Lexi Thompson at Demo Day

Orlando Students Shine At Demo Day

For the past 10 years members of the PGA, industry leaders, and golf retailers have gathered at Orange County National every January to kick off the PGA Merchandise Show by testing out the latest technological advances that leading manufacturers have to offer. In January over 100 golf equipment, accessory, training aid, and performance wear companies assemble to offer their absolute best to PGA professionals for real-world testing.

Presented by PGA Magazine, United Rentals, Yamaha and True Temper, Outdoor Demo Day has flashy allure with famous players, golf giveaways, and swag-a-plenty, but at its roots, it is about cold, hard facts; Do the latest products really deliver on everything they claim to be able to do? The event at OCN is a critically important part of the PGA Merchandise Show experience, allowing PGA professionals, retailers and buyers to decide for themselves if a product is worthy of being placed in your hands.

Over 42,000 people attended the PGA Merchandise show and it’s a good bet that at any given time about a thousand of them were at OCN, home of PGCC Orlando, participating in cutting edge clinics and enlightening themselves about the industry’s best practices. Beyond entertainment and education the real life force of the day was enthusiasm. It takes a great deal of coordination to host an event of this magnitude, and with the help of students from PGCC Orlando, the event , which was the largest, and arguably the best ever, went off without a hitch.

Organized by Orlando’s Director of Golf, Roger Masterson, 74 golf college volunteers were support staff to over 8,000 PGA professionals and insiders throughout the day. “It was challenging but fun” notes Masterson, “It was really nice getting to see the students using things they’d learned in school, in action.” Lexi Thompson at Demo Days

The volunteer staff, comprised of students from every grade level, held positions all across the 25 acre, 360 degree driving range. Tee ambassadors, registration attendants, shuttle drivers, setup crew, trash runners, and a couple of personal assistants for Liz Reed, Owner of Reed Exhibitions, the company that organizes Demo Days, had their hands full, but kept the event on point.

“We got feedback from OCN that of many volunteers at the event we did a better job, stepped up and performed above and beyond ” Masterson recalls, “I saw a lot of smiles on student’s faces when they were doing jobs that were less than desirable.” Laughing, “They were just so excited by the fact that they were that close to that many important people in the industry, getting to help them and interact with them.”