Good Times at the PGA Show
Last week I attended the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida.
I love the Show – how would I not? I come down to a warm weather area in January, look at all of the newest golf equipment and clothing … and see old friends.
Sure, the Show as changed over the years – what hasn’t? In the 90s it was go-go-go … the golf companies hosted outrageous parties, golf courses brought their whole shop staff … it was fun in boom town.
Then 9/11 hit and accelerated the contraction of an over built market. The Show felt like a morgue for the next few years … few parties, no more staff entourages … deadville.
But then it came back with a surge of youthful energy – new products and companies and a sense of resurgence.
This Show was different. I couldn’t figure out why. It was relaxed. Not manic like the 90s nor depressed like after 9/11 nor like the young hip last few years … but rather confident and friendly.
I think I know why – golf people are figuring out that the secret to success is finding and catering to a niche golf market. Being everything to everyone doesn’t work. Sort of like restaurants – I’m terrified when I look at a menu and it has seafood, Mexican, Italian, ribs, sandwiches, gourmet French. Italian, and Greek … I know it will all be bad. You can’t be everything to everyone. Golf has been trying to do that … and it hasn’t been working.
The operators who are surviving and even thriving, are the ones who get it. They get their market and zero in on it.
Sometimes hard times bring out the best in people and make them have to get out of their comfort zone and grow up. Pain isn’t fun – but it can be a powerful tool if used to improve and figure things out.
The game of golf is going to come out of this slump better than ever.
Can’t wait for spring!
GM and Head Golf Professional