The 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando showcases its annual collection of golf stars, equipment, clothes and gadgets galore
ORLANDO - I’ve heard plenty of wild tales about the PGA Merchandise Show from colleagues over the years.
Some love it. Others hate it. I found it to be wildly fascinating in my first-ever visit this weekend.
It’s an incredibly overwhelming experience. I spent a day and a half exploring all the exhibits and still only had time to fully vet a dozen or so. I plan to blog about a few of the interesting people and products I came across during my tour, so stay tuned.
The coolest spots were the travisMathew bus and the TaylorMade exhibit (pictured below), which was almost a show unto itself. Both had cool vibes that felt more like club scenes. There were drinks and thumping beats. If golf could transfer that energy to the golf clubs around America, this game would be the hippest sport in the country, not one that the youth of America currently avoid.
I walked by LPGA legends Annika Sorenstam (pictured above signing autographs), Rosie Jones and Nancy Lopez. I saw Davis Love III and Brad Faxon. I couldn’t believe how few people were hanging around Brian Gay, who was sitting at a table outside the booth of Sligo, his clothing sponsor. Just a few days earlier, Gay won the Humana Challenge. He beat a world-class field, including Phil Mickelson. Grand stuff, right?
The LPGA TOUR broke the biggest news at the show, announcing a new global match play event for 2014. Four-person teams from eight nations will face each other in a biennial competition called the International Crown. The first four-day event will be held July 21-27, 2014, at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., outside Baltimore. Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., host of The 2009 Solheim Cup, will hold it in 2016.
I got to see plenty of old friends and made plenty of new ones. It’s a who’s who of people in the golf industry - those who aren’t on TOUR anyway. I’m glad to finally be part of the club.
|« Streamsong Resort makes a splash at its golf grand opening in central Florida||Get pampered - Hawaiian style - at the Ihilani Spa and the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina on Oahu »|