The 69th edition of the PGA Merchandise Show returns next month as an in-person event for the first time since January 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With restrictions on overseas travellers visiting the United States lifted on November 7, the way is now clear for those wishing to attend the Orlando-based show to do so, providing they have proof of being double-vaccinated. The situation regarding travel restrictions remains fluid, so it is advisable to check the latest government advice on testing and quarantining before booking overseas trips.
The PGA Show’s organisers are promising that strict health and safety standards will be in place to ensure a safe experience for all those attending the exhibition, which takes place at the Orange County Convention Centre from January 25-28.
With many golf companies facing ongoing COVID challenges, including supply chain issues and travel restrictions, the number of exhibitors is expected to be at least 20% down on 2020, although 450 companies have committed to attend. Last year’s show was reinvented as an online event, and it is expected that many brands represented will continue to offer presentations online for those unable to attend, as well as hosting online sales meetings.
Many of the most recognisable brands in golf have announced their participation and support, including Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland Golf, COBRA Golf, PING, Srixon Golf, and XXIO within the PGA Equipment Forum.
Resorts, retail and golf management companies will also be well represented, and participants include Ballybunion GC, Boyne Resorts, Club Corp, Dicks Sporting Goods, Four Seasons Golf Club, Haggin Oaks, Kohler, Muirfield Village GC, Golf Galaxy, PGA Tour Superstore, Pinehurst Resort, Riviera CC, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, The Sea Pines Resort, TPC Sawgrass, Treetops Resort, Troon, Wailea, and Whistling Straits.
The week will begin again with the National Golf Course Owners Association Golf Business Conference, followed by the AGM Golf Retail Conference on January 25.
The demo day at Orange County National Golf Centre, also scheduled for January 25, has been rebranded as The PGA Show Demo and Fitting Day to reflect a new emphasis on custom fitting, rather than just the launch of new equipment. Other changes to the main show will see the opening of a lounge specifically catering for PGA Professionals, and a redesign of the indoor range, relocating the practice putting green and the short game test area to create one centralised product testing space.
As happened last year, the educational and conference programme will be made available online to ensure that those unable to attend in person will be able to download and view presentations at a later date.
PGA of America President Jim Richerson said: The 2022 PGA Show will play an especially important role in helping the industry and PGA Professionals move forward from the pandemic, capitalising on the growing interest in the sport and uncovering new tools to improve the grassroots golf experience.
“Unprecedented strains on operations and supply chain issues due to COVID-19 have impacted nearly all industries, including golf. While we anticipate a short-term contraction of participation during this transition year, the 2022 PGA Show will continue to be the largest annual gathering of PGA Professionals and top buyers experiencing first-hand the innovative offerings from more than 650 golf brands. The PGA Show will continue to build business for all who participate and be a bridge in 2022 to an exciting new era in golf.”
For event details, hotel reservations and registration information, visit www.pgashow.com.