The 68th edition of the PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 26-29, shifted to a virtual event in 2021 to connect the international golf industry online, allowing PGA Professionals, golf buyers, manufacturers and industry leaders to drive forward the business of the game from the safety of their homes, facilities and workplaces during the ongoing global pandemic.
More than 11,000 attendees from 78 countries, including some 6,500 PGA Professionals, connected online to source thousands of products from nearly 400 participating golf brands. PGA Professionals, golf buyers and industry professionals were able to take part in 192 live and on-demand exhibitor, industry and education presentations. In total, virtual presentations hosted nearly 25,000 participants, with numerous single presentations exceeding 400 participants. The virtual platform facilitated nearly 5,000 attendee-exhibitor meetings and logged nearly 300,000 interactions, views and connections by PGA Professionals and industry attendees.
The 2021 Virtual PGA Show helped the industry capitalize on the rising interest in golf by virtually showcasing new products to enhance the game experience and by promoting industry growth initiatives through virtual presentations. Most PGA Show programming will remain available on demand for an extended period of time, and exhibitor showrooms will remain open on an ongoing basis to help exhibiting companies and buyers continue to connect, have meetings, discover new products and drive commerce throughout 2021.
As the world’s largest annual gathering of the golf industry, the PGA Merchandise Show traditionally hosts nearly 40,000 golf industry professionals from around the world to discover the newest trends and technology from some 1,000 exhibiting golf companies and brands. The PGA Merchandise Show will combine the best of technology and analytics advancements of the 2021 virtual event with the value of in-person product experiences and face-to-face relationship building when the PGA Show returns to Orlando, Jan. 25-28, 2022.
“PGA Show Week has always been about providing new resources for our PGA Professionals to advance the game in their communities and for the golf industry to collaborate in enhancing the overall golf experience,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson. “We are proud of how PGA Professionals have led the way back to unprecedented participation despite all the challenges of the current times. This year’s PGA Show has provided numerous ways for our golf community to grow the game for generations to come.”
“We are grateful for the industry participation and for how well the virtual PGA Merchandise Show has gone this year,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “That being said, we can’t wait to bring the industry back together in person in 2022 where we can leverage the innovations and learnings from 2021. The importance of human connections and relationships are fundamental to our business and our golf community. However, there are also so many lessons to be learned from the experience. For instance, in previous years at the Show, I was literally supposed to be in three places at the same time. In the future, we'll be able to leverage the human experiences and the content creation environment of the PGA Show to create great interpersonal interactions and deliver on-demand content so you can engage in everything that matters to you. We are already hard at work on the 2022 PGA Show and look forward to being face-to-face with our industry peers next January.”
Recapping the 2021 Virtual PGA Show
Nearly 400 participating golf companies and brands created robust exhibitor showrooms; presented merchandise education sessions and video demonstrations; and hosted group and one-to-one buyer meetings. The virtual PGA Show marketplace featured vetted new companies, as well as traditional market leaders and established manufacturers, including some of the most well-known brands in golf, such as Callaway Golf, FootJoy, Titleist, Cobra PUMA Golf, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO, Mizuno and many more.
New Products and Product Preview & Launch Day:
The 2021 Virtual PGA Show Week began on Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a special Product Preview & Launch Day to spotlight the latest merchandise and services of participating golf manufacturers and new product introductions continued throughout Show Week.
Many popular golf brands showcased their latest products to enthusiastic attendees including Titleist’s introduction of the new Pro V1/Pro V1x golf balls, as well as new Titleist TSi hybrids and new Vokey WedgeWorks M Grind Collection; Callaway Golf announced its new family of Epic drivers and fairway woods, as well as the new Apex 21 family of irons; Odyssey Golf introduced the new White Hot OG putter; FootJoy shared the global launch of two new footwear models – Hyperflex and The Premiere Series; and Cobra Golf introduced the new family of RADSPEED drivers, woods and irons, as well as new Cobra RF Proto Irons, which are co-designed by Rickie Fowler. Additionally, Bridgestone Golf introduced its new e6 and e12 golf balls; Mizuno showed off its next generation ST Series of drivers and fairway woods, and three new models of its popular M. CRAFT line of putters; Srixon showcased its ZX Woods and Irons, while Cleveland put a spotlight on its CBX 2 Black Satin Finish wedges and the XXIO Prime Woods and Irons. To see the full breadth of new product offerings, industry professionals are able to access exhibitor showrooms throughout 2021 at Virtual.PGAShow.com.
Several companies presented live and on-demand product launch events on Product Preview & Launch Day, including BioWave, Callaway Golf, Cobra Golf, DPP Golf, E-Z-GO, Focus Golf, Golf Ireland, Golf Skate Caddy, Golf Surprize, Homestretch Golf, Prestwick Golf Group, Range Servant America, True Score and TrackMan A/S.
A compelling schedule of live and on-demand industry presentations and valuable educational sessions also were available to golf industry professionals, Wednesday, Jan. 27, through Friday, Jan. 29. Industry presentations and education sessions presented live during PGA Show Week are now available on-demand, allowing attendees to view content and participate during times most convenient to their schedules.
PGA of America Industry Presentations – Phil Mickelson, 2020 Ryder Cup Captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington, PGA Champion Collin Morikawa and CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz were among program speakers. The PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA, NGCOA and additional industry leaders also presented sessions on growth initiatives and pressing industry matters.
PGA Show Education Conference – Influential, national-level experts from the world of business, golf operations, teaching & coaching and retail led succinct education sessions delivering key tools, insights and valuable takeaways. PGA Professionals earned numerous MSR education credit opportunities through daily event participation and additional credits for each educational session. Education sessions now available on demand continue to offer MSR education credit opportunities for PGA Professionals.
Exhibitor Events/Programs – Many exhibitors hosted special demonstrations, presentations and Q&A sessions in the Exhibitor Track of events, while multiple Callaway Golf Sessions, Titleist Workshops, a special FootJoy Launch Event, Cobra Golf and PUMA Golf Sessions, and TPI Performance, Fitness and Wellness Presentations were offered each day for attendees.
Exhibitor Education Sessions – Several exhibitors provided exclusive golf merchandise and service solution educational sessions for participating industry professionals. Insights on technology, software solutions and innovations were shared by companies including 9-Eighteen Solutions, aboutGolf, FlightScope, Lightspeed, Sik Golf, Tagmarshal and Trackman.
PGA Show Trend Panel & Virtual Fashion Show – The latest golf, resort and sportswear collections were in the spotlight of the PGA Show Trend Panel & Virtual Fashion Show on Wednesday evening, Jan. 27. Participating fashion show brands include 2UNDR, 7 Diamonds, Anatomie, Boston Scott Golf Apparel, FootJoy, IBKUL, Katherine Way, Kinona Golf & Life, Le Club, Cobra PUMA Golf, Sunderland, Tzu Tzu and Under Armour.
Golf Group Travel Post Pandemic – Golf Ireland, Los Cabos Tourism Board and The Three Royals Golf Experience are panelists for the Golf Group Travel Post Pandemic session, moderated by Farhad Heydari, the editor of NetJets Magazine and Founder & CEO of House of Heydari, on Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 27.
The NGCOA’s Golf Business Conference continued its strategic alliance with the PGA Merchandise Show and was delivered on the PGA Show virtual platform, Jan. 25-27, 2021.