The Pellucid Perspective - February 2014 - (Page 5)

PGA MERCHANDISE SHOW PGA Merchandise Show from 35,000 feet By Harvey Silverman A t 35,000 feet on the way to Orlando I read Pat Gallagher's book, "Golf is Dying. Does Anybody Care?" (Available on Amazon). Gallagher partnered with Scott McNealy a couple of years ago to introduce the Alternative Golf Association, also known as Flogton. The book commiserates on the effort to bring a new attitude to golf, one of fun and lax rules; and how golf 's rulers and many stakeholders squelched the attempt to open the doors of thought on how to increase participation in the game. Gallagher was afraid they failed. Three days at the 2014 PGA Merchandise extravaganza showed me that, while Flogton's efforts weren't productive, they were not in vain. The discussion continues... Tuesday night associate Stuart Lindsay attended an invitation-only event sponsored by TaylorMade Adidas (TMAG). My flight plans got me to Orlando too late to attend. Early indications were that Mark King, CEO of TaylorMade, might introduce new "recreational" golf equipment, possibly under the Adams label, or a new label. This concept was at the core of Flogton's initiative. Alas, no equipment introductions were made but instead, King led a spirited discussion about growing the game along with PGA president Ted Bishop, NGF CEO Joe Beditz, and noted business advisor Gary Hamel. Introduced was a new organization and website called Hack Golf (www.hackgolf.org). The idea is to hack apart golf by crowdsourcing ideas, and maybe finding one or two pearls that can be acted upon by the golf industry. The website is very cool - I highly recommend visiting and if so inclined, participating. Introducing recreational (nonconforming) equipment was not mentioned, but was hinted at, so the rumors continue... On Wednesday morning I joined the throng at the PGA State of the Industry forum on the show floor. It was a standing room only crowd anxious to hear either the PGA's take on the state of the game, or to see star attraction Donald Trump. Given the content of the discussion, anyone hoping for wisdom from the former was sorely disappointed. Actually, anyone hoping for wisdom from the latter was sorely disappointed, as well. The panel included PGA President Ted Bishop, toeing the company line; Donald Trump, being Donald Trump; Annika Sorenstam, a pretty but no more insightful replacement for an empty chair; former USGA Executive Director David Fay resplendent in his bow tie; the aforementioned Mark King; and Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. In three-dot fashion, here are the takeaways from each: Bishop thinks golf will turn the corner in 2014 (look out for that bus!)...Trump thinks equipment bifurcation is a good thing and good for his members...Annika thinks the 2016 Olympics will be great for golf...Fay supports the long putter ban and says ball www.PellucidCorp.com distance will never be rolled back...King refutes Annika and says the Olympics will do nothing for U.S. golf and nothing for golf in other countries unless they have an infrastructure and a middle class...and McCarley bemoaned that without knowing the format NBC (parent of Golf Channel) has no idea how it will televise golf in the Olympics; and that trying to hide empty stands at the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst will be a visual struggle given the number of bleachers left behind by the heavily attended Men's Open the week before. Best line of the forum came from McCarley: "Nothing shows disinterest more than empty seats." I'd dare to add, "Nothing shows disinterest more than empty tee times." So there you have it, the PGA's version of the state of the industry... Walking onto the 2014 PGA Merchandise show floor caused a moment of déjà vu. Hadn't I seen this before? The explosion of third party tee time providers, new systems providers, and some tough-to- put-a-label-on technologies was like a time warp back to 2000/2001, when Greens.com, Book4Golf, Golf Gopher, and a few others made the scene. Now there's Open Tee, Supreme Golf, Golf Ninjas (really?), Quantival, ApplSaaS, RevTechPlus, Golf One, ForeUP, Tee On, sZensoft, and more we know of but can't reveal yet. Folks, if you think avoiding phone calls, emails, and knocks on your door is going to get better, think again. These and others are all lining up to help you "drive more rounds and revenue" (ohhhh, there's that line again)... EZLinks introduced their new retail tee time site, TeeOff. com. They've engaged a battle with GolfNow for third party tee time supremacy. They've partnered with FOX Sports and set a seven-figure budget for digital advertising. Any course can participate, not just EZLinks clients. And while EZLinks will post Callaway made a bold move trying to solve the persistent pace of play problem in golf by introducing their modified marshal vehicle. The Pellucid PersPecTive 5 http://www.Greens.com http://www.hackgolf.org http://WWW.PELLUCIDCORP.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2014

TOC
The 2014 solution to Barter is… NGCOANow?
PGA Merchandise Show from 35,000 feet
Philosophy, sociology and epistemology lessons for Hackgolf
The way Keiser rolls
Scottsdale National owner to low-spending members: 'Go, Daddy!'
January golf weather impact: Downward trajectory from '13 continues
Developers' past excess plague DC area courses
ClubLink adds TPC course to Florida portfolio
USGA responsibility not to grow the game. Really?

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