2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Grows, Energizes the Industry and Builds Business in Las Vegas, Aug. 15-17

LAS VEGAS (August 17, 2016) – The 2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, Aug. 15-17, welcomed some 4,000 PGA Professionals, golf buyers and business leaders from 46 U.S. states and 30 countries to Las Vegas for three busy days of merchandise sourcing, product testing, education, professional networking and special events. PGA Professionals and buyers uncovered the newest products, trends and technology from more than 200 exhibiting golf companies and brands, including 50 companies new to the event, creating the event’s largest exhibition space since 2008.

Held in the second half of the golf season, and during Las Vegas Fashion Week, the 2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience spanned multiple Las Vegas destinations, to offer a premier business experience in the upscale settings of the Palazzo Ballroom of The Venetian, the nationally-recognized Cascata Golf Club and Topgolf Las Vegas, the flagship property of the popular and growing entertainment destination. In addition to merchandise sourcing of the newest apparel, accessories, equipment and technology, the 2016 edition of the annual PGA Fashion & Demo Experience featured a full-field Pro-Pro Tournament, PGA Outdoor Demo Experience, Live Fashion Show, PGA Secretary Candidates Events, Education Conference, Opening Night Reception and an exciting, new After-Hours Industry Event at Topgolf Las Vegas.

“The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience is in ‘Year Three’ of an enhanced event concept created to bring PGA Professionals and industry leaders together in a more intimate setting, while creating an event that is fun, exciting and strengthens our golf community,” said PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions Senior Vice President and General Manager Ed Several. “From the full-field, seven-hole playoff Pro-Pro Tournament to a dramatic rise in Education Conference participation to a wildly successful new after-hours event at Topgolf – plus having the most exhibit space we have had in eight years – there was a tremendous positive buzz each day of the event.”

“It’s a good sign to see how the Las Vegas show has grown,” said PGA Vice President Paul Levy. “This PGA Show has found a good, solid niche. It comes at a good time for PGA Professionals throughout the west and southwest, many of whom are unable to attend the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando in January, because that is the height of their busy season. It is a great business, buying and networking opportunity, and this year, it was a unique opportunity for PGA Members to hear the ideas of our candidates for PGA national secretary.”

Participation in the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Education Conference grew by 55 percent in 2016. Exhibit space grew to the event’s largest since 2008. Attendees came from 46 states and 30 countries and joined with a crossover of apparel buyers from Las Vegas Fashion Week trade shows, to build a strong buyer engagement with vendors on the Show Floor. The top five countries (outside of U.S.) represented in attendance were Canada, Japan, Mexico, Korea and Switzerland. The top five U.S. states represented in attendance were California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and Texas

2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Highlights

Pro-Pro Tournament
On Monday, Aug. 15, at Cascata Golf Club, Californians Michael Block – the 2014 PGA Professional Champion – and Scott Heyn defeated Troy Helseth and Travis Long of Henderson, Nevada, with a birdie on the seventh playoff hole, to earn the $5,000 first-place check in the full-field, $20,650 Pro-Pro Tournament of 110 PGA and LPGA Professionals. The playoff began with three teams, including Chris Gilley and Kyle Kelley, of Southern California, who were eliminated on the first hole, after the three teams tied with 7-under-par 65s on a hot, breezy day at Cascata. The Southwest PGA Section organized the tournament. Tee Tree and VPAR were supporting sponsors, and Market 9 Lithium Golf and Hole in 1 Drinks were contest sponsors.

“It’s terrific to have an opportunity to play the Pro-Pro Tournament prior to the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience in Las Vegas,” said Joseph Grohman, PGA Head Professional at Navy Golf Course in Seal Beach, the 2013 Southern California PGA Section PGA Golf Professional of the Year. “The golf course (Cascata Golf Club) was great, and the tournament was run professionally. It was just a super day – we were able to come right off the golf course and participate in the Demo Day, where we saw and tested what’s new in equipment and technology.”

Education Conference
The PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Education Conference, experienced a 55 percent increase in participation in 2016, began on Monday, Aug. 15, with the PGA’s CPP 2.0 Certification Kick Start certification program and the FlightScope Academy at The Venetian, plus the “Finding Your Natural Swing” Instructional Workshop by 2016 PGA Teacher of the Year Mike Adams at Cascata Golf Club. The Education Conference continued Aug. 16-17, with more than more than 20 classroom seminars focusing on retail/merchandising, leadership, teaching and coaching and sales/marketing. PGA Professionals were able to earn more than 20 MSR credits, through participation in PGA Education and PGA Fashion & Demo Experience programs.

PGA Professionals were introduced to the new Strategic Management Simulation during two well-attended seminars at the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience, while a series of teaching/instruction seminars that included 2016 PGA Teacher of the Year Mike Adams were also popular.

“I enjoy all of the teaching and instruction seminars in Las Vegas,” said Chad Brenengen, PGA Professional at Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, California. “Every year, we are able to hear the freshest teaching philosophies. This year, Mike Adams (the 2016 PGA National Teacher of the Year) was dynamic. It’s always instructive to hear new ways to connect with students, and make teaching the game simple and concise.”

PGA Outdoor Demo Experience
The PGA Outdoor Demo Experience on Monday, Aug. 15, at Cascata Golf Club, featured top equipment and technology testing, an indoor golf marketplace, outdoor vendor village, industry networking, special events, contests/prizes, live music and a barbeque.

“I love the Demo Day here in Las Vegas, because you can hit all the new equipment and spend more one-on-one time with the manufacturers’ reps, and they have more time to spend with you,” said Titus Matthews, the PGA director of golf at Heritage Bay Golf Club in Naples, Florida. “The timing of the Las Vegas PGA Show is perfect for us, because it’s our slow time at the course.”

“The Outdoor Demo Day is a great opportunity for us to introduce our latest equipment to PGA Professionals, who are critical to our business,” said Gene Graham, Ping Central Regional Sales Manager. “This is the first opportunity for PGA Professionals and our customers to see the new Ping iBlade irons and Vault putters, so this has been an important Demo Day opportunity for Ping this year.”

The PGA Outdoor Demo Experience sponsors included Supporting Sponsors: Tee Tree and VPAR; Official Tee Sponsor: Champ; Official Hat Sponsor: The Game Headwear; and Contest Sponsors: MSOP – The Major Series of Putting – and the Southwest PGA Section.

Show Floor of the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience
The hottest fashion trends and newest accessory collections, plus the latest equipment and technology, from more than 200 companies and brands were showcased, Aug. 16-17, in the upscale Palazzo Ballroom of The Venetian. The dynamic Show Floor featured a wide array of exhibits, a buyer networking lounge, New Product Showcase, sponsored by Tee Tree, Fashion Row, Fashion Lounge, a PGA Member Business Center and a VIP Buyer Lounge.

Many participating companies took advantage of the setting to unveil the latest lines and innovations for 2017. Companies such as Antigua, Ahead, Cutter & Buck, ClubWear, Collo, Bobby Jones (Rule 18), EyzGear, Hackett Golf, Greg Norman Collection, Katherine Way, Movêtes, October Golf Gear, Oxford Golf, Vineyard Vines, Soul Kix, Summit Brands, SwingDish Women’s Golf, Tee Tree, The Game Headwear, Wellness Interactive and Zero Friction launched new products and apparel lines in Las Vegas.

“We are ordering merchandise for our entire pro shop,” said Brian Smock, PGA Head Professional at Coronado (California) Golf Course. “Our challenge is to visit as many company representatives as possible, and get all of our ordering done in just two days. It’s great to see companies like FJ, Vineyard Vines, Imperial Headwear, Pukka, Zero Friction, ECCO, CHAMP and so many others here in Las Vegas. It makes it very convenient for us.”

PGA Secretary Candidates Events
PGA Secretary Candidates Russ Libby, Rick Murphy and Jim Richerson shared their platforms and addressed membership questions in a PGA Candidates Forum on Aug. 16, and during a Coffee with the Candidates event on Aug. 17. Both events were held at The Venetian and open to PGA Members only. The formal election for PGA Secretary will occur during the PGA Annual Meeting in New York City this November.

“It was interesting to hear what each of the candidates for PGA Secretary stand for, and it was nice to put a face to the names of the candidates,” said Scott Mattiello, PGA Professional at Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia in Mesa, Arizona. “It makes a real difference in an important national election like this, when we can see, meet and discuss issues with the candidates. Now, I understand what each candidate thinks about certain issues and can make a more informed voting decision.”

Live Fashion Show, Opening Night Reception & After-Hours Industry Event at Topgolf Las Vegas
Tuesday evening, Aug. 16, was packed with a trio of special events for PGA Professionals, golf buyers and business leaders at the PGA Fashion & Demo Experience. The annual Live Fashion Show, presented by ClubWear, kicked off the evening at 5 p.m., and showcased the latest golf lifestyle collections from Callaway Golf Apparel, ClubWear, Daily Sports, Kevan Hall Sport, Longball, Movêtes, Nivo Sport, Straight Down Clothing Co., Travis Mathew Apparel, Under Armour and Wellness Interactive.

Golf Channel Host, Reporter and Writer Bailey Mosier returned as the event’s emcee and narrator of the lively runway production.

“Following our first PGA Show in Orlando this past January, buyers were seeking us out in Las Vegas for our innovative clothing, and we formed important new relationships with buyers and vendors alike,” said ClubWear Designer Christine Storm. “We featured 25 pieces in the Fashion Show, and it was a perfect fit for us to showcase our motto that ClubWear can go from the golf club to the night club with a change of your shoe.”

Immediately following the Live Fashion Show, guests were treated to the Opening Night Reception, featuring complimentary wine, beer and light hors d’oeuvres in a social, lively atmosphere, where booths remained open on the Show Floor.

Once the action came to a close on the Show Floor, PGA Professionals, buyers and business leaders jumped into complimentary shuttles to take them to explore the nearby Topgolf Las Vegas—the largest Topgolf facility in the nation—for the inaugural After-Hours Industry Event at Topgolf. The new event was a popular addition to the schedule, as many guests enjoyed the 105,000 square-foot entertainment venue, climate-controlled hitting bays, light hors d’oeuvres and drinks throughout the night. Under Armour and October Golf Gear were supporting sponsors of the After-Hours Industry Event at Topgolf, and featured vendors included Zero Friction, Premier Glow and Wellness Interactive.

PGA Fashion & Demo Experience Award Winners
PGA Professionals and top golf industry buyers voted for the best new product among the merchandise displayed in the PGA Show New Product Showcase. The 2016 New Product Showcase winner is EyzGear, a patented innovation allowing eyewear/sunglasses to directly attach to headwear and protect it from fall, loss and damage. For more information, visit www.eyzgear.com. Influential PGA Professionals and golf buyers also voted one exhibitor new to the PGA Show as the Top Buyers Choice. The 2016 Top Buyers Choice is Katherine Way, a women’s apparel line featuring technology fabric that is moisture-wicking, with a 50+ UPF rating. For more information, visit www.kwaywholesale.com

2017 PGA Shows – Save the Dates
The next U.S. PGA Golf Show, the 2017 U.S. PGA Merchandise Show is scheduled for Jan. 24-27, in Orlando. The 2017 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience is scheduled for Aug. 14-16, in Las Vegas.

For more information on the 2016 PGA Fashion & Demo Experience and upcoming PGA Worldwide Golf Exhibitions events, visit PGALasVegas.com.

Learn more at PGALasVegas.com and PGAShow.com.

SOURCE: PGA