Denver Golf Expo

Denver Golf Expo 2014 - Entrance
Denver Golf Expo Entrance

It’s time again for The Denver Golf Expo today and tomorrow at the Denver Mart. A friend and I arranged to meet and carpool to the event, arriving a few minutes before the doors opened. We registered for the drawings and signed up for our free copies of Golf Digest, then headed into the venue.

The first stop was the CWGA booth. The Colorado Women’s Golf Association is working to add value to the membership through additional discounts at courses in the Denver area. We signed up for their drawing and continued into the main Expo space.

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Since the event had just opened, we headed over to the PGA booths where pros were giving free 10 minute lessons. Signing up at the Golf Tec booth for an evaluation in about an hour, we walked over to visit with one of the golf courses we’d like to play this year. Wandering through the vendor area, we stopped at several booths and chatted with the representatives, signed up for drawings and collected swag.

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Heading back over to the PGA booths, we both had our 10-minute lessons. The pro, Reggie Sanchez, used video to film the swing and detail the flaws. It makes a difference knowing exactly what the problem is and how to make a correction. Maybe I’ll practice hitting my driver with Reggie’s advice in mind.

I’ve always liked this event. The vendors are very nice and I like chatting with the golf course representatives. Although today I didn’t stay for any sessions, the ones in the past were very informative. There is also lots of equipment for sale and lots of interesting specialty items. Just as the crowds started building, we headed home to pull out the discount golf coupons from our collection.

Do you attend golf shows? Let us know.

Growing the game

During the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando last week, Mark King, the CEO of TaylorMade introduced their idea for speeding up play. The 14-inch cup more than triples the target on the green from the current 4.25 inch cup, and speeds up play on the green. This idea is not a new one. Jack Nicholas talks about increasing the size of the cup in the green to an 8 inch diameter for amateurs and high-handicappers. Both men talk about the increased pace of play and more enjoyment for new and less skilled players.

The slow pace of play seems to be the biggest complaint on the course. So, how does that problem get solved? TaylorMade is hosting a blog site called Hackgolf.org, collecting ideas to make golf more attractive to new players as well as current players. Ideas range from adding leagues for young players and new adult players to creating Big Break-style competitions to attract more interest. Of course, some say that the game is perfect in its current form and folks should learn to play without any additional changes.

Barney Adams, the father of Tee it Forward promotes shortening the game to make it more enjoyable and faster. The point of golf is to be outside and have fun. When it’s work for a player to get to the green, the fun starts to seep away. Adams wonders why amateurs feel the only way to play a course is from the back tees. That rule doesn’t appear in the rulebook. Players should play from tees that allow them to be on the green in regulation without any herculean efforts. The game isn’t any easier, just more enjoyable and oftentimes faster.

This topic is a perennial within the golf community. Over time, perhaps a combination of the Tee it Forward philosophy and some changes in the rules or setup for new players will help reduce the number of players that quit because it’s just not fun anymore.

What do you think would speed up play?

Warm weather golf trips to Nevada and Arizona

It’s the beginning of January, and the snow is falling consistently, and has  been for several hours. Yesterday was 60 degrees, but my request to play was declined due to snow on the greens. So sad.

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Time to dream of getting out of this winter wonderland and enjoying some sunshine. For those close to Nevada or Arizona, there is hope. Remarkable Travel has packages to Laughlin, Nevada. Four players spend three nights at the Colorado Belle (double occupancy) and play four different courses:

  • Boulder Creek
  • Los Lagos
  • Mojave
  • Laughlin Ranch

The package starts at $465 for weekdays and $489 for weekends, and the four players split the mini-van rental. Package includes golf, lodging, and car taxes. Visit Remarkable Travel Group for more information and other packages available.

I’ve never used this travel service, though they have several packages available focused on women’s golf travel. I’m always happy to promote folks that encourage traveling with my husband and girlfriends to play golf!

For those who prefer Arizona, Golfzoo.com has a special in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. Four players stay at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center and play

    • Golf Club at Eagle Mountain
    • The Raven Phoenix
    • A.S.U. Karsten
    • Longbow Golf Club

The package includes lodging and golf with a cart. The prices start at $219 per player per day. Contact Chris Parcell (888.867.6911) or Lori Greene (888.867.6921) in our Phoenix/Scottsdale office for details, and a customized itinerary.

Stay warm!

 

 

 

Las Vegas golf specials after the holidays

It’s been quite a few months for us here. With golf season pretty much over in the Rocky Mountain West, I spent some time traveling and working at my day job. I spent 2 1/2 weeks in Spain, visiting La Alberca, Madrid, Sevilla, Cadiz, and Barcelona. Unfortunately, it was too cold to golf in any of those places, except Cadiz. But, no golf in Spain this time around.

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M and I did play on Friday afternoon here in the Denver area. The temps were in the 50s and the sun was shining. We played a quick 9 holes at our favorite executive course. There were very few folks on the course. The course was quite dry and the tee boxes were beat up. I’m sure once we get closer to Spring the super over there will work on the grass. Shot par on two holes, but I didn’t really keep score anywhere else. Just a friendly game.

Doing some research on golf trips for the winter. The Siena and Arroyo Golf Clubs in Las Vegas, Nevada are running stay-and-play packages for the winter. Stay at the Red Rock Hotel, Spa, and Casino for one night with one round of golf starting at $119 per person. Stay at the Suncoast Hotel and Casino for one night with one round of golf starting at $85 per night. It’s best to call the resorts and confirm the dates, times, and maintenance schedules for the golf course.

M and I are planning a golf outing to warmer climes, probably in March. Keep you posted.

 

 

End of the official golf season here in Colorado

Here on the Front Range in Colorado, we’ve had our first snow. For many here, that marks the end of golf season. That’s very fortunate for those of us here in the Rocky Mountain West that don’t mind golfing when the weather is a bit cooler. In fact, M and I played a small executive course here in Denver on Sunday afternoon. The sun was shining and the temps were in the 70’s.

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The golf league finished on September 29. I took 3rd with a 43. The winner shot a 40 on the par 31 course. She’s won in the past – in fact I tied with her last year for first. I had a rocky summer, with my swing being a a bit challenged. I think it’s mostly straightened out after taking a series of lessons with a coach. I’m still struggling with my driver. If I’m still struggling next Spring, I may take the driver in and have it cut down a bit.

As the weather cools, we need to pay attention to equipment. I like to clean my clubs and clean out my bag. Here on the Front Range, the mice move into garages during the winter. I have a bad habit of leaving Gorp in my bag. Since Gorp is made up of peanuts, raisins, cashews, and chocolate pieces, mice love it. I’ve had one bag ruined after mice chewed it up trying to get into it for food and shelter. So, clean up your equipment and clean out the food in your bag. You’ll not want to eat it next year anyway!

What do you do to get ready for winter golf? Let us know in the comments.

 

Flooding in Colorado

It looks like our week of rain is done. Hopefully, our monsoon is over! The course was very wet during our round on Saturday morning. The greens were so wet you could see the water coming off the ball as it rolled. It was very difficult to judge the speed of the ball.

I know of several courses that had challenges with the weather over the week, including Fossil Trace which shut down a few times due to standing water. I think it’s safe to say that the Estes Park courses are closed or in recover. The river actually runs through the Par 3 there. I haven’t seen any recent pictures of the course, but would guess it was under water at some point.

For anyone that has an interest in donating money to help the victims of the flooding, go to HelpColoradoNow.com.

August 15 at the Solheim Cup

The weather has been great here this week! No rain, or even the threat of rain. It’s been hot and sunny. Hope all the flatlanders that have joined us here in Parker have used their sunscreen! I saw some pretty red faces yesterday morning at the course.

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The ladies set off on their practice rounds about 9:30 yesterday. The galleries followed like a brightly colored waterfall. I hung out on the ropes between the 3rd and 4th holes, getting autographs and taking some photos of the players. Michelle Wie and Brittney Lang were wearing red, white, and blue leggings. Not a bad look, but definitely one that looked odd from far away.

Hole #3 at the Colorado Golf Club has an interesting approach – like most of the holes on this course. The green is guarded by an arroyo across the front and around to the right. The green slopes into the arroyo, so if the ball doesn’t get to the middle of the green, it definitely will roll back into the weeds. Each lady took a couple of shots to get this one right!

The crowds were respectful. The players were generous with signing anything put in front of them. Since it’s not likely you’ll get much of a chance to get anything signed in the next few days, folks were really trying to get all the players signatures on the tee flags, visors, and hats.

I left around 11:30 and returned for the opening ceremonies in the evening. We got there an hour before the ceremony was set to start and the venue looked full already. What a great crowd! Patti Sheehan was dancing around and signing at the back of the seating area. It was quite a party through the event, with raucous cheers when the players were introduced. Meg Mallon and Liselotte Neumann gave great speeches that revved up the crowds.

We slipped out before the other thousands and managed to get back to the parking lot before the throngs arrived. We even talked about going to Germany for the next Solheim Cup. We’ll have to see about that.

I have tickets for tomorrow. Watching the teams today, Europe is up so far. Yikes! Go USA!