GTE and VisitEngland attend the PGA Show in Orlando
February 09 2016
GTE's Andrew Cooke and Simon Gidman from Visit England attended the PGA Show in Orlando, Florida, along with regular attendee Geoff Harris from England's Golf Coast, with a view to assessing the potential of setting up an English Pavilion in 2017.
The PGA Show is undoubtedly the biggest industry event in golf, and is truly spectacular in respect of the amount of golf equipment, clothing, machinery, and accessories on show in one place. The golf tourism aspect was very small by comparison, but significantly, our immediate neighbours, Scotland, Ireland and Wales were all represented with impressive stands.
GTE sponsored a couple of receptions hosted by American Tour Operators Fairway to Heaven and Haversham and Baker, and it was invaluable to gain some inmsight into how Americans will book their golf trips. In America, and increasingly so in Europe, but only occasionally in the UK, the Club pro will take an active role on behalf of the club members and take all the organising of the trip away and deal directly with the tour operator.
It was also interesting to talk with the American media to understand what the perceptions of golf in England were. There is no doubt that Scotland and Ireland have done a great job promoting their links golf, in particular, in the States.
England has a big job to do in the States, and much of it will have to begin with an education process about the strength of golf in England, the variety of golf and finally, the additional attractions that the country can offer.
The sooner we start the better!