The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2017
120 THE CUT A KIWI PERSPECTIVE Z ane Miller of Linkz Marketing is something of a PGA Merchandise Show veteran, having attended 16 out of the last 18 shows. For him the show is not so much about seeking out new products as re- establishing relationships on a face-to-face basis. In the two years since he was last at the show he’s noticed a big change. Back then the talk was very much about how tough times were, but this year was very different.“It seems that things are on the up,” he says. On the up, too, for Linkz is a supplier they introduced to their range two years ago, Ray Cook. “It’s going exceptionally well for us and they have some strong new product releases for 2017," says Miller. While at the show, Miller visited the Ray Cook stand when the ebullient John Daly was holding court. “He was an absolute standout, dressed in his Loudmouth gear. There was a huge queue of people lined up to see him and he was chatting with people, having selfies taken.” But this is a show that is much more about product than personalities. Miller says there’s been a notable increase in a couple of categories: lasers and GPS systems and golf simulators. “ Two years ago there were only a couple of laser and GPS systems on show; this year I saw at least six or seven, and according to the exhibitor’s book even more than that were registered. Golf simulators are another big growth area. The first year I ever attended the show there were just two. This year there were at least 10.” But while the show has a lot of ‘wow’ factor, Miller wasn’t wowed by what was on offer in the New Product Zone. “ There was no ‘this is going to be the next big thing” he says, “what I saw was more of the same type of product but perhaps done with different colours or variations.” When Miller casts his critical eye over product lines he’s always asking the same question: could we sell enough of this in New Zealand? Miller admits he took a liking to what he describes as a “pimped up” golf cart, one that looks like a ’57 Chevy with a flame design down its sides. “It looked really neat, but it’s not the sort of thing you’re likely to see at Royal Auckland,” he laughs. Its $US21,000 price tag, however, is no laughing matter. Apparel is big business at the show and (you heard it here first) if you’re in the market for some up-to-the-minute golf clothing, apparently teal is the big go – for men and women. And while the traditional names in apparel stick to stripes and conventional shades, it’s the smaller exhibitors who opt for novelty colours and styles, lending a refreshing new look to the myriad ranges of clothing. A lucky fan meets his idol, John Daly, at the PGA Merchandise Show.
The Cut - Summer 2017
The Cut - Winter 2017