LAS VEGAS – Thousands of PGA Professionals, golf buyers, manufacturers and industry leaders are gathering in Las Vegas for the 2018 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, Aug. 13-15. Events for Monday, Aug. 13, included a PGA/LPGA Professional Pro-Pro Tournament at TPC Las Vegas and the PGA Demo Experience at Topgolf Las Vegas.
In the 5th Annual PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Pro-Pro Tournament Monday at TPC Las Vegas, PGA/LPGA teams again provided their share of drama. Sean King, PGA Head Professional at Apple Valley Golf Club in Apple Valley, California, teamed with his assistant professional Michael Reese to record eight birdies in the two-person better-ball event for an 8-under-par 63 and a one-shot victory on a hot day at TPC Las Vegas.
MORE: PGA Fashion & Demo Experience information | Schedule
“The golf course was in great condition and the greens were rolling good for as hot as it has been in Las Vegas,” said King, who made a semi-miraculous birdie from the rocks on the par-5 fifth hole to preserve his team’s momentum. “We both played solid, and this was a great way to start the week in Las Vegas.”
Jared Becher, PGA Professional at Washoe Country Golf Club in Reno, Nevada, teamed with Joey Dendary of Winnemucca Golf Course in Winnemucca, Nevada, to share second place with Nicholas DiLucchi and Milo Lines of Superstition Mountain in Gold Canyon, Arizona, at 7-under 64.
Kyle Kelley, PGA Head Professional at Tamarisk Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California, teamed with Chris Gilley of La Quinta Country Club in La Quinta, California, to play in the Pro-Pro at TPC Las Vegas and the two then commuted to Topgolf Las Vegas for the PGA Demo Experience on Monday.
They joined fellow industry professionals who turned out in large numbers to fill the hitting bays and test the newest equipment and technology at the PGA Demo Experience in the climate-controlled setting of Topgolf Las Vegas, 4-8 p.m. PDT.
“The combination of the Pro-Pro Tournament and the Demo Day at Topgolf is just a great way to start the PGA Demo & Fashion Experience every year,” said Kelley. “Topgolf is the perfect place to have a Demo Day, especially at this time of year when it is so hot outside. It’s always great to have so many companies under one roof where we can test the latest golf equipment.”
Companies such as Callaway, Cobra Golf, Ernest Sports, HONMA Golf, Miura Golf, PING, Srixon/Cleveland Golf, TaylorMade Golf, Tour Edge and many others offered equipment for testing in the sold-out Topgolf Level 1 hitting bays.
TaylorMade and Cleveland/Srixon Golf were among several companies using the PGA Demo Experience to launch new products on Monday. TaylorMade drew raves for its new GAPR driving irons, which feature a progressively thicker sole in the 2-, 3- and 4-iron models (low, mid and high launch), with the 4-iron GAPR looking the most like a conventional hybrid club.
"The GAPR is designed to make long irons easier than ever to hit," said TaylorMade's Kyle Shipe. "The PGA Demo Experience was the perfect place for us to launch the new GAPRs. Everyone is lining up to hit them and the feedback has been phenomenally positive."
Cleveland/Srixon Golf surprised PGA Demo Experience attendees by unveiling its new RTX-4 wedges in Tour Raw, Black and Tour Satin finishes.
"Several players on the Tour, such as Keegan Bradley, have been playing the new RTX-4 wedges, but this is the first time they have been available for PGA Professionals and golf industry insiders to see and test," said Cleveland/Srixon's Ruben Padilla. "When players put the new RTX-4s in their hands, they are commenting about the exceptional feel and great looks of the wedges. So the PGA Demo Experience has been a great coming-out party for the RTX-4 wedges."
PGA Professionals and buyers also browsed the newest golf merchandise in an indoor marketplace in the Central and West Rooms. At the Level 2 hitting bays, PGA Professionals and industry leaders participated in skills contests for prizes.
Some PGA Demo Experience attendees were visiting Topgolf for the first time while enjoying hands-on testing of equipment and technology.
"This is my first time at Topgolf and my first time in several years at the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience," said Robert Spikes, PGA General Manager at El Rio and Silverbell Golf Clubs in Tucson, Arizona. "It's fabulous to see what's new in the industry and have a chance to try so many things under one roof."
"I had never been to a Topgolf. It's a fun place to hit balls," said Levon Huntley, PGA/LPGA Professional at Birnam Wood Golf Club in Santa Barbara, California. "Being able to feel and see how golf equipment performs is a tremendous benefit, and it was fun to interact with so many other PGA Professionals."
Equipment testing, merchandise sourcing, skills contests and peer networking in the dynamic golf entertainment destination of Topgolf combined for a successful and enjoyable industry event to kick off the annual golf business gathering.
The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience continues Aug. 14-15 at the Venetian Hotel with a comprehensive schedule of events to include exhibits and demonstrations by nearly 200 golf companies and brands, a comprehensive education conference, and a Live Fashion Show and Industry Networking Reception.
Golf industry professionals and apparel buyers may register onsite. The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience is held simultaneous to multiple Las Vegas Fashion Week trade shows and apparel buyers may register at no cost with their Fashion Week trade show badge. The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience is not open to the general public. Further registration details are available at PGALasVegas.com.
Golf enthusiasts may follow all the action of new product introductions, industry announcements, celebrity appearances and special events at PGALasVegas.com; with reports at PGA.com and in Golf Channel news programming during Morning Drive and Golf Central and at GolfChannel.com. Additionally, all the action will be covered extensively on PGA Golf Shows social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Schedule of Events, Aug. 14-15
Show Floor of the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. PDT
Wednesday, Aug. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. PDT
Venetian Hotel, Palazzo Ballroom
The hottest fashion trends and newest accessory collections, plus the latest equipment and technology, from nearly 200 companies and brands will be exclusively showcased on a dynamic Show Floor, featuring a wide array of exhibits; a buyer networking lounge; New Product Showcase; Fashion Row; Fashion Lounge; a PGA Member Business Center; and a VIP Buyer Lounge.
Live Fashion Show
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 5:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. PDT
The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Live Fashion Show will showcase many of the latest golf lifestyle collections by the industry’s top designers and will be emceed by Golf Channel Host, Reporter and Writer Bailey Mosier. Live Fashion Show participating brands include: AfterShokz, Daily Sports, Gatlon Golf, Jofit, Johnnie-O, Just4Golf, Kaeli Smith, LTC Trading Corp, One Putt Designs, SKECHERS, Straight Down Clothing Co, Tzu Tzu Sport, Under Armour
Industry Networking Reception
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. PDT
Venetian Hotel, Palazzo Ballroom
Immediately following the Live Fashion Show, all registered event attendees are invited to the Industry Networking Reception on the Show Floor. Exhibitor booths will be open for business during this networking event for buyers to enjoy the extended hours to explore, browse, and discuss all the latest finds the Show Floor has to offer.
Tuesday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. – 5:15 p.m. PDT
Venetian Hotel, Marcello Meeting Rooms
The Education Conference features classroom seminars focusing on teaching and coaching, executive management and golf operations. PGA Professionals are able to earn up to 20 MSR credits, through participation in PGA Education and PGA Fashion & Demo Experience programs. Single session registration, full day and full conference registration remains open, plus course details can be found, at PGALasVegas.com.
About the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience
The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, Aug. 13-15, 2018, in Las Vegas, is an annual merchandise sourcing, product testing, industry networking and professional education event, exclusively for golf industry professionals. Event details and registration are available at PGALasVegas.com.