What a joy to be surrounded by the game and players at the CT Golf Show in Hartford
When the weather’s not conducive for golf—at least for the majority of players—the alternative is to engulf yourself in a golf-rich environment. That’s what my foray today to the Connecticut Golf Show in Hartford was all about, and it was mission accomplished.
The show, which started Friday and concludes Sunday (doors open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. at the Connecticut Convention Center) was an energetic walk through a variety of golf-related businesses, exhibits and speakers.
The best values I found: the quick, complimentary lesson I got from Glastonbury Hills Country Club assistant pro Michael Johnson at the Connecticut PGA Section booth (he needed me to work on my weight balance at address). Professional help at a cheap “price” is hard to beat.
Also to like was the Connecticut Golf PlayBook 2018 from the Connecticut State Golf Association. The book features dozens of discounts on courses around the state and can be bought now at the 40 percent off price of $29.95.
In talking with CSGA communications director Bob Carney, he emphasized the book promotes exploration of courses around the state, and since private as well as public courses are featured, you can get to some courses you’ve been wanting to try out. And Carney points out purchase of the book benefits the CSGA and its mission. It’s best to buy the book now to make use of as many as deals as possible.
Highly intriguing to me: The New England Turf Store out of Canton, Mass., and its artificial putting greens that can be constructed. It’s tempting to want to take down my above-ground pool and install one of these!
Another major presence was GOLFTEC and its renowned instructional approach.
After a walk-through the entire hall, the exhibitors could be broken down into groups:
The state golf leaders: CSGA, Connecticut PGA Section, First Tee of Connecticut, The Travelers Championship, and the Connecticut Amateur Golf Tour. There was also the American Singles Golf Association.
Regional clubs promoting their facility: Blackledge C.C., Blue Fox Run, Crestview and Elmcrest country clubs in western Massachusetts, Crumpin-Fox Club, Farmington Woods, Fox Hopyard, Gillette Ridge, Glastonbury Hills C.C., Portland Golf Course, Tallwood C.C., Wallingford C.C., Windham C.C. in New York.
Resort destinations: Cranwell Spa & Resort, Dominican Republic Tourism Board, Green Mountain National, Greene County in the Catskills, International Golf Tours/britanniagolf.com, Kaanapali golf courses, Lake Morey Resort, the Maine Golf Trail, the Maine Golf Trifecta (including Poland Springs), Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, Md., Ocean Edge (Cape Cod), Pocono Manor, Pa., Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort, Pa., Stowe Mountain Resort, Stratton Mountain, Sugarloaf in Maine, Treetops Resort/Northern Michigan, Turning Stone Resort (five courses in Verona, N.Y.), Villa Roma Resort in the Catskills, Williamsburg, Va., Woodloch Springs, Pa. Many of these booths are offering sweepstakes to enter for free stays. Plus, there was a “Florida golf vacation” sweepstakes.
Spirits and…: Hartford Flavor Company, Litchfield Distillery, Skyy Vodka and Gina Cigar.
And to illustrate how show organizers hope variety is the spice of a show, there are chiropractic services, bracelets, financial advisors, insurance, banks, home and kitchen remodeling companies, shaving company, skin-care company, eyewear/sunglass companies, a children’s medical center, window replacement, gutter protection, cutlery, jerky, boat club, hot/cold packs…it was like one-stop shopping in a golf tent. The Crowley Auto Group had a huge presence; the most interesting was their display of custom vans for “golf on the go.”
Also peddling its discount coupon book was New England Golf Guide, and New England Golfing Magazine was there, too. Incredible equipment values were available at Chris Cote’s Golf Shop, Mike’s Golf Outlet, and Dr. Mulligan’s golf balls. You could easily outfit yourself from clubs to apparel.
But back to the pent-up golfer: Perhaps best of all, there are a few opportunities to take out winter frustration with putting, chipping, long-drive and full-swing contests. Additional swings were available at the Callaway, Cobra, Ping, Taylor Made, Titleist and Wilson club-demo areas.
Go to ctgolfshow.com for more details and admission prices.