2023 PGA ShowCristina Hidalgo, Southern Ohio PGA Works Fellow
Throughout my junior golf career, I had PGA Coaches who would tell me all about their experiences at the PGA Show, and I would always see them leave to attend the Show. Ever since I was little, I wondered what this event would look like in real life. Still, I never imagined I could ever attend and less as part of a Section staff. As a player, I dreamed of participating in this show, as I would always hear about the new product zones and all the opportunities this show could provide you with. It all hit me once I started walking through the floor and seeing all the booths around me. I had made it to the PGA Show.
The PGA show allowed me to meet and interact with people from all around the country. It was awesome to connect in person with other PGA Works Fellows from many Sections and hear about their own experience during their Fellowship. We also attended a variety of panels where we had the opportunity to listen to people from different backgrounds talk about their success inside the golf industry. These panels made me realize how important representation is as it can inspire future generations to achieve a career in golf. To this day, it still amazes me the number of opportunities and jobs you can pursue with golf. Your background or previous experience with the game will not define your success in this amazing industry.
My favorite part about the PGA Show was meeting LPGA golf professional instructor Robyn James on my last day at the Show. Robyn is a Certified LPGA Teaching Professional who works with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. For new players, she helps connect them to the sport with a ball marker that means something to them. “You don’t always know where you’re going in this game, but this will help you remember where you’ve been,” Robyn would tell her clients. She began designing and printing ball markers, but soon she realized that the traditional clips did not support these new ball markers the way they did with the traditional ones. She then came up with the idea of developing a clip with two strong magnets connected by a lightweight silicone strap, but then she realized that fresh silicone did not have a good scent. Robyn then decided to infuse her clips with herbs and essential oils, and this process started as a masking effect until clients realized it kept bugs away!
Robyn’s story is truly inspiring to me as she did not just develop a new product but also found a creative way to keep her clients motivated and connected to the game. Being the founder of a woman- and Black-owned business, Robyn has faced some obstacles throughout her journey, but her passion for the game and helping her clients has made her succeed in this industry. After listening to her speak during the Share Your Story Panel, I knew I had to meet her and introduce myself. I found her booth, and we had a fantastic conversation about her journey and her experience as a teaching professional, inventor, businesswoman, and golfer. I am so grateful I met such a wonderful woman like her. One skill I would take away from this experience is networking, as it allowed me to meet new people and exchange ideas.