Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The PGA Show

Today, I really should be wandering around Demo Day at the Orange County GC.  It is a truly spectacular sight if you are a golf junkie.  There is a huge circular range with booths every 10 steps that have clubs to sell.  You can hit any club in the world almost.  Sometimes the big companies skip this opportunity, but I am not sure why they would.  It is like Sedona is for people who are into crystals and cosmic healing.  It is pure, golf energy and it is a blast to be there.  On top of having the opportunity to try so many different clubs, you also get to "run into" so many old friends and acquaintances.  This is what I love about the PGA Show.  I love the energy, I love the new things and I love the old friends. 

On Thursday, I was scheduled to answer questions from golfers around the country using facebook and twitter from 10 AM until noon.  I was pretty pumped about doing that, but hopefully they find a replacement equally as pumped.  The more solid knowledge that we can put out there about the game, the swing, scoring and having fun, the better the game of golf will be.  There is a lot of misinformation about golf and that seems to keep going, as though amateurs are playing telephone with golf tips.  Some of the questions I get on the driving range during a lesson are about coming over the top and reverse pivots.  Yes, these are moves that are bad for your golf swing, but they are generally not the root of the problem.  The fact that your buddy recognizes that you are coming over the top will usually do little to help you fix that problem.  In fact, it will usually cause you to make adjustments to that move when it isn't the primary move that needs changing.  Anyway, it is great that the PGA, along with USA Today offers this day of free hotline tips from PGA Professionals.

Once the PGA Show begins on Thursday, it is three days of hard work and three nights of a lot of fun.  The work doesn't really feel like work.  You have a lot of appointments with clothing and equipment reps to make sure your golf shop has what it needs to service your customers for the upcoming year.  You also get to attend educational meetings and learn anything there is to learn about the golf industry.  I always go to some point of sale seminars, because that isn't one of my strengths.  I also try to attend teaching seminars because I love to hear other viewpoints and get inspired by new ways of teaching and communicating.  I also spend a lot of time in the Teaching Aids area of the Orange County Convention Center.  There are toys, gadgets, computer programs, modified clubs and books all aimed at helping students learn golf more easily.  It is fun to talk to the inventors face to face and to play with the aids and figure out how you can use it with your students.  So many times, an individual will come to mind who would benefit from this aid or that aid. 

When I was young, I thought the Show was a bit intimidating.  I would walk in and out of booths without saying much and without contact.  Now I fully understand that it is important to meet people, hear about their products, ask them questions and leave them with a business card so they can follow up.  In the end, the PGA Show is a big convention center filled with golfers, dreamers, inventors and sales people.  There is a lot of great energy, a lot of great people and most of all, a shared love for the game of golf.  I will miss it this week, but I will attend many more in the future. 

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