The PGA Show is an amazing thing to see. While it is only for industry professionals, everyone who loves golf would also love a glimpse at everything in the game in one place, at one time. This explains why we give you a glimpse inside the walls of the Orange County Convention Center, host facility in Orlando, Florida, during “Golf Today,” from Tuesday to Friday.
Typically, 50,000 industry professionals descend on the PGA Show from every state and countless countries around the world. The 2021 edition was a virtual affair because of COVID-19 and the 2022 version is also being impacted by the global pandemic.
Less exhibitors and cautionary procedures are the order of the day to keep everyone safe. But as you will see this week, the PGA Show is still the world’s largest golf exhibition, business and educational event and it is more important now than it has ever been.
Professional golf is in a great place, with record ratings and purses. On the critical recreation side of the game that fuels everything we do, there are more than 16,000 golf courses and facilities in America. That means golf has more locations in the country than McDonald’s and Starbucks! Last year, the fun and health benefits of the game fueled almost 80-million rounds, with many of these coming from critical growth demographics of women, children and minority groups. This surge is distinguished as the largest in the history of the game, even surpassing the spike enjoyed when Tiger Woods won the ’97 Masters.
This brings us back to the core benefit of the PGA Show, in my mind. Yes, it is great to see the spectacle of one-million square feet of exhibition space being transformed into the world’s largest golf city, the underpinning of an economic engine that amounts to $85 billion and employs over two-million Americans, but at its heart, this show is still about the golf industry coming together as one.
Education seminars, industry symposiums, national award presentations and recognitions, fashion displays and shows, professional and player development, and perhaps equally as important as all of these, the chance to meet with others in the same profession to share best practices, as well as learn from each other. The PGA Show is our ONE time of the year when the entire industry comes together and as the Show has evolved, so, too, has the service and sophistication of the golf industry.
This will mark my 32nd straight PGA Show and I’ve seen it from every side of the isle – first as a golf equipment manufacturer hoping to book orders, to being on the green-grass side and looking for the items that will insure a healthy book of business from our golf shop, to the media side the last decade. I’ve always been amazed by what I’ve seen at the Show and feel as excited about it as I did the first time. But at a time when the game is booming, coming together as one – safely – is more important to the golf industry now than it has ever been before.