The Golf Industry Show
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I attended the National Golf Course Owner Association’s annual conference last week. It’s a pretty major event because it coincides with the Golf Industry Show as well as the Superintendent’s conference. There are nearly 16,000 people who come to Orlando for the Golf Conference. There are bad pants and polos as far as the eye can see!
The Golf Industry Show is open to anyone who would be interested in attending. In fact, the last I knew, they often air portions of it on the Golf Channel. I can’t imagine it being all that interesting to watch, but to each his own.
I thought it might be fun to take you on a quick tour of the GIS. To get started, picture the Varied Industries Building at the State Fair grounds on steroids. The first time I went to this show, my eyes nearly bugged out of my head. I felt like a little country bumpkin from Iowa who had never seen a building quite the likes of this.
We’re talking. B-I-G.
If it has anything to do with golf, then it’s here. Mowers, golf cars, fertilizers, flags, computer systems, golf balls, signs, artificial turf, etc. My proud Iowa heart is always exploding when I feast my eyes on the display of Standard Golf. They are based out of Cedar Falls where they produce everything you ever needed for a golf course.
There were vendors with all of the cool new gadgets available to spice up your golf carts. Wouldn’t it be fun to pimp out our fleet of carts with some of these tires?
They even had some old school golf carts on display to show just how far we have come! Here’s a look at an EZ-Go cart from 60 years ago!
Club Car has some forward thinking in their new design of a golf car. It’s a four seater with room for four sets of bags. Perfect for family golf or the foursome who likes to visit more than they like to golf. No. I’m not being offensive, but that definitely describes the group of four women that I play with! We like to talk just as much as we like to golf! Depending on our golf game that day, sometimes the talking is the only thing we like to do!
The Jacobsen dealers were out in full force. I’d never seen so much orange in my life! I think every single northern salesperson signed up to be in the show! I can’t say that I blamed them since my poor kids had to stay home from school because of the snow storm while I walked around outside and enjoyed the GIS. We had just purchased a brand new Jacobsen mower last year, so they would have to be pretty charming to talk me into another one any time soon.
I also ran into the Golf Pipeline based out of Chicago. They have a brilliant concept in online tee times. You can store all of your golfing buddies in a network. Then, when you make a tee time, you can ask any number of them to join your group! If you’d like, you can keep track of your score, track your handicap or talk smack to your buddies. You just need to sign up on their website to get started!
I loved this company that I found that sold gigantic golf balls made out of fiberglass. I’m not sure where I’d put it, but I know that I want one. Just because.
That brings me to the best part of the show.
What’s that you ask?
That would be the portable toilets that were made to look like a tree trunk. Suddenly being stuck in a outside toilet seemed like a pretty cool thing.
The booklet that shows all of the vendors to the show is about an inch thick! It’s crazy just how many different businesses are out there to make our little golf business tick. For many of the vendors, it’s fun simply putting a face to the name. In fact, I was visiting with the company (ETS if you’re interested) who takes care of our credit card processing. I’d been emailing him and talking to him off and on for several months because we plan to get those fancy pin pads where our golfers will be able to swipe their own card and then sign all fancy like on the screen. The guy said, “Wait! Are you Allison George?” Sure enough. I’d been talking to Mike for months and I never would have known him in person had it not been for the Golf Industry Show.
What’d you think? Anyone want to stow away in my suitcase when next year comes around?