PGA Merchandise Show
By Justin Holmes | February 7, 2014 | 4 Comments
At the PGA Merchandise Schow with Alex Cox and Mitch Bozentka, two of my friends from the program
Once a year, buyers and professionals from all around the world assemble in Orlando, Florida for the annual PGA Merchandise Show. The Orange County Convention Center was probably one of the biggest centers I have ever been to in my life. Walking the entire floor was at least the equivalent of walking three miles on a track. This show consisted of new golf clubs, the latest technology, guest speakers, clothes, and networking possibilities beyond compare.
When I was a kid, I would always ask my dad to take me to the nearest sporting goods store so I could try out all of the new golf clubs. Sometimes I still do this, but if you were to combine all of the sporting goods stores in the country, I don’t think they would come close to having all the new items the PGA Merchandise Show offers. Do you remember when you were a child and walked into Toys R’ Us and your mouth dropped open because everything you ever wanted was right there at your fingertips? Well, that is what I felt like as an eighteen year old walking onto the PGA show floor. They had everything you could ever want as a golfer. There were putters and grips and rangefinders and shoes. They had the new drivers that are coming out, such as the Ping i25 with revolutionary design and feel and the new Golf Pride grips that are amazing. There was even an indoor 50-yard driving range to use. Every day, I stumbled upon something new, and every day something would appear on the showroom floor that solidified why I choose to golf. There are very few industries where you can be just as excited 10 years before as you currently are about your chosen profession.
Business students are always told that their net worth is a direct result of their network, and this could not be any truer! PGM freshmen at Campbell University are offered the possibility to go on this “business trip” to expand their networks. This show hosted thousands of professionals and members who may offer us jobs in the future.
Students in the PGA Golf Management program at Campbell are required to do sixteen months of internships. I am so excited to go on my internship this summer, just to travel and experience a new life and to grow up. You go out and search for a potential job, which is a great feeling. You accomplished something with a little help from the internship coordinator, but you put forth most of the effort.
Some of the golf facilities we apply to want to schedule interviews at the PGA show, so there is a big benefit to attending other than having the experience of a lifetime. I had one interview within hours of arrival to the show, but I was more than ready. Interviews as a freshman prepare you for success later down the road because you can only get better as you practice interview skills.
For those who have never held a job that required an interview, it will probably be absolutely one of the most stressful things to happen in your young life! The first impression is something that will always be an essential part of your everyday life. You want to make sure your hair looks okay, you have the right knot in your tie, you don’t wear white socks with black shoes, and you carry yourself with respect and dignity. For my interview, it took me twelve attempts to get my tie in the right knot, four tries to tie my shoes correctly, and three attempts to find the right building. Yes, that’s right! I didn’t tie my shoes correctly, and I was attempting to tie a Windsor knot in my tie. Also, the complex was larger than I expected, so I walked into the wrong building twice, but I was still on time for my meeting, which is an accomplishment in itself. My interview went pretty well, and I am waiting to hear back.