My Experience at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show

Blog, News

Author: Chad Gray



FTR Systems showcased its CaddyTrek once again at the 65th annual 2018 PGA Merchandise show in Orlando FL last month. It was my first trip and I must say, it was an experience unlike any other show I have done.

The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show is the largest golf convention and business gathering in the world – with more than 40,000 golf industry professionals from around the world and some nearly 1,100 exhibiting golf companies and brand.

The entire event took place over a four day period starting with PGA Show Demo Day held at Orange County National Golf Center and continuing at the Orange County Convention Center for PGA Show exhibits, industry presentations, education seminars and special events. This even was not open to the public.

Demo Day


Demo Day turned out to be the busiest and most productive day for us as manufacturers big and small made a massive circle around the driving range to unveil all the latest and greatest offerings for 2018.

CaddyTrek definitely grabbed the attention of many PGA Professionals and retailers as I walked around the huge facility with my CaddyTrek faithfully following me, heads were turning left to right. I will admit that I was a little nervous about taking the CaddyTrek out for show and tell, as these grounds weren’t your normal wide, open, flat spaces. But, the CaddyTrek didn’t let me down. It followed me faithfully through tight spaces, massive crowds, congested sidewalks, side hills and many other obstacles that faced us that day. By the time we found our way back to our booth, I had enough confidence that I could sell ice to an Eskimo.

The Main Event


The following day was the grand opening ceremony kick off with PGA Champions Dave Stockton, Hal Sutton, John Daly, Steve Elkington and Davis Love III joining PGA President Paul Levy to help open the PGA Merchandise Show. These were just a few names among a long list of celebrities, renowned golf instructors and specials guests who all participated in the show.

The show consisted of nearly 10 miles of exhibit aisles, showcasing many great products, but there was no other product there that could compare to the CaddyTrek with all its features including the following:

  • Straight-line tracking
  • Four modes of operation: Follow, marching, remote and manual
  • Wide-track sports like tires
  • Two powerful motors totaling almost 500 watts
  • Rechargeable Lithium Battery lasting 27+ holes

Media Event


The CaddyTrek brought so much attention including two on site news media interviews with Jupiter Media and InterSports Media, look for those blog posts in the coming months.

The response was unbelievable during the 3 days at the Convention Center. The feedback and comments were all so positive. Much to my surprise, we had many visitors come by our booth that owned a CaddyTrek, and just wanted to stop by to say “thank you.”
One, John Karam, had more to say than just “thank you.” He told us a story about a day he went golfing with his CaddyTrek and he got caught in a very bad storm that had players all take cover during a two hour down poor. All he could think about was his CaddyTrek getting soaked in water while stuck out on the greens till the storm passed over. Much to John’s amazement, the CaddyTrek powered on without a glitch and is still going strong a year later. It’s these stories that make me feel good about where I work and the product I represent.

Sales


Our Sales Manager, Chad Gray, impressed me the most. Although I’ve worked with him for four years, I never saw him in action the way I did during the show. There is no one that could sell the CaddyTrek better than he. You could hear the passion in his voice, when talking about the CaddyTrek. I was blown away. He truly believes in what he does, and no questions went unanswered.

Our Dealers


I had the privilege of meeting many types of people from all over the world. But to tell you the truth, for me, the greatest thing about attending and exhibiting at this show, was the opportunity to meet a few of our Resellers that I have worked with for the past four years, but never had the chance to meet before the show.It truly made this trip worth the time, the hard work, and the money spent to be part of the greatest and biggest toy show for golf.