesday 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. Industry professionals may attend any or all of the Fashion Week exhibitions in addition to the PGA Expo with a single credential.
The PGA Expo's opening-day schedule is packed with a variety of special events. PGA of America President Allen Wronowski and CEO Joe Steranka will officially open the Expo in a special ceremony at 9:00 a.m. Renowned golf instructor Butch Harmon will share his teaching insights and tips at 9:30 a.m. on the main stage. Longtime PGA member and veteran NBC and Golf Channel broadcaster Mark Rolfing will share his experiences covering golf and take questions at 2:15 p.m., with clubfitting, merchandising, growth of the game best practices and fashion trends completing a busy schedule of presentations on the main stage.
"Each year, we work hand-in-hand with The PGA of America, PGA Professionals and industry leaders to build an event that will provide educational, networking and product sourcing opportunities to move the business of golf forward," notes PGA Expo Industry Vice President John McGeary. "We are especially pleased that in 2011, the PGA Expo is welcoming back influential business leaders and enticing newcomers to join us for what we expect to be a vibrant marketplace.
"The introduction of The PGA of America's new "Golf 2.0" strategic plan is among a diverse new schedule of seminars designed to increase golf participation and advance the business of the game during the Education Conference of the 2011 PGA Expo. The PGA Expo Education Conference is a collaboration of The PGA of America, Association of Golf Merchandisers and PGA Golf Exhibitions and includes tracks on General Management, Golf Operations, Instruction/Player Development, Retail and Professional Enrichment.
The goal of Golf 2.0 is to substantially increase the number of golfers, the rounds of golf played and the revenue generated from golf over the next decade among current and potential consumers of the game. Specifically, the goal of Golf 2.0 is to increase the number of golfers from approximately 26.1 million to 40 million by the year 2020.
To do that, the golf industry must get consumers to change their perception of the game in terms of barriers such as time and cost. That is the only way to convert the millions of potential players into actual golfers.
"Golf 2.0 is one of the most important initiatives that The PGA and the golf industry have undertaken," said Wronowski. "We need to make golf more welcoming and more relevant to women and minorities. We need to overcome the misperception that golf costs too much, and that it doesn't have to be an 18-hole experience. Golf is such a fun game that is ideal for families, so we now have a great opportunity to attract millions to our game who have expressed an interest in playing. But we have to change the way we run our businesses to make that a reality."
Golf market leaders, industry veterans and fresh newcomers will make up the roster of 200-plus golf vendors representing equipment, apparel, accessories and golf services at the 2011 PGA Expo. Companies such as Abacus, adidas Golf, AHEAD, Antigua, Ashworth, Bobby Jones, Callaway Golf, Carnoustie, Champ, Cutter & Buck, Easy Picker, Fairway & Greene, FILA, Flightscope, Foresight, Full Swing, Gear for Sports, Greg Norman, Imperial Headwear, IJP Design/Ian Poulter, Kasco, Peter Millar, PGA Authentics, Pima Direct, PING, Pukka, Quagmire, Second Skin, Straight Down, Sunice, Tehama, Tommy Hilfiger, Tour Edge, Travis Mathew, Under Armour, Yamaha, Yonex, Zero Restriction and many others will show off their current and future lines.
The 2011 PGA Expo festivities continue Tuesday after the exhibit hall doors close. The Elations Industry Reception begins at 5:30 p.m. at the stylish TAO Nightclub at the Venetian Hotel. The event's most popular networking event, the sixth annual industry welcome reception, sponsored by Elations supplement drink, is free to all PGA Expo attendees and features beer, wine, cocktails, martinis, hors d'oeuvres, and music. Please be sure to wear your show badge for admittance. A new Opening Night After Party also is scheduled for the LAVO Nightclub at the Palazzo Hotel (adjacent to The Venetian) from 10:00-11:00 p.m. The After Party is complimentary to all PGA Expo attendees and exhibitors.