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.
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!