19TH HOLE: Carolinas PGA Show Provides Reassurance
The Carolinas PGA Section's Golf Week, highlighted by its merchandise show held at Myrtle Beach recently provided some much-needed reassurance for the golf industry.
More than 300 companies touted their wares at the show, which was held Feb. 16-17 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Thousands of Carolinas PGA professionals and golf shop buyers had the opportunity to browse hard and soft goods on the 63,000-square-foot show floor.
Even though the economy hasn't been anyone's best friend lately, everyone at the show was in high spirits and showed an abundance of optimism at what lies ahead in the Carolinas this year.
Mike Elliott, of Greg Norman Collection, was especially confident about the state of the industry during the show.
"Anyone who thinks the golf industry is dead needs to see what goes on here," he said.
Many other vendors also had similar experiences, saying that the show's size, its location, and the fact that it is managed and executed by the largest section of the PGA of America are all great draws when it comes to selling merchandise.
In its 16th year, Carolinas PGA Golf Week has grown to combine Play Golf America Day at Grande Dunes, the annual special awards and honors dinner and Hall of Fame induction presented by Club Car, winter educational seminars for PGA Professionals, the section's annual meeting and a winter seminar pro-am event, into one massive display of the golf business at its finest.
This five-day event brings thousands to the Grand Strand each year with the goal of giving Carolinas PGA professionals, businesses that are vital to the golf industry and buyers a chance to meet with potential customers in an informal setting.
More than 2,000 people took part in the merchandise show alone, but the week's various other events saw increased attendance across the board.
The special awards and honors dinner presented by Club Car climbed past 300 attendees. More than 70 PGA professionals gave free lessons at the Resort Club at Grande Dunes Play Golf America Day, where more than 1,000 people came out to participate in the activities. Nearly 500 PGA professionals took part in the winter education seminars, and more than 800 PGA professionals attended the annual meeting.
Joe Steranka, CEO of the PGA of America, was impressed.
"The PGA professional audience was the largest single audience I have addressed in my 21-plus years with the PGA of America," he said. "I'm proud of the quality and quantity of golf leaders represented at the Carolinas PGA annual meeting and show. This was an inspiring, energetic group with a good handle on how to grow the game, manage the business and benefit their local communities through golf."
Information in this article was provided by Kate Anderson, media and promotions Manager of the Carolinas PGA Section.
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