The Craziness That is the PGA Show

If the Golf Channel has graced your TV screen at all this week, chances are you’ve seen coverage surrounding the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show.

Forty thousand people, countless vendors, new, intriguing and crazy innovations all packaged into 1 million square feet of convention space – this can’t help to remind of my 2011 assignment while working for Encompass the whole thing through a series of short, quick-to-the-punch blogs.

Where to start?

Admittedly, carrying an ‘Editorial’ badge from one of the world’s biggest golf sites has its perks – interviews came easy and everybody was happy to talk about their company and products.  And let’s just say I was lucky to leave the week with more than a few nice parting gifts.

But, wow, was it difficult to wrap anything around the chaos that is the Merchandise Show.pgashowVendors

The buzz on the floor of the Orange County Convention center is electric. Aside from the vendors, who are busy promoting in their booths (bigger companies like Nike and TaylorMade have spaces the size of department stores), the week is nothing short of a giant block party.

Picture it: Forty thousand of your friends and peers playing with the latest gadgets and technology the game you like most.  Feel free to insert a ‘kid in a candy store’ idiom here as liberally as you’d like.

What I took away from the week – after recovering the Show hangover, of sorts – was if you ever have the chance to go, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY, go.

It’s kind of like the Masters in the way that, if you’re a golfer, you need to attend at least once in your life to realize what all the fuss is about.

But a word to the weary, and to the wise: When you go, train and prepare for the madness like you would the New York City Marathon.  Because, yes, it’s fun and, yes, it’s worth it.  But you’ll need more energy than Gary Player after a Red Bull to survive the world’s biggest golf industry gathering.