Walking the aisles of the Orlando convention center for the annual PGA Merchandise Show is like shopping the market in the Old City of Jerusalem as a Westfields Mall. There are over 1000 exhibitors hawking their services and wares to more than 40,000 visitors over three days. It is golf sensory overload with over 100,000 square feet of clubs, balls, shoes, fashions, accessories, gizmos, awards and memorabilia, carts, training aids, energy supplements and putting gurus. If it is about golf it is represented here. Enjoy some of the sights and scenes from this year’s show.
The crowds were ebbing from the opening on Thursday morning.
All the “majors” were showing their latest and greatest .
Every infomercial and outing item had a hawker.
Strange lawn art and monuments had their place.
Vehicles for driving, pushing, or pulling were there.
Some of the spokesman were bigger than life.
Others were on the wall or in the house earning their royalties.
There are swing aids to fix any ill.
And swing simulators as well.
Men’s and women’s fashion and accessories galore.
Even some un-traditional/traditional fashions were available.
Shoes….miles of aisles of shoes.
In the end this show is about creating a product buzz. Whether it was Lexi Thompson pounding out 300 yard drives with her Cobra driver at demo day, droves of people gobbling up Adidas and True Linkswear walking shoes at a bargain price, or folks waiting endlessly in line for a couple of swings of the new Taylor Made Rocketballz three wood-it is about gaping at, grabbing, and groping the latest and the greatest products in the golf world today. Golf is a game for consumers and this is where all the consumption takes its lead.
(First two photos by David Walberg/SI)