Fab Five at 2024 PGA Show

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For those in the golf industry, the annual rite of passage, the PGA Show, occurs each January in Orlando, Fla.  That’s where nearly 1,000 product manufacturers and service providers exhibited their wares last week, wooing owners and operators or golf courses, country clubs, resorts and other retail operations to open their wallets.

It’s called “The Major of the Golf Business” for that reason.

Nearly 40,000 golf-industry professionals canvassed the aisles covering roughly one million square feet.  Despite an abundance of coolness, we selected five favorites:

Noteefy

The first automated tee time assistant / waitlist for golfers and golf courses, Noteefy improves the booking experience while accelerating course revenue and efficiency.  The platform enables golfers to input their personalized playing preferences, then receive real-time text and e-mail alerts when their desired tee time comes available.  Astonishingly, many courses suffer 20% of all tee times succumbing to cancelation with, until now, no automated way to re-book and recapture once perished greens and cart fees.  More than 200 golf courses (and growing rapidly) use Noteefy with remarkable results.  Think of Noteefy as the OpenTable and Resy product for golf.  The company is red hot.

ZIGIT

The mobile, app-enabled retail platform helps golf courses, country clubs and resorts achieve easy, convenient and profitable self-serve dispensing of can and bottle alcohol.  Via quick facial recognition and biometrics markers, golfers’ eligibilities are verified to buy their favorite adult beverages at ZIGIT boxes positioned at various locations on golf courses.  No more long wait times for the beverage cart to finally find thirsty players.  Incremental revenue, greater golfer satisfaction and a decrease in alcohol shrinkage delight course owner-operators.  ZIGIT is to golf alcohol sales what CLEAR is to air travelers.  Finally, automated retail has come to golf.

LOHLA SPORT

Annika Sorenstam signed autographs and took photos with show attendees at the LOHLA SPORT booth.  The golf legend and the brand’s global ambassador looked stylishly terrific sporting The Very Pant, one of the top-selling styles in LOHLA SPORT’s premium ladies’ golf-lifestyle apparel line-up.  Coordinated tops, bottoms, skorts and outerwear rooted in colorful, on-trend European designs with Los Angeles flair represent the hottest and classiest golf wear on the market.  Each piece is made from fine-quality fabrics sourced worldwide and cut to optimize athletic movement.

Bridgestone Golf 

Already the undisputed No. 1 ball fitter on the planet, Bridgestone Golf’s stock rose in Orlando with introduction of MINDSET, a proprietary visual technology available on all four Bridgestone 2024 TOUR B Series golf balls. Developed in collaboration with Jason Day and his performance coach Jason Goldsmith, the process consists of three simple steps to help golfers make critical decisions on their upcoming shots: (1) players look at the outer, red circle of the MINDSET graphic on the ball to identify the target and gather information about distance, wind conditions, club selection and shot shape; and then (2) the inner yellow circle prompts players to visualize the shot path and its connection to the target; and then (3) the small, green “go” dot prompts full focus on execution, enabling golfers to clear their minds of all thoughts, and swing away with confidence.  Separating analytic thoughts from athletic performance to stay committed to every shot is brilliant.

L.E.N Lifestyle

A brand doesn’t need to be big to be awesome.  L.E.N. Lifestyle is the perfect example.  For the past 12 years, the brand has held closely to the statement “the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little “extra.”  Its products are the culmination of the very best ideas, design, workmanship and leathers from around the globe.  Golfers love their fun, sporty. casual options as well as timeless classics in a wide range of leathers ranging from French Pebble Grain to Ultra-matte American Alligator.  If your wearing L.E.N., your “belt game” is sure to be the envy of your foursome.

Rich Katz

Rich Katz is Founder and CEO of Katz Strategy, a golf business and marketing advisory firm. One of golf’s most networked executives for 30-plus years, he founded golf-marketer Buffalo Agency (now Buffalo Groupe), was agent to PGA TOUR players and held leadership positions at Billy Casper Golf. rkatz@katzstrategy.com.

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