For most Americans, that April tournament in Augusta signals the beginning of the golf season. But here in the Rocky Mountain region, the golf season annually kicks off in February with the Denver Golf Expo.
The largest show of its kind in the state with more than 120 vendors, it’s no wonder more than 12,000 golfers annually have a regular tee time at The Denver Mart the weekend after the Super Bowl. (This year’s Expo runs February 8-10.)
“We like to think of it as the ‘Your Key to the Game,’” says Mark Cramer, who has co-owned the Expo with his wife, Lynn, for the past 19 years. “If we give avid and occasional golfers a great golf experience, get a new club in their hands, give them a swing lesson, or get them thinking about golf in a new way, it will get them on the course as soon as they get the chance and perhaps play more.”
After a winter of not playing, the Denver Golf Expo reignites your passion for the game with unreal deals on new equipment, rounds, lessons, clothing, fitness programs and more.
Beyond bargains, Colorado’s most comprehensive golf show is also its most authoritative, due to the strong support of the Colorado Golf Association, the Colorado PGA Section and the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado. As proof of the event’s importance to the golf community over the past quarter-century, the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame is this year honoring the Cramers with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
As always, the Denver Golf Expo will reward you with chances to receive some sweet swag and compete for prizes. The Expo also stages hourly giveaways, and numerous booths ply you with free products and discounted rounds of golf.
Two of the Denver Golf Expo’s most popular contests are Closest to the Pin and the Long Putt Challenge.
Sponsored by Stan Sayers Golf, the Closest to the Pin contest utilizes a Trackman to gauge your shot’s proximity on a simulated par 3. The closest to the pin all three days will qualify for a Sunday afternoon playoff. The winner then receives a stay-and-play golf package at Kaanapali Royal in Maui.
The Long Putt Challenge give you two balls—one of which is a “money ball”—to putt from a distance of more than 60 feet. Hole the non-money ball and you’ll get a round of golf at Tubac Golf Resort & Spa in Arizona, while sinking the “money ball” earns you a spot in the Sunday Putt-Off and a shot at the grand prize of a Tubac stay-and-play vacation.
More than Just Freebies
Bargains and contests abound, but so do opportunities to try the latest drivers, irons, wedges and putters at the Lenny’s Golf Club Demo area and tap into the game-improvement expertise of PGA and LPGA Professionals during seminars on the Main Stage.
This year, you’ll also want to learn all about the major changes to the USGA Rules of Golf that have gone into effect in 2019. The Colorado Golf Association has updated its popular laminated card with the most common Rules questions. You can also sign up for one of the in-depth Rules discussions the CGA will conduct during the Expo.
“We’re also going to be unveiling our new logo,” shares CGA Executive Director Ed Mate, “as well as introducing players to the new interface for entering their scores at the golf course and on their apps. Starting in 2020, handicaps will be updated instantly, rather than through the revision system.”
The CGA will also promote the benefits of membership, which go well beyond obtaining an official USGA handicap and include Dream Golf Raffles, discounts to sporting events and other perks.
If you have a young golfer in the family, head to the Junior Golf Experience, the interactive golf concourse of the Junior Golf Alliance of Colorado. Ask about the JGAC Youth on Golf program, which lets kids between ages 6 and 17 play golf for $5 at more than 30 courses, and the life-changing benefits of the Solich Caddie and Leadership Academy.
And if you’re looking to improve your game—and if you aren’t, you’re delusional—sign up for a free 15-minute lesson, courtesy of the talented professionals at the Colorado PGA Section.
“I never miss the Denver Golf Expo,” says longtime attendee Kurt Samuels of Denver. “The people, the pros, the clubs, the courses, the seminars—the deals! The whole environment immerses you in golf. It always inspires me and my wife to shake off the winter rust and get out and play.”