The Kings of Clubs

Like most vendors at this year’s Colorado Golf Expo, Nick Nosewicz can’t wait for the event’s debut at the Colorado Convention Center. “To me it’s not as much of an ‘expo’ as it is a ‘festival,’” the general manager of Lenny’s Golf Shop says. “It’s a celebration of golf. Whether they shoot 65 or 105, everybody is speaking the same language.”

For the last 11 years, Lenny’s has celebrated by occupying the most real estate on the floorplan—something that will continue this year. Its 23,000-square-foot space—significantly more than it had at the Denver Mart and more than five times the size of its store at 2601 S. Parker Road in Aurora—will include a retail area and a Club Demo area, where you can hit offerings from 10 major manufacturers, including Callaway, Ping and Titleist, that will have debuted only within the last month.

“I always look at it from a consumer’s standpoint,” Nosewicz explains. “If I go the Renaissance Festival, I want to throw axes. If I go to a golf festival, I want to hit the newest clubs.”

You can chat with company representatives about their clubs and buy them from Lenny’s at a discount. You’ll then pick them up at the store, where one of seven master fitters meticulously fits them for free using state-of-the-art launch monitors and other technologies. “If you only sell clubs, you’re only doing half the job,” says Nosewicz, an accomplished mid-amateur who ascribes some of his success (including the 2015 CGA Match Play title and 2017 CGA Parent-Child Championship with his father and company founder, Lenny Nosewicz) “to the fact that my clubs—from putter to driver—fit me.”

What doesn’t fit in the store are the shirts, shoes, bags and other high-margin soft goods that bigger retailers and online services have the room to stock. Nosewicz admits to “hoarding” as much inventory as he can to sell at the Expo. “We’ll even have pushcarts, electric carts, stuff we don’t ordinarily sell, but stuff that I, as a golfer, would want,” he says.

He’s also filling the added space with a chipping contest on a replica of the 17th at TPC Sawgrass made by SYNLawn (“Nick Perea, the president, built the putting green in my basement”) and an area for attendees to check out Blue Tees, “a nice, price-conscious rangefinder.”

Buoyed my memories of attendees of the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Show boarding the light rail laden with new planks and parkas, Nosewicz is motivated to move merchandise at the Convention Center, especially because Lenny’s will begin a complete store remodel right after the Expo. “I’m bringing every single thing from shop,” he says. “I don’t want it to come back.”

Whether you shoot 65 or 105, everybody speaks the same language. We talk golf. We help people play better golf.

SOUTH SUBURBAN’s SPIN CYCLE

“I’m excited it’s moving downtown,” Bill Ramsey says of the Colorado Golf Expo.

The PGA Director of Golf of the four-course South Suburban Parks and Recreation District, Ramsey has participated in every one of the 20 golf expos Mark and Lynn Cramer (both members at SSPRD’s Lone Tree Golf Course) staged at the Denver Mart.

He’s also had one of its busiest booths, and he thinks it could be even busier at the new location. “The Convention Center is closer to the south side of town, where our facilities are located,” he reasons. “We’re hoping to attract more people from our area—especially with an upgrade in the quality of the venue.”

But, Ramsey jokes, “I’m not going to reinvent the wheel,” an allusion to the prize wheel that’s been the main attraction of his booth. Visitors spin it for a chance at a free round, cart pass, range balls or 2-for-1 deals. The lines can grow long but they’re always lively, “and the booths near us benefit as well.”

Those queues allow Ramsey and his staff time to familiarize golfers with SSPD’s offerings, as well as get feedback from regulars who “tell us what we’re doing right and what we need to improve,” he says.

And, Ramsey notes, the SSPRD is constantly improving its facilities.

  • Littleton Golf & Tennis Club, an impeccably conditioned par-63 course that’s executive in name only, will be building a new clubhouse this season. “During that time, we’ll be working from a temporary facility with limited food and beverage,” Ramsey says. “But we’ll take care of our golfers with some outdoor barbecues and things like that.”
  • Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel, with its superb 7,054-yard Arnold Palmer-designed championship course and ample practice facility, recently brought the interior of its 45,000-square-foot clubhouse out of the 1980s with a complete remodel. Highlights include a dazzling new-look golf shop, banquet facility and grill that spills onto an elevated patio with glorious mountain views.
  • South Suburban Golf Course’s newly designed 18th hole is one of the best in the state with water and an abundance of sand, and its new short-game practice area lets you work on all types of chips, putts and bunker shots. The facility boasts a Dick Phelps-designed layout with fiddly greens and a popular 9-hole par-3 course.
  • Family Sports Center Golf complements its 9-hole, par-31 course with a superb practice area and golf lessons from its PGA professionals and those from Golftec. You can practice year-round in individually infrared-heated bays on the double-deck driving range.

Ramsey adds that the early-season discounts of SSPRD’s Fore Golf Program are baked into the Expo ticket price to incentivize people to come out at least once a week to practice or play.

“The more people go out, the better they get,” he says, “and the better they get the more they like the game.”

 

Visit ssprd.org for more information.

Getting There

Known for the big blue bear statue in front of it, the Colorado Convention Center, is located at 700 14th St.—between Stout and California streets in Denver’s Theatre District. It is accessible by RTD Light Rail and car.

 

RTD Light Rail 

Avoid parking altogether! Denver’s light rails D, F and H lines all stop at the Colorado Convention Center, although the F line remained suspended (as of Jan. 14) due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visit www.rtd-denver.com/app/plan to chart the easiest way to get to the Expo. Make sure to wear a mask on all RTD transportation!

 

BY CAR

Unlike Denver Mart, the Colorado Convention Center does not offer free parking, but does have a parking garage located at 1104 Champa Street. Up to eight hours costs $12. The garage features 665 spaces. The Expo averages roughly 3,000 attendees daily. Do the math.

There are other lots in the area, and street parking is available but limited to two hours.

Directions to 700 14th Street

From points north:

  • I-25 S to Exit 212 B (Speer Blvd. South)
  • Follow Speer Blvd to Stout St.
  • Turn left on Stout St.
  • Turn right on 14th
  • Destination on right.

From points south:

  • Follow I-25 N to exit 210A (Colfax Ave.)
  • Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Downtown/Civic Ctr and merge onto Colfax Ave.
  • Use left 2 lanes to turn left onto Stout St.
  • Turn right on 14th St
  • Destination on Right.

From points west:

  • Follow I-70 E to exit 261 (US-6 E/6th Avenue)
  • Continue 8 miles on US-6 E to exit for I-25 North
  • Exit onto I-25 N
  • Follow I-25 N to exit 210A (Colfax Ave.)
  • Keep right at the fork, follow signs for Downtown/Civic Ctr and merge onto Colfax Ave.
  • Use left 2 lanes to turn left onto Stout St.
  • Turn right on 14th St
  • Destination on Right.

From points east (via I-76)

  • I-76 West to Exit 5 (I-25 S)
  • I-25 S to Exit 212 B (Speer Blvd. South)
  • Follow Speer Blvd to Stout St.
  • Turn left on Stout St.
  • Turn right on 14th
  • Destination on right.

From points east Via I-70

  • I-70 West to Exit 274 I-25 S
  • I-25 S to Exit 212 B (Speer Blvd. South)
  • Follow Speer Blvd to Stout St.
  • Turn left on Stout St.
  • Turn right on 14th
  • Destination on right.

Buy Your Tickets Now

Every February, the Colorado Golf Expo jumpstarts the golf season in the Rocky Mountain region. That’s why we’ve made it easier than ever to purchase tickets to one of North America’s premier consumer golf shows.

PURCHASE ONLINE
If you can book a tee time online, why not buy your tickets to the Denver Golf Expo the same way? It’s convenient, simple and let’s you skip the lines and get into the show faster. Simply go to Coloradogolfexpo.com and purchase your tickets safely and securely. Print the tickets and bring them to the show or show them on your phone to the ticket taker. You’ll be enjoying the all the golf-themed activities in no time.

WALK-UPS WELCOME!
Prefer buying your tickets at the door? We recommend arriving early to purchase your ticket so you can take advantage of the full day of golf-themed experiences.

WHERE:
The Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado Hall F
700 14th Street, Denver, Colorado 80202

Friday Feb. 25 — 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Feb. 26 — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday Feb. 27 — 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

ADMISSION PER DAY
Adults: $15.00
Seniors: $13.00
Military and Vets (with valid ID): $13.00
Kids 6 to 16: $5.00

Kids 5 and Under: Free

For more information:
ColoradoGolfExpo.com

Your 2022 Golf Season Starts Here

By Joe Grant

After 25 years at Denver Mart, the Denver Golf Expo now has a new name and a new home. The rechristened Colorado Golf Expo will take place February 25-27 at the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) on 14th Street in Downtown Denver.

Although the Mart’s closure last spring forced the move, it gave the Expo’s co-owners Mark and Lynn Cramer the opportunity to make a “fresh start.” And they seized it.

“Taking it to the Colorado Convention Center means it’s a golf expo for the entire state,” Mark Cramer says. “The facility is the premier location for a show in the city—it’s clean, well-maintained, close to hundreds of restaurants, has its own light-rail station, and there’s also parking right there.”

Plus, adds Lynn Cramer, “The convention center follows the highest standards of cleanliness and safety, and must adhere to the City and County of Denver’s most recent health protocols.”

“I’m thrilled it’s at the convention center,” says Colorado Golf Association CEO and Executive Director Ed Mate. “That’s the big leagues. Being at the Colorado Convention Center elevates the profile of the event and all of Colorado golf.”

Mate’s organization will be among the more than 100 vendors in Hall F—a 100,000-square-foot space that’s 15 percent larger than the Denver Mart area. Every exhibitor is looking forward to interacting with the legions of men, women and children who filled Colorado’s tee sheets in record numbers during the pandemic-fueled golf boom of the last two years.

If you’re reading this, you’re one of them.

Why Go?

Come for the giveaways and deals on everything from tee times to head covers. Try new clubs or get a free lesson. Compete in skills challenges. Connect with people from different courses, leagues and associations. Pick up bags of free golf swag and complete a brief survey to register for the Grand Prize Getaway drawing for a golf vacation to Hawaii.

There’s no better way to immerse yourself, your friends and your family in a game you probably haven’t played in months.

And there’s no better time. At the vast Lenny’s Golf Club Demo area, you’ll be one of the first hit clubs that just debuted at the big PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando.

Bargains abound, including those on the absolute latest drivers, irons, wedges and putters from top manufacturers. Clubmaker representatives will be there to discuss their new lines, and Lenny’s offers free fittings for all clubs purchased.

You also can tap the swing knowledge of PGA and LPGA Professionals during seminars on the Main Stage. Looking to take your game on the road? Representatives from dozens of golf destinations near and far will tempt you with info and incentives.

PLAY TO WIN

Got game? The Expo offers four contests to prove it: Closest to the Pin, Long Drive, Chipping Challenge and the Long Putt Challenge.

Sponsored by Denver-based Optimum Golf, the Closest to the Pin contest utilizes a Foresight GC2 Simulator to gauge your shot’s proximity on a simulated par 3. The player who hits it closest to the pin each day qualifies for a Sunday-afternoon playoff, with the winner receiving a stay-and-play package to a destination golf resort.

Utilizing another Foresight GC2, Optimum Golf and Lifetime Windows will co-sponsor the Long Drive Contest, with winners in multiple categories receiving an Ogio Golf Bag.

In the vast Lenny’s Golf Shop space, the Chipping Challenge invites players to chip to a scaled-down version of TPC Sawgrass’s island-green 17th built by SYNLawn specifically for the Expo. Those holing—or coming the closest to holing—their shots each day qualify for a playoff, with the winner receiving a new wedge from Lenny’s.

The Long Putt Challenge, sponsored by TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes, gives you the opportunity to sink two putts longer than 60 feet. Tickets and VIP packages to the Korn Ferry Tour’s TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes await each day’s winners.

Know the Players

Colorado’s most comprehensive golf show enjoys the strong backing of the Colorado PGA Section, Colorado Golf Association and their joint support of junior golf initiatives.

Upon arriving, head directly to the Colorado PGA booth, where you can sign up for free (and thus wildly popular) 10-minute lessons with a talented Colorado PGA professional. While waiting for your “tee time,” find out more about how the PGA Reach Foundation helps to make the game more inclusive, support our military and develop the next generations of golfers.

Swing by the Colorado Golf Association booth to learn about the benefits of being one of the organization’s nearly 70,000 members. Those benefits include an enhanced handicap- and game-tracking GHIN mobile app with available GPS, as well as discounts on rental cars, hotels, golf equipment, golf apparel and the opportunity to play 12 private facilities around the state.

If you have a junior golfer, ask the CGA about the Youth on Course program, which lets kids between ages 6 and 17 play golf for $5 at 30 courses. Or head to the Colorado PGA’s Junior Golf Experience, which is easy to spot with Golfzilla and other giant inflatable targets.

The PGA can fill you in about PGA Junior League golf teams and the Drive, Chip and Putt program that could send your kid to Augusta National.

MAKE THE TURN

No golf event would be complete without a 19th hole, and hundreds of them lie right outside the doors of the Colorado Convention Center. To that end, and in the spirit of the game and the state, the Colorado Golf Expo also will feature the Argonaut Turn Rest Stop, where you can sample and purchase beers from Great Divide Brewing Company, Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and The Infinite Monkey Theorem wines. In addition, Argonaut Liquors will be giving away discount cards for its in-store promotions. Visit  www.ArgonautLiquor.com for more info.

And while you’re there, toast the rebirth of the golf season and the upgraded Colorado Golf Expo!