If the first two days of the 58th PGA Merchandise Show are an accurate barometer, the golf industry is putting recession in its rearview mirror and riding a wave of positive momentum into the 2011 business cycle.
Nearly 10 miles of aisles were bustling with business Friday on Day Two of the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show, with a galaxy of golf’s brightest stars teaming with a series of education seminars, fashion and equipment presentations, industry announcements and roundtable discussions to set the table for the final day of the golf industry’s largest retailing reunion at the Orange County Convention Center.
“Based on the buzz and excitement at this Show, it feels like the golf industry is moving forward and is primed for a turnaround year – economy be damned,” noted Bob Maggiore, vice president, brand and product marketing for TaylorMade-adidas Golf. “We recognized that we had a unique opportunity this year to promote all three of our brands – TaylorMade, adidas and Ashworth – under one roof, and I think the presence of so many industry leaders has helped us all draft off each other’s energy.”
With virtually every major equipment, apparel and accessory company exhibiting and writing orders, attendance at the 2011 Show was up 15 percent entering Saturday’s final day of merchandising, networking and product presentations.
One of the crowd magnets on Friday was the long list of celebrity appearances, including 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer; LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez; LPGA standouts Anna Nordqvist and Natalie Gulbis, and PGA Tour bright lights Matt Kuchar and Ryan Moore.
“Judging by the response to our new products, I would have to give the PGA Merchandise Show an ‘A’ grade this year. I would also say the industry is turning the corner as far as the economy and is back on positive ground,” said Dennis Moses, Midwest sales manager for Callaway Golf. “A good, positive PGA Merchandise Show is good for the health of the industry, and that is what we have experienced this week.”
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