Tips For First-Time PGA Merchandise Show Goers
By mustang6560 on 1/31/11
I am officially a resident PGA Merchandise Show expert (kidding!). Know that I know the ropes, I thought I'd share some advice for the first-time goers who are marking their calendar for next year.

  • Pack a golf glove: If you have plans to go to the Demo Day (which is always held on Wednesday), make sure you wear your golf glove. As we were driving to the Orange County Golf Course, Andrew was like "Oh, I should have told you to bring your glove." I remember thinking, "gee, thanks for the advanced warning". I have a divot-sided hole on the inside of my left thumb from where a blister used to be. You end up hitting so many golf balls that a glove is pertinent!

  • Bring a backpack (or book bag): Whether you are at the Demo Day or the actual show, you are going to get free stuff. Some of the stuff is cool (i.e. free grip from Winn) and some of it is just flyers. They pass out bags for you to carry the stuff you collect, but who wants to have to carry a bag. After awhile the bag will get heavy. With a backpack, you can distribute the weight better, PLUS you don't have to worry about setting your bag down and forgetting it.

  • Eat a big breakfast:The food at the PGA Merchandise Show is expensive ($12 for a personal pizza and a Pepsi). So save yourself some cash and eat at your hotel or for Andrew and I, we ate Lucky Charms each morning. If you eat a big breakfast, you can have a small lunch and then wait until dinner to get again.

  • Wear comfortable shoes: The Orange County Convention Center is huge! If you don't have comfortable shoes, you will pay. Your back will hurt, your legs, feet, etc. Don't worry about trying to look nice (no jorts, please). Just wear shoes you know you'll be able to stand in for 8-10 hours.

  • Develop an itinerary: Andrew had appointments setup beforehand which allowed us to get the most out of each day. We knew exactly where we needed to be at what time. You won't be able to see everything you want. Just make sure you cover what's really important to you.

  • Go with the flow: Make sure you develop a schedule, but allow some time just to wander. I was trying to get to the Equipment Forum but had so much fun looking through the training aids I stayed there for nearly two hours. The Show has a lot of interesting items to see that you won't be able to plan for. Plan for the day, but live for the moment.

  • Know what clubs you want to hit: Do a little research before the Demo Day to see what new clubs you are interested in hitting. Most companies only bring the new clubs they want to show off. I knew going in I HAD to hit the new R11 driver so I made it a point to get to the TaylorMade booth. Inevitably, you aren't going to be able to hit all the clubs there, so knowing which ones you HAVE to hit will make the Demo Day feel like a success.

  • Don't hesitate to approach celebrities: If you want to get a picture with Carling Coffing, don't hestitate! Make a move or you'll end up like me and wishing I didn't wuss out. Joking aside, some of golfs top players will be at the Show so make sure you find out when/where they'll be and worry about looking stupid trying to get a picture with them. At the end of the day, no one remembers how you get the picture. They only remember IF you got the picture.

I feel privileged to have been able to attend the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show and hope I get the invite for next year. Thanks for those of you who followed from home. I hope you felt like you were right in the moment. We'll have a couple wrap-up posts this week as well as articles over the course of the next months on gear and products we saw at the show!

If you missed any of our live blog coverage check out the replays!

Demo Day Live Blog
Thursday Live Blog
Friday Live Blog

[ comments ]
Kickntrue says:
Free unmentioned tip- try on sunglasses- have someone take a picture - post that picture on the internet - look like a tool!
cpjolicoeur says:
mustang6560 says:
@kickntrue- (sniffs) smell that? smells like Summer's Eve...
falcon50driver says:
You could wear those at night, like the song says.
Jattruia says:
Corey Hart was a musical genius.
Clint24 says:
Last year was my first time and it kicked my butt. I told myself I was going to take my backpack, but completely forgot bout it. My back still hurts from carrying that freebie bag around.
[ post comment ]
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