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2021 Virtual PGA Merchandise Show kicks off today

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As all GolfWRXers well know, the PGA Merchandise Show is the veritable candy store in which we are annually all wide-eyed children.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 68th edition of “the major of the golf business” is a virtual one—and a tremendous amount of credit is due to the PGA of America and Reed Exhibitions for ensuring the show, indeed, will go on.

We at GolfWRX remain dedicated to scouring the floor of the convention center to bring you new and notable golf equipment—even if we’re trading in our comfortable shoes for computer screens.

We’ll bring you highlights of the show ala our “things we loved” and daily recaps of years past throughout the week, and we look forward to returning to the Orange Country Convention Center in 2022.

For more on the specifics of the virtual show, check out the full press release from the PGA below. 

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (Jan. 25, 2021) – The 2021 Virtual PGA Merchandise Show Week will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a special Product Preview & Launch Day to spotlight the latest merchandise and services of nearly 400 participating golf companies and brands. The 68th edition of the PGA Show transitions to a virtual event in 2021 to connect the international golf industry online, allowing PGA Professionals, golf buyers, manufacturers and industry leaders to drive forward the business of the game from the safety of their homes, facilities and workplaces during the ongoing global pandemic.

The PGA Show, organized by Reed Exhibitions in partnership with the PGA of America, remains an industry-only event with complimentary industry registration and event details available at www.virtual.PGAShow.com.

Exhibitor Showrooms:
Nearly 400 participating golf companies and brands are staging robust exhibitor showrooms; presenting merchandise education sessions and video demonstrations; and hosting group and one-to-one buyer meetings. The virtual PGA Show marketplace features vetted new companies, as well as traditional market leaders and established manufacturers, including some of the most well-known brands in golf, such as Callaway Golf, FootJoy, Titleist, Cobra PUMA Golf, Bridgestone Golf, Cleveland/Srixon/XXIO, Mizuno and many more.

Product Preview & Launch Day:
The 2021 Virtual PGA Show Week begins on Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a special Product Preview & Launch Day to spotlight the latest merchandise and services of participating golf manufacturers. Several companies have special plans that day to present live and on-demand product launch events, including BioWave, Callaway Golf, Cobra Golf, DPP Golf, E-Z-GO, Focus Golf, Golf Ireland, Golf Skate Caddy, Golf Surprize, Homestretch Golf, Prestwick Golf Group, Range Servant America, True Score and TrackMan A/S.

Industry Programming:
A compelling schedule of live and on-demand industry presentations and valuable educational sessions also will be available to golf industry professionals, beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 27, through Friday, Jan. 29. All programming presented live during PGA Show Week will be made available on-demand beginning the next day, allowing attendees to view content and participate during times most convenient to their schedules.

Programming Highlights:
PGA of America Industry Presentations – Phil Mickelson, 2020 Ryder Cup Captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington, PGA Champion Collin Morikawa and CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz are among program speakers. The PGA of America, PGA TOUR, LPGA, NGCOA and additional industry leaders also will present sessions on growth initiatives and pressing industry matters.

PGA Show Education Conference – Influential, national-level experts from the world of business, golf operations, teaching & coaching and retail will lead succinct education sessions delivering key tools, insights and valuable takeaways. PGA Professionals will have numerous MSR education credit opportunities through daily event participation and additional credits for each educational session. While access to the virtual marketplace and industry presentations are free of charge, the full PGA Show Education Conference of more than 30 live and on-demand virtual sessions is available to PGA and LPGA Professionals for $95, and all other industry professionals for $125.

Exhibitor Events/Programs – Many exhibitors are hosting special demonstrations, presentations and Q&A sessions in the Exhibitor Track of events, while multiple Callaway Golf Sessions, Titleist Workshops, a special FootJoy Launch Event and TPI Performance, Fitness and Wellness Presentations are offered each day for attendees.

Exhibitor Education Sessions – Several exhibitors are providing exclusive golf merchandise and service solution educational sessions for participating industry professionals. Insights on technology, software solutions and innovations will be shared by companies including 9-Eighteen Solutions, aboutGolf, FlightScope, Lightspeed, Sik Golf, Tagmarshal and Trackman.
PGA Show Trend Panel & Virtual Fashion Show – The latest golf, resort and sportswear collections will be in the spotlight of the PGA Show Trend Panel & Virtual Fashion Show on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m. (ET). Participating fashion show brands include 2UNDR, 7 Diamonds, Anatomie, Boston Scott Golf Apparel, FootJoy, IBKUL, Katherine Way, Kinona Golf & Life, Le Club, PUMA Golf, Sunderland, Tzu Tzu and Under Armour.

Golf Group Travel Post Pandemic – Golf Ireland, Los Cabos Tourism Board and The Three Royals Golf Experience are panelists for the Golf Group Travel Post Pandemic session, moderated by Farhad Heydari, the editor of NetJets Magazine and Founder & CEO of House of Heydari, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 2:35 p.m. (ET).

The NGCOA’s Golf Business Conference continues its strategic alliance with the PGA Merchandise Show and will be delivered on the PGA Show virtual platform, Jan. 25-27, 2021. Registration for the virtual GBC21 is available online when registering for the PGA Show at PGAShow.com .

The virtual PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit is being held Monday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. Registration is now closed for this event.

The PGA Merchandise Show is the largest annual global summit for the business of golf. The easy-to-use virtual platform for the 2021 PGA Show features new product launch events, dynamic exhibitor showrooms, e-commerce applications by RepSpark, education sessions, industry presentations, one-to-one meetings, group networking, special events and PGA/LPGA player engagement programs. PGA Show programming will be available on demand for an extended period of time after the PGA Show concludes. PGA Show exhibitor showrooms will remain open on an ongoing basis to help exhibiting companies and buyers drive commerce throughout 2021.

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Photos from the 2021 Palmetto Championship at Congaree

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GolfWRX is live from Congaree Golf Club for the Palmetto Championship. This one-time replacement for the RBC Canadian Open is the third PGA Tour event contested in South Carolina this season.

Palmetto State native Dustin Johnson headlines the field (and has been doing plenty of putter testing). Brooks Koepka and Jason Dufner will be teeing it up as well. John Pak and Davis Thompson will both be making their professional debuts.

General galleries

Tuesday

Wednesday

Special galleries

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John Pak, college golf’s top player, signs with TaylorMade

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Editor’s note: We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report.

With a buddy on the bag and fresh off receiving the Jack Nicklaus Award in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday, celebrated amateur and Florida State standout John Pak is making his professional debut at this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree — and he’ll do so as a TaylorMade staffer, the company announced today.

College golf’s top player, Pak has played TaylorMade gear and a Titleist ball since his amateur days. And as we found out from Ryan Ressa, TaylorMade’s player development manager, who has worked with Pak since he was in his early teens, it’s not surprising Pak will continue with the same bag setup and ball combination as he joins the professional ranks.

The Scotch Plains, New Jersey, native is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of guy when it comes to his equipment, which is a trait Ressa sees among many of the game’s best. (Another TaylorMade staffer Tiger Woods, for one, comes to mind).

Ressa and TaylorMade have had a relationship with Pak for nearly a decade, and it’s Ressa’s job to not only make sure Pak is in the right equipment for his game but is also navigating the matrix of amateur competitions, college, and the decision to turn pro successfully.

According to Ressa, Pak, and other junior standouts, need new equipment, or at least a fitting, roughly every six months as their bodies and swings change.

Even so, while he’s transitioned into new fairway wood models as they’ve become available, the DNA of Pak’s bag has stayed largely the same.

“Jon is a very simple guy when it comes to equipment, and he doesn’t do a lot of tinkering outside of driver shafts,” Ressa said. “Deep down, he’s a great competitor. He just loves to compete and is focused on getting the ball in the hole. He’s stayed really, really consistent with the look of his irons, the loft of his wedges, and his bag setup. He’s been easy to work with and only needs one or two visits per year to get squared away.”

Read the full piece here.

Check out the full WITB here. 

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Morning 9: Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid | Qualifying scores | Bryson: Rivalries good for golf

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Good Tuesday morning, golf fans.
1. Fowler’s U.S. Open qualifying bid
AP report…”Already facing a long day, Rickie Fowler found the road even tougher Monday in 36-hole qualifying as he tried to avoid missing the U.S. Open for the first time in 11 years.”
  • “Fowler was among 685 players seeking 54 spots in nine qualifiers across eight states to fill the field for the U.S. Open, which starts June 17 at Torrey Pines in San Diego.”
  • “He played his opening round at Brookside in 1-over 73, which was halted for three hours because of heavy rain and thunder, meaning he likely would need at least a 65 at The Lakes to have any chance.”
  • “Fowler wasn’t going down without a fight. He was 4 under for his round — 3 under for the qualifier — through 13 holes when it was too dark to continue because of the rain delay.”
Full scores, qualifiers here...other notables include Patrick Rodgers, Branden Grace, Bo Hoag, Troy Merritt, John Huh, Sam Ryder, and Akshay Bhatia
2. Premier Golf League slated for 2023?
The BBC’s Ian Carter with the report on the UK-based upstart’s plants to, well, start up…”Detailed plans for a £250m Premier Golf League aimed at revolutionising the professional game are to be revealed later this week.”
  • “BBC Sport has learned that the Formula 1 style global competition is scheduled to begin in January 2023 and would include 18 tournaments targeting the top 48 male players in the world.”
  • “A dozen of those events would be staged in the United States with the others “chasing the sun” around the world. Each competition would be worth $20m (£14m) with $4m going to the winner and last place picking up $150,000.”
  • “By way of comparison, the biggest purse on the PGA Tour for a single event is $2.7m from a $15m prize fund at the Players Championship.”
3. Bryson: Rivalries good for golf
Carlos Monarrez reporting from Rocket Mortgage Classic media day for the Detroit Free Press…”Bryson DeChambeau, at the center of the golf world because of his white-hot rivalry with Brooks Koepka, didn’t want to spend too much time discussing that rivalry Monday when he returned to speak about defending his title at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, July 1-4, at Detroit Golf Club.”
  • “DeChambeau, who will defend his U.S. Open title next week at Torrey Pines in San Diego, said the feud is good for the sport.”
  • “I think a good jesting rivalry is good for the game of golf, nothing too extreme,” he told reporters on media day at Detroit Golf Club. “But at the same point and time that’s all outside of the spectrum of what we’re here for today, and I think the most important thing is to be talking about what Rocket Mortgage is doing for the 313 area and I think the change the course initiative is something that’s bigger than the game of golf, compared to a rivalry.”
4. Armitage!
EuropeanTour.com report…”An emotional Marcus Armitage claimed his maiden European Tour title at the Porsche European Open after a sensational final round at Green Eagle Golf Courses.”
  • “The 33-year-old from England made six birdies and an eagle to race to eight under for the day and nine under for the week.”
  • “At that stage Armitage was four shots clear but he bogeyed the 16th after a misjudged putt from over 100 feet and needed a remarkable chip to save par on the 17th following an overly cautious tee shot”
GolfWRX may earn a commission of “GolfWRX Recommends” products.
5. Costly
Rob Oller voices his opinion for the Columbus Dispatch…”If Rahm had been vaccinated ASAP after his home state of Arizona opened eligibility to all adults on March 24, the 26-year-old Spaniard almost certainly would have avoided testing positive for COVID-19 Saturday at the Memorial Tournament.”
  • “And had he not tested positive, he would not have withdrawn from the Memorial, which he led by six shots with 18 left to play.”
  • “And if he had not withdrawn, Rahm stood a strong chance of leaving Muirfield Village Golf Club with a crystal trophy and $1.675 million.”
  • “It does not take a Fortune 500 company accountant to connect those dots. Get a tiny prick in the arm, avoid the huge hole in the pocket that allowed a cool million-and-a-half to slip through.”
6. Big things ahead for Megha Ganne after impressive U.S. Open showing
Emilia Migliaccio for Golf Channel…”A true class act. Ganne didn’t get frustrated for shooting a higher score than she wanted. She knew the course was bound to get her like it did everyone, but she was composed and motivated to fight the entire day for some birdies, which she finally got on the par-5 17th. She also knew that regardless of the final round results, it would be the week of a lifetime.”
  • “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life. It’s everything I’ve wanted since I was little, so it’s just the best feeling.”
  • “…I can’t thank all these fans enough. They’ve made my week so much better than it could have been. I just felt like there was so much love and so much support, and all of them are really excited to be out here, which is so great to see because I feel like in a small way, I’m making an impact on the game, which is really cool.”
7. The first major champion from the Philippines
Kent Paisley for Golf Digest…”It was 8 a.m. local time on Monday in the Philippines when Saso won the playoff to claim the title, her first LPGA Tour victory. You can rightfully say that Saso raised a new dawn for the game of golf in her home country. “I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” Saso said. “I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone.”
  • “Interestingly, too, San Francisco has one of the largest Filipina populations of any city in the U.S., with Saso attracting an impressive following during her week at Olympic Club.”
  • “Pagdanganan wasn’t in the field at Olympic Club but is playing in next week’s LPGA stop in San Francisco and arrived at Olympic Club on Sunday to watch Saso starting on the fifth hole.”
  • “I think it’s not only good for her, but I think it’s good for the Philippines,” Pagdanganan said. “She put us on the radar. What she did was absolutely a great thing, not only for golf but for our country.”
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