2011 PGA Merchandise Show – Day 1

January 28th, 2011 by John Graham Leave a reply »

John Graham Presenting at AMFI thought I would do a little talk about how the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show is going to keep everyone up to date that has either been unable to attend or curious about exactly what goes on during the show.  This was the first time I had been back to the show in over 10 years and I had forgotten how large it is.  It is HUGE! I mean really, really big. It is a full 15 minute walk from one side of the convention center to the other stock full of everything you can imagine that might relate to the golf business.

The day started out with a few instructional seminars provided by AMF and Imavex.  The topics included web development and social media.  I had the opportunity to speak at the seminar about the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter and really enjoyed it.  Basically, it was just a history of what I had done, what I’m doing and how successful I have been using those platforms.  As has been typical, it is a topic that requires a large amount of time to cover correctly and we didn’t really have enough time to go into the nuts and bolts of how to do it.  I still think it was some great information that needed to be shared so some knew if was possible to use these tools to generate real measurable results.  Thank you to AMF and Ricky Potts for giving me the opportunity.

There were a couple of things that I wanted to check out and here’s a little update.  I went to the Clearview Putter booth.  The head of the putter was much, much larger than I had imagined. That being said, I still thought it was an interesting idea and decided to order one for myself. I thought it would still be a good idea to show it to my students to help them with their aim.  It had a nice feel and certainly was easy to notice if you weren’t lining it correctly relative to a line drawn on the ball.  They were all ‘mallet’ style which didn’t bother me but I know that might be a concern for some.

I also went to see the new Flightscope X2. From what I understand, it has a release date in March.  I stopped by the booth to see my Sales Rep who I talk to everytime they update their machine because I’m curious if they have been able to address the accuracy issue in their angle of attack parameter.  After a short conversation with him, he asked if I wouldn’t mind taking some time to sit down and talk with the owner of the company about the new machine.  I agreed and set up a time to meet with him at 11:30 today.

Alex Riggs, Todd Halpen, Jason Hellman and Jason SuttonI spent a majority of the time either at the AimPoint Technologies booth or the Swinkey booth talking to tweeps that I finally got a chance to meet.  After that, the rest of the night was all about the tweet up.  I was admittedly very nervous about how the tweet up would go. I had a good idea that a bunch of people would show up but didn’t know how busy the restaurant would be,  if we would all fit and just the general uncertainty of doing something new.

I’m happy to say I think it was a great success.  First off, let me thank everyone that took time out of their night to come by to say hello or spend the whole night with us.  Here’s a list of who made it: David Wurzer, Jason Helman, Jason Sutton, Dan Carraher, Ricky Lee Potts, John Randle, Dennis Sales, Claude Harmon, Joe Hafera, Nick Clearwater, Sean Lalley, Rich Hunt, Todd Halpen, Bobby Siravo, Jamie Donaldson, Mark Sweeney, Bernie Najar, Ralph Perez, Andrew Lewis, Sara Dickson, Kirk Oguri, John Dochety, TJ Yeaton and Mario Bevilacqua.  There were also a few other guests that I didn’t get a ton of time to speak with and I apologize that I can’t remember their names. Please click on their names to follow them on Twitter as they all have great information to share.  It would be great to see some comments from these folks about how it went and the topics of discussion for the night cause I was bouncing around so much that I didn’t really get into any real in depth conversations about golf or the golf swing until late in the night.  I also wanted to send a special thank you to those that stayed and helped me close down the restaurant: Jason Hellman, Jason Sutton, Dan Carraher, Dennis Sales, Ralph Perez, Kirk Oguri, John Dochety, TJ Yeaton, and Mario Bevilaqua. Right toward the end it was great to see Ralph and Dochety get into a big discussion about TGM’s accumulator #4. Two guys that really know there stuff and had great support for each of their views.

I hope everyone had a good time and hopefully, it will become an annual event that will just continue to grow.  It was very cool meeting people in real life that I have argued swing theory with so many times on the various online forums or platforms.  The amount of swing information in that restaurant last night was staggering and it’s always a good thing when people can get face to face and discuss their views.

If you couldn’t make it this time, I hope to see you at another one in the future. One thing for sure. I need to take more pictures next time. I don’t know how I forgot to take a group photo. If anyone has some pictures from the tweet up please let me know. I’d love to put them up.



  1. Jeffery Passage says:

    John, thanks. This gives us guys back home a chance to live vicariously through you at the PGA show. Say Hi to Nick Clearwater for me. I appreciate your service. Ricky and I will get together next week.

  2. Good little writeup John, now I’m even more disappointed I couldn’t make it down :) Glad to hear things went well. Randle filled me in on how much fun it was too.



  3. John Graham says:

    Jeff and Matt,

    Yea it was a good time and I think the group felt the same way too.

    Hopefully bigger next year.


  4. Ricky Potts says:

    Thanks for sharing, John. I wish that we had more time, I wish that we had three hours to talk about each service. I really think we need some breakout sessions, sessions that are geared toward that in the future. Perhaps at the AMF Summit in October we can make that a reality.

    I truly appreciate your time and efforts with this. You are an inspiration to these guys, it’s obvious. Your name came up in nearly every single consultation that I did this week, and will forever in the future when I work with golf guys. Thanks for just doing what you do, and doing such a great job with your efforts. Cheers John, and I look forward to March at the next Golf Inc. Conference.

  5. John Graham says:


    WoW. Thanks for the kind words. You’ve been a big help to me and I’m sure I will continue to have more questions as I go further down this road.

    I really like the idea of the breakout sessions so we can get right to the nut and bolts. I’ve been finding this the subject that I receive the most questions about.

    Can’t wait to see you again in March.


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