ORLANDO, Fla. – Golf Channel announced its plans to televise 25 hours of on-air coverage from the 63rd PGA Merchandise Show – the most-ever coverage of the PGA Show for the network – Tuesday, Jan. 26-Friday, Jan. 29. Golf Channel’s coverage will span across four days, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 26 from the Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge driving range in Winter Garden, Fla., for “Outdoor Demo Day,” and continuing Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 27-29 from the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Coverage will provide viewers with an insider’s look at the Show, featuring live interviews with industry leaders and a comprehensive overview of the latest products and trends for 2016, including new lines of equipment and apparel from nearly 1,000 golf brands exhibiting on-site throughout the week. The week also will serve as the official kickoff to the PGA of America’s Centennial year in 2016.
“The PGA of America is delighted that our friends at Golf Channel will once again provide comprehensive coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show,” said Pete Bevacqua, PGA of America CEO. “This year is especially meaningful, as together we will celebrate the PGA’s Centennial by focusing on the impact PGA members and our PGA Sections have on the game. This is a wonderful moment for the PGA, as we pay tribute to our past and look toward our promising future.”
“The PGA Merchandise Show is a unique and important gathering of the golf industry and Golf Channel continues to expand and elevate its coverage to introduce our audience to the latest industry trends,” said Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel. “The week also provides an opportunity to commemorate the Centennial anniversary of the PGA of America and the commitment and significant contributions PGA Professionals make to the game.”
Golf Channel’s coverage of “Demo Day” on Tuesday, Jan. 26, will begin at 7 a.m. ET, with its Morning Drive program on-site to highlight the latest in golf equipment. Tuesday’s show will include interviews with PGA President Derek Sprague and PGA of America CEO Pete Bevacqua. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET, a live ceremonial tribute will be held to honor the PGA’s Centennial and the game’s storied PGA Professionals. The tribute will feature 82 tee shots from 41 PGA Professionals representing each of the PGA Sections from around the country, along with 41 junior golfers from the PGA Junior League team in the greater Orlando area, symbolizing the PGA of America’s next 100 years. The 82 tee shots will be hit in rapid succession, with cameras capturing each shot over the course of about three minutes. Tuesday morning’s tribute also is scheduled to feature five paratroopers jumping from a helicopter above Orange County National and landing in the center of the driving range.
Morning Drive coverage of the PGA Show will transition indoors to the Orange County Convention Center, Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 27-29 to give viewers an all-access tour of the Show and the nearly 1,000 golf brands exhibiting on-site. In addition to Morning Drive, Golf Central, the network’s evening news show, also will provide on-site reports throughout the week, with featured interviews and segments originating from the Show floor.
The network’s coverage from the Convention Center will originate from a large, multi-purpose space elevated above the Show floor, and will feature three set configurations, a putting green and a golf simulator. The set also will incorporate production elements like the overhead “Fly Cam,” a unique camera technology made popular in televising football and other sports. Suspended above the Show floor, the Fly Cam will span more than 700 feet, giving viewers an aerial viewpoint of show exhibitors.
Scheduled Morning Drive guests throughout the Show include a collection of the game’s top Tour professionals, along with industry leaders and executives. Players scheduled to make live appearances include: two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, U.S. Open winner Graeme McDowell, ANA Inspiration champion Lexi Thompson, Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas, Morgan Hoffmann and World Golf Hall-of-Famers Lee Trevino and Johnny Miller. Longtime instructor for World No. 1 Jordan Spieth and 2015 PGA Teacher of the Year, Cameron McCormick, also will join the program.
SCHOOL OF GOLF & THE GOLF FIX SHOW PRODUCTION FROM ON-SITE
Two of Golf Channel’s signature instruction programs will take their show on the road in conjunction with PGA Show week. A new episode of School of Golf will be shot on Tuesday, Jan. 26 from “Demo Day” at Orange County National, which will air the following night, Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. ET. Show host Martin Hall will be joined by Will Wilcox, one of the best ball strikers on the PGA TOUR (ranked second in Ball Striking and Total Driving last season) to reveal his ball striking keys to success. On Thursday, Jan. 28, The Golf Fix will shoot its milestone 300th episode from the Convention Center Show floor at Golf Channel’s dedicated set. Show host Michael Breed will be joined by McCormick. The show will air on Monday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. ET.
“FAIRWAYS OF LIFE” AIRING ON-SITE FROM PGA SHOW
The award-winning Fairways of Life satellite radio show – airing on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and video simulcasting on GolfChannel.com – will be on-site from the PGA Show floor, Wednesday-Friday, Jan. 27-29, from 7-9 a.m. ET and will feature show host Matt Adams, along with a guest lineup of several industry leaders. On Tuesday, Jan. 26, Fairways of Life also will showcase a special three-hour show from 7-10 a.m. ET from Golf Channel Headquarters to help kickoff coverage of Merchandise Show week, with a look ahead to “Demo Day.” Listeners are able to watch Fairways of Life daily via the show’s dedicated video streaming site: WatchFairwaysofLife.com; Golf Channel’s GolfLiveExtra.com and Golf Live Extra App.
GOLFNOW EXHIBITING AT BOOTH #2173
GolfNow, the industry’s leader in golf-related technology and services, will be exhibiting Wednesday-Friday from Booth #2173. In addition to showcasing advanced technologies that have created the largest tee-time marketplace in golf, GolfNow also will be educating course owners and operators about new services designed to help them run their businesses more efficiently and successfully. GolfNow Solutions experts will be on hand at GolfNow’s 2,400-square-foot booth, offering its course partners and other interested parties technology demonstrations, as well as consultation on any of the GolfNow Services: GolfNow Plus, a top-line focused consultative performance system for golf courses, including marketing, sales and automated pricing; GolfNow Answers, a call center for golf courses, answering customer calls day and night; and GolfNow Ride, a no-cost purchasing program that can save courses up to 20 percent on items they use day-to-day, such as food, office supplies and agricultural products.
DIGITAL & STREAMING
Golf Channel’s PGA Merchandise Show coverage will be available to stream via Golf Live Extra, and comprehensive online editorial and video coverage also will be available on GolfChannel.com. Golf Channel’s social media platforms will keep viewers engaged in the conversation about what’s generating buzz at the #PGASHOW throughout the week via the network’s social media channels – @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Twitter, @GolfChannel and @GCMorningDrive on Instagram and GolfChannel and GCMorningDrive on Facebook.
Golf Channel’s expansive coverage of the PGA Merchandise Show will utilize several on-air talent from the network’s News division, beginning with Charlie Rymer and Lauren Thompson offering coverage of Demo Day on Tuesday. In addition to Rymer and Thompson, Wednesday-Friday coverage from the Convention Center will include Damon Hack, Gary Williams, Cara Robinson, John Cook, Matt Ginella, George Savaricas, Angela Akins, Bailey Mosier and Matt Adams.
PGA Merchandise Show Week Programming Schedule: Jan. 26-29 (All Times Eastern)
Tuesday Morning Drive 7-10:30 a.m. (Live) / 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (Replay)
Fairways of Life 7-10 a.m. (Live)
Golf Central 6-6:30 p.m. (Live) / 11-11:30 p.m. (Replay)
Wednesday Fairways of Life 7-9 a.m. (Live)
Morning Drive 8:30 a.m.-Noon (Live) / Noon-3:30 p.m. (Replay)
Golf Central 6-7 p.m. (Live)
School of Golf 7 p.m.
Thursday Fairways of Life 7-9 a.m. (Live)
Morning Drive 8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)
Friday Fairways of Life 7-9 a.m. (Live)
Morning Drive 8:30-11:30 a.m. (Live)
Monday (Feb. 1) The Golf Fix 7 p.m.
SOURCE: NBC SPORTS