It’s been a little over a month now since the end of the show, and life has been quite busy in addition to trying to finish up the monumental task we set for ourselves to cover the PGA Merchandise Show as a two-person team. For TGF’s first attendance, I would say it was a great success. From the personal aspect of having covered many trade-shows before this one, there were numerous little areas I would like to improve on.
Before I get started on the recap, however, I would like to thank everybody who’s read our coverage over the past month. For a site that only launched at the beginning of January, I’m pleased with the readership. It included a surprising number of people from all over the world. (I’m specifically looking at you all over in the United Kingdom and New Zealand! Thanks for dropping by.)
In case you missed it, The Brass Weasel (aka my father, Donald) wrote up an excellent day-by-day recap the week after the show, and I wrote up a recap of the Demo Day as well. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the show itself and the stand-out products we saw.
The PGA Show was exactly what I was expecting, and nothing like I expected it to be at the same time. Even though it was my first foray into the world of golf shows, it felt like I slipped on a comfortable pair of shoes as we bounced from booth to booth, getting the details on all the new products exhibitors were showing off or debuting at the show. On the other hand, it was exponentially larger than I could have ever dreamed, with the nearly 1,000 exhibitors and reportedly 40,000 attendees. The number of booths was instantly overwhelming, even though we had a list of must-visit exhibitors. Walking across the cat-walks from the back entrance gave you a birds-eye view of the floor, and it was immense. Thankfully these booths were mostly grouped together by category.
The Equipment Test Center was a mini-driving range area that allowed attendees to test out new clubs, balls and gadgets. Next to that was General Golf Products area, with all the major manufacturers like Ping, Titleist, and Callaway displaying their goods in giant mansion-sized booths. There was an entire section dedicated to Facility Solutions, which had everything from companies selling point of sale software to well-known names like Club Car exhibiting their newest golf carts. The Fitness & Instruction area had training aids, recovery solutions, and nice booth setup from Human Touch with about a dozen massage chairs for you to take a break. There was the Golf Travel Pavilion, which had several countries showing off the golf tourism available in places like Scotland and Ireland. The Women’s Accessories section had many apparel and accessory companies explicitly geared for the female golfer, but like the other areas had other exhibitors peppered in that didn’t necessarily fit the exact definition of the section. Lastly, the apparel and accessory section had everything from high-end designers, like TravisMatthew and the walled-off booth giving it an air of exclusivity, to smaller companies like MacKenzie Golf Bags, with their warm and inviting booth showing off their bespoke products.
The carpet between each section was color-coded, so you knew if you wandered into a new area pretty easily. Still, the PGA Merchandise Show app was a lifesaver, as we could easily navigate towards whatever destination we were looking for by using the larger exhibitors as landmarks. It was well organized, as a trade show of this size would need to be, and we were able to get to the majority of our must-visit booths with ease.
While everything we saw at the show was impressive in one way or another, I made myself to go through and find a few of the stand-out products that wowed me. In no particular order, they were:
Golfzon’s simulators are next level, and they should be for what they cost. If someday TGF gets to the point where we have a dedicated testing facility, this would be the first simulator I would consider installing for those rainy days in Florida. The beautiful graphics, the ball-tracking technology, and the automated ball-return/tee-up functionality were all impressive. I wasn’t surprised to hear how popular it was in its home country of South Korea, where indoor golf outpaces outdoor golf for the number of rounds played. You can read our full write-up here.
There seems to be a vast market for golf gloves that are breaking out of the traditional, white Cabretta area. Many of them are great looking and will certainly turn heads on the course. Euforeia Golf has gone a step further and completely redesigned what they think a golf glove should be. With funky designs, new materials and non-traditional closure straps, these gloves will certainly be on our radar when they come out in a couple of months. You can read all about them in our post here.
Bridgestone Golf New TOUR B
The day before the show, Bridgestone officially announced the brand new TOUR B line. With a completely redesigned ball that features a cover using what they call REACTIV Urethane, this ball promises to do what others have claimed to in the past. The urethane material reacts to different forces in different ways, with strong forces — like a driver — making the REACTIV Urethane firm, and thus releasing off the face of the club faster. Softer forces — like a wedge — allow the REACTIV Urethane to be softer, thus staying on the face of the club longer and achieving more spin. To me, that’s some fascinating science inserted into our golf game. You can read all about it in our post here.
Last, but certainly not least, is the new invention by Andrew Logan of Logan Golf. It’s a normal-sized golf bag that unfolds to reveal all the parts to turn it into a push cart. The fact that he was able to design the bag to fit all these pieces into the bag without adding any bulk is undoubtedly an impressive feat. The model that debuted at the show was still a prototype, but a mostly finished one. Logan expected to have the finished product ready for market later in the year. You can read all about it in our post here.
The Golden Ferret’s Coverage
As I mentioned above, I’m incredibly proud of what we accomplished in our first year at the show. With just two of us visiting as many exhibitors as we did, doing all the photo and video editing, and then writing up 41 booth coverage articles, it was a lot of work, but we covered right around the number of exhibitors I was aiming for. Of course, I wish there was more, but there are only so many hours of the trade show, and honestly, to have any more articles to write would have pushed this coverage even further past where it ended up being.
For future shows, I will tweak our processes, maybe most importantly, making sure that our videos are in focus the entire time, but certainly making every effort to have our articles go up quicker. Perhaps TGF will be in a different position next year and we’ll have more hands on deck, but even if that’s not the case, we learned a lot and can’t wait to tackle the next show.
With all that said, we’ll be going back to our normal posting next week, with news articles coming out on time, equipment reviews, and of course, our weekly blog posts of random golf musings.
See you then.
My full-time job has always been in the IT world, but I’ve also spent the better part of a decade writing product reviews and helping cover large industry-only trade shows. It was only in the latter part of 2019 that I put two and two together and realized I should be doing the same thing for something I’ve loved my whole life — golf. This is the culmination of a hobby that started as a child, a hobby that turned into a passion as an adult, and finally a passion that turned into The Golden Ferret.