Warm up West Michigan; annual Golf Show coming this weekend

Pardon me for not presenting original copy today, but this one is for all you golfers out there.

Local meteorologists are forecasting perfect weather inside DeVos Place for the West Michigan Golf Show. For 28 consecutive years the show has never missed a tee time for winter-weary golfers needing a touch of spring — even if it’s indoors. With that as an intro, here’s a helpful FAQ (frequently asked questions) guide for new and returning patrons headed for the show on Feb. 12-14 at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids

  • For people never attending the show, what can they expect?
  • With hundreds of exhibits and dozens of interactive areas, the show covers every aspect of the game—from equipment and clothing to resorts and golf courses to seminars and skill contests. As one attendee said last year, “The Show gets me excited about golf—where to play, what to buy and how to lower my score.” And for those thinking about getting into the game, this is a great place to start.
  • What about the seminars? Do they cost extra?
  • All seminars and golf lessons are free with the price of admission. Golf Channel’s Michael Breed, host of the popular weekly TV series The Golf Fix, will conduct free seminars on Friday and Saturday at the Applied Imaging Stage. His energetic, entertaining sessions are aimed at anyone who wants to play better and have more fun. Other presenters include Jason Guss, Michigan’s 2013 PGA Teacher of the Year, and Joe Charles, Treetops’ Director of Instruction.
  • What are some of the fun elements of the Show?
  • There are putting and long drive contests, closest to the pin events using a golf simulator, free golf tips provided by PGA pros, a new club testing area, and the ever-popular Par-3 Challenge. Of course, to many bargain hunters, you can’t beat the show for its retail offerings of new equipment, apparel, shoes, gloves and accessories. Maple Hill Golf, a Show staple for 27 years, will have over $1 million dollars of inventory.
  • Explain the Par-3 Challenge.
  • Expertly constructed by Everett’s Landscape and sponsored by Treetops Resort, an actual par-3 golf hole is a major attraction of the Show. For a modest fee, patrons hit shots—raising money for the Patriot Golf Day & Folds of Honor charities providing assistance for military families—and compete for prizes including a chance to win $25,000 on Sunday. Balls and clubs are provided as well as lots of support from spectators and friends alike.
  • What’s new at the show?
  • Besides a sensational headliner in Michael Breed, one of the best known teachers in America, there’s 14 new exhibitors including golf courses, amateur and junior golf tours, and the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame. Also, the new Ferris State PGA Golf Management Club Testing Area where patrons can test such leading equipment brands as Adams, Cleveland, Cobra, PING, TaylorMade, Titleist, Tour Edge and U.S. Kids Golf.
  • Are there door prizes and raffles?
  • Multiple door prizes—equipment, accessories and free golf rounds—are awarded every hour of the Show. Many exhibitors also conduct added drawings at their booth—so bring personalized mailing labels. At the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame booth (#1214), its limited edition $20 raffle ticket buys a chance at “Bucket List” rounds at exclusive Crystal Downs CC, Oakland Hills CC, and Forest Dunes GC—all world-class courses.
  • Any incentives for showing up early?
  • The first 200 people entering the Show each day will receive a 2-pack of Bridgestone e6 golf balls. The Show opens on Friday at 2 pm, well ahead of the busy afternoon drive. Friday is also Ladies Day at the Show with special gift bags for the first 500 women. On Saturday morning starting at 9 am in the Grand Gallery, there’s a pancake breakfast to benefit The First Tee of West Michigan at $6 for adults/$4 for kids.
  • How much does it cost and where can I purchase tickets?
  • $10 for adults; $4 for children ages 6-14; children 5 & under free. Tickets at the door at DeVos Place or in advance online at www.westmichigangolfshow.com


See you there, OK?


More on the W. Mich. Golf Show

For Day 2, I’m still being lazy. This came directly from the publicist via my e-mail, but it has all the necessary info:

The 27th West Michigan Golf Show on Feb. 13-15 in downtown Grand Rapids is an opportunity for area golfers to get in the spirit of the game without an embarrassing four-putt. Void of ice and snow and inside the spacious and warm confines of DeVos Place, winter-weary patrons will walk the Show’s aisles and receive a vicarious spring-like boost from all of the exhibitors, events and seminars. Here are some of the highlights about this largest winter gathering of golfers in West Michigan:
• Widely acclaimed for its headliners, the Golf Show welcomes the Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, the current National PGA Teacher of the Year, and Brian Manzella, a Golf Digest Top 50 Teacher. Both will provide free seminars.
• Ladies’ Night is Friday and offers special events, seminars and giveaways just for women. The first 500 women on Friday receive a goodie bag.
• The most popular attraction of the Show remains the Treetops Par-3 Challenge where patrons will compete for prizes at a fully landscaped par-3 and with a chance to win $25,000 while raising funds for Patriot Golf Day.
• “Try before you buy” at the demo club area where many top club manufacturers will have the latest equipment for patrons to hit inside the huge hitting net.
• Stop at the Bridgestone Golf Ball-Fitting Challenge booth and find out the best ball for your swing speed and game. The Science Eye Launch Monitor allows Bridgestone to enhance your performance in a free fitting session.
• Check out the new “Mizuno Iron Shaft DNA” fitting booth where patrons will quickly discover the best shaft and shaft flex for their swing. Only taking 5-10 minutes, the fitting process results in five key metrics about each participant’s “shaft DNA.”
The top golf courses and resorts in Michigan as well as destination courses in Indiana, Kentucky and Florida will offer pre-season values and tee times.
Got Kids? Get ‘em excited about golf in the PGA Family Fun Zone where they can take a swing at Golfzilla, and clinics from The First Tee, or play a round of Putt-Putt golf! Plus great info on PGA Jr. League Golf and the Drive, Chip, & Putt Championship.
Thanks to the Michigan P.G.A. and Boyne Resorts, golf pros are giving free lessons all weekend, providing patrons with golf tips to start the season right.
Sponsored by Gun Lake Casino, the $10,000 Longest Putt Challenge will also raise funds for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
West Michigan is also known for quality & affordable golf and 26 local courses have booths.
Benefitting First Tee of West Michigan, there’s a Saturday morning pancake breakfast (for only $5) starting at 9 AM in the Grand Gallery at DeVos Place.
Sunday is “Junior Golf Day” with the first 100 kids receiving a free golf glove and a voucher for a free bucket of range balls— every day of the year!—from Maple Hill.
Produced by ShowSpan Inc. and sponsored by Treetops Resort, Gun Lake Casino, Golf Association of Michigan, Boyne Resorts and the Michigan PGA. West Michigan Golf Show’s hours are 2:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. For more information, visit http://www.westmichigangolfshow.com