2019 PGA Merchandise Show: A supreme golf event long on hope in all its various forms
From new drivers to ball makers, there's one primary thing being sold in Orlando this week
ORLANDO, Fla. -- One word kept blowing through my mind as I strolled the long, sometimes-cluttered hallways of the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, and that word was hope.
In golf, that's all you're searching out, whether as a player, the fan of a player, a weekend warrior or a golf company trying to create the next "it" product. Of course, companies sell clubs and balls and head covers and tees and all manner of gadgets, but the real product they're selling is completely intangible.
What is being sold at this event and most events that relate to golf is the idea that your next round could be one stroke better than your last or that your next shot will be crisper than your last.
It's a pretty interesting concept when it plays out in a massive convention center with global corporations sidled up next to mom and pop operations. I talked to Harry Arnett, vice president of global marketing for Callaway, and he told me the same thing that Supreme Golf CEO Jonathan Wride and Full Swing Simulators vice president Jason Fierro told me: This will help you (or someone like you).
I have to admit, I'm kind of into that. I like hope. I like the idea of hope. And I like how it plays out in the golf world. The tough part for me and for consumers is figuring out what will actually help me and what I should pass on so that it might help others. This is no easy take, but it is an interesting one.
To be sure, there is a bunch of nonsense at a trade show like this one. Golf is not unique in that. But part of the fun in golf is the chase. The thrill of sorting through all the fluff and figuring out what will actually work for whatever the end game is. For me, maybe it's shooting 79 or playing faster to spend more time with my kids. For you, maybe it's something else.
But whatever it is, the PGA Merchandise Show is sure to have it. That was true last year. It was true the year before that. It was true this year, as I experienced. And it will be true for as long as the event is held and the people involved try and provide the only thing that matters.
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