2014 Minnesota Golf Show
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/18/14
Last Friday was Valentine's Day, so naturally, your humble correspondent did the most logical thing he could do: Attend the annual Minnesota Golf Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

(I really need a girlfriend...)

Despite some cruddy weather, at least 8,958 people attended this show, which is appropriate since Minnesota and many of the surrounding states are full of golf-crazy people who are under snow for five months out of the year. To nobody's surprise, several of the major club manufacturers showed the flag, with all sorts of demo clubs available — and conveniently located near the practice cages, as well.

At least two dozen resorts, courses, travel agencies, and golf trail consortia had booths at the show, including SentryWorld (below right), who unveiled the layout of their redesigned course, scheduled to re-open later this year.

Interestingly, two institutions of higher learning had booths at the show. Since 2004, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has offered a Golf Management Program, one of only a few in the United States accredited by the PGA of America. Graduates can earn a bachelor's degree and membership in the PGA of America, with expertise in areas like teaching, coaching, club-fitting, marketing, management, and hosting tournaments and events. They also earn a minor in business administration, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Now, Minnesota State Community & Technical College is joining the fray; M State just began offering a two-year Golf Management program at their Fergus Falls campus. And while they are apparently not yet working with the PGA's Minnesota Section, chances are good that this will happen in the future.

Speaking of the Minnesota Section of the PGA, they were out in force, in particular making themselves available to kids who attended the show. New this year, they brought in a simulator for a closest-to-the-pin contest. These teaching professionals also offered free ten-minute lessons, which are always popular with show attendees. (This writer was unable to partake due to a slight back injury.)

As usual, the Minnesota Golf Association was also there and gained plenty of new and renewing members, of which this writer is one.

The MGA's Member Services Director, Stacy Sazama and Regional Affairs Director, Joel Comstock
were just two of the many staff members available for questions.

Several golf retailers were there to sell new and clearance equipment and clothing, including 2nd Swing and GolfUSA.

(Slobber, slobber, slobber...)

One of the annual traditions at these shows is a "closest to the hole" putting contest. Amazingly, after I snapped the photo below, the contestant actually sank his putt.

Thankfully, two chiropractors had booths at the show, so I was able to have one of them work on my aching upper-left back. But on the bright side, I may have found a golf instructor for my son, close to where he lives.

It has been a lot of work putting all of this together, but oobers, you know it's true... everything I do, I do it for you.   (Hey... sounds catchy. That could even be in a song.)

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All photographs by Torleif Sorenson

[ comments ]
falcon50driver says:
We really appreciate all you do Tor, thanks for taking one for the team.
mjaber says:
Is Fergus Falls anywhere near International Falls?
Torleif Sorenson says:
mjaber: Not really. International Falls is on the Canadian border, a 4.5-hour drive northeast of Fergus, which is in lake country east of Fargo ND. Between Fergus and Detroit Lakes, there are a bunch of popular golf courses in the region, so M State beginning that golf management program is smart for that reason, as well.
legitimatebeef says:
What, no promotional hotties?
Torleif Sorenson says:
I'm sorry Beef, but none of them were at this show. I guess Minnesota's annual golf confab just isn't the same as the big PGA show in Orlando. You'll have to scold Mustang for not supplying those kinds of pix.
mjaber says:
@Tor... I'm familiar with the location of International Falls. It was the start of my Minnesota tour back in 2004. Started in International Falls, ended in Blooming Prairie. Stayed at the Grand Ely Lodge for a couple nights. Spent a weekend at Ruttger's Bay Lake & Resort. Even did the iron mine tour near Ely.
[ post comment ]
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