Orlando, Fla. — Attendance at the 70th PGA Show in Orlando, Fla., doubled over the numbers for 2022. From Jan. 24-27, 30,000 PGA Professionals, golf leaders, industry executives and retailers from more than 86 countries came together to meet with more than 800 golf companies, which marked a 33% increase in exhibitors.
Following two years of business disruptions by the global pandemic, the PGA Show was a clear sign of a bullish year ahead for the continued growth of the sport and the $84 billion golf industry.
“The PGA Show is annually the largest gathering of PGA Professionals and industry leaders, and it has certainly lived up to that billing this year,” PGA President John Lindert said. “It was the epicenter of golf business with more than 800 companies conducting business and remains the largest stage in golf for networking, education and career development. We met with innumerable allied golf associations and organizations to develop strategies to grow participation in the game and business strategies for the months and years to come.”
The PGA Show, organized by RX and the PGA of America, occupied nearly 1 million gross square feet of interactive exhibit, demonstration and presentation space of the Orange County Convention Center, creating the world’s largest business-to-business golf event. Market-leading brands, veteran manufacturers and those new to the golf marketplace showcased their newest innovations in equipment, technology, fashion, accessories, training aids and golf-related services to PGA Professionals, golf retailers and influential industry leaders from around the world.
“An expansive mix of companies combined with strong participation across the international golf business community at this year’s PGA Show created an industry reunion unlike any other in recent years,” said PGA Golf Exhibitions (a division of RXGlobal) Vice President Marc Simon. “The in-person connections and vibrant business on the Show Floor resulted in an optimistic outlook that has momentum to drive the golf industry to new heights in 2023.”
Some of the popular networking spots on the trade show floor included the annual live Fashion Show and the Equipment Test Center & Putting Green – an indoor golf equipment testing & experiential space that featured 44 indoor hitting bays and a 3,750 square foot putting green for hands-on testing of the newest equipment.
In 2022 the story was quite different. Even though the 69th PGA Show was reuniting the global golf industry for the first time in two years, the show drew only 15,000 attendees and 600 exhibitors. It was a dark time for the golfing community as the world was grappling with the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the new COVID Omicron variant that emerged at the end of 2021 also had a negative impact on participation in the show.
But in 2023, the PGA Show came back in full swing. Attendance numbers doubled and the show floor was once again filled with the sounds of excited golfers and enthusiastic vendors. The mood was upbeat and optimistic, a far cry from the tone of the previous year.
“The energy on the PGA Show floor was fantastic,” said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh. “I grew up on a trading floor (on the New York Stock Exchange) and this reminds me of the energy and enthusiasm of a busy trading day. It is reflective of the (golf) industry, basically booming. We played defense for a couple of years during the pandemic, but we’re on the verge of being all the way back now. If the PGA Show is a barometer, 2023 is going to be a great year for golf.”
Reach John Lindert at (561) 624-8400; Seth Waugh at (305) 318-5208; Marc Simon at (203) 840-5399