Like many things in early 2021, the annual PGA Merchandise Show was forced to go virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late January, the idea of encouraging 20,000-30,000 from all over the United States to travel and descend on Orlando to attend an indoor trade show wasn’t safe or feasible.
However, the PGA of America and Reed Exhibitions, the organizations that host the show, announced on Monday morning that the 2022 show will be an in-person gathering. It will take place January 25-28 at the Orange County Convention Center and Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge.
Jim Richerson, the president of the PGA of America, said, “The 2022 PGA Show will play an especially important role in helping the industry and PGA Professionals move forward from the pandemic, capitalizing on the growing interest in the sport and uncovering new tools to improve the grassroots golf experience.”
Richerson added that decreased attendance at the show is expected, with some PGA of America members, industry insiders and media members still electing not to travel. However, a recent survey of potential attendees found that 70 percent of PGA professionals and top buyers currently plan to attend the 2022 PGA Show, with another 19 percent planning to decide as the show’s date gets closer.
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“The 2022 PGA Show will continue to be the largest annual gathering of our membership with thousands of PGA Professionals and top buyers experiencing first-hand the innovative offerings from more than 650 golf brands,” Richerson said.
Coming on the heels of a historically good 2020 golf season, 2021 has been another fantastic year for the golf industry, which oddly is a double-edge sword of the PGA Show.
On the positive side, golf’s popularity is booming. People are taking lessons, tee time sheets are filled across the county and manufacturers are seeing record sales too.
However, several categories are struggling with supply chain issues, especially grips and some popular shafts. Orders that used to be fulfilled in a week or two now take months. For those reasons, as well the continued concern for the safety of their employees and the cost of traveling with scores of people, several major manufacturers have not yet committed to attending the 2022 PGA Merchandise Show. Final decisions from some of the largest brands are expected to be announced in the next week or two.