In February 2010 there was 17.9% of the possible sunshine according to meteorologist, George Lessens. Echoing the Motown hit song, golfers will have “sunshine on a cloudy day” when the West Michigan Golf Show opens on Feb. 11-13 at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. The 23rd edition of the Show will provide a ready antidote to sunlight deprivation, cabin fever and the winter blahs so prevalent this time of year.
Here are some of the highlights of this annual golf extravaganza:
* Widely acclaimed for its headliners, the Golf Show this year welcomes Todd Anderson, the 2010 PGA of America’s Teacher of the Year. Born in Grand Rapids, Anderson is the Director of Instruction at Sea Island GC in Georgia and has taught such Tour players as Davis Love III, Brandt Snedeker, Brett Quigley, and NBC-TV’s Today show co-anchor Matt Lauer. Also on stage will be LPGA Tour player and GR native Allison Fouch (Friday/Sat) as well as a host of PGA pros including Treetops Resort’s Kevin McKinley, Boyne Resort’s Brian O’Neill, Shanty Creek Resort’s Brian Kautz and The Otsego Club’s Jason Guss, named by Golf Digest as one of the nation’s “Best Young Teachers.”
* Ladies’ Night, sponsored by Shanty Creek Resort which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Arnold Palmer-designed The Legend, is on Friday and offers special events, seminars and giveaways just for women, including the 6th annual Executive Women’s Golf Association Fashion Show. Also on Friday (only) there’s half-price off admission by donating a dozen (new or used) golf balls to junior golf.
* The most popular attraction of the Show is the Treetops Par-3 Challenge where patrons will compete for prizes (Treetops golf) and a chance to win $25,000. Inspired by an actual hole at Treetops which is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Robert Trent Jones’ Masterpiece course, the Challenge will provide a gift to each participant just for teeing it up. The Par-3’s charity is RacingAwareness.com which raises funds for the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
* The ‘hits keep comin’ at the demo club area, where many top club manufacturers will have the latest equipment for patrons to hit, inside the huge hitting net.
* The top golf courses and resorts in Michigan as well as destination courses in Indiana, Kentucky, the Carolinas and Florida will offer pre-season values and teetimes.
* Courtesy of AirTran Airways, Florida Golf and WZZM-TV, there will be a grand prize drawing for a 3-night getaway for four to Don Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club in Miami Lakes, FL—air, golf and rooms!
* Courtesy of the Michigan P.G.A. and Boyne Resorts, golf pros will give free lessons all weekend, providing patrons a pre-season tune-up.
* Presented by Core Golf Schueller, the $10,000 Putt & Long Drive Contests will entice deft putters and big hitters alike. The designated charity is the Positively Warren Golf Classic.
* West Michigan is known for its thrifty, savvy consumers and the Golf Show remains an ideal place to shop for golf balls, gloves, shoes, apparel and golf equipment at attractive prices.
* On a virtual golf course provided by RealGolf and benefiting the Folds of Honor charity, golfers will compete in a closest to the pin contest to win some fabulous prizes from Grand Haven Golf Club.
* Benefiting high school golf teams, there’s a Saturday morning pancake breakfast for $7 (of which $4 is earmarked for the team of your choice) starting at 9 AM in the Grand Gallery at DeVos Place.
* Sunday is “Junior Golf Day” with the first 250 kids receiving hats, and with special seminars, lessons, door prizes, and manufacturers with junior clubs.
* Sunday is also Military Appreciation Day at the Show where military personnel and/or veterans showing ID at Will Call receive FREE admission. Special clinics by Major Ed Pulido, combat veteran and amputee golfer, with Treetops’ Kevin McKinley, PGA Instructor & Chair of the Michigan PGA’s Patriot Golf Day committee, entitled: Challenge, Triumph and Change.
Produced by ShowSpan Inc., the West Michigan Golf Show’s hours are 4:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. Tickets are $9 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-14, and children 5 and under are free. Sponsors currently include Treetops Resort, Golf Association of Michigan, Shanty Creek Resort, Srixon, Boyne Resorts and the Michigan PGA. Tickets are available at the door or at www.westmichigangolfshow.com.
For more information, call 1-800-328-6550 or visit www.westmichigangolfshow.com.