Here’s one for the record books that’s pretty hard to believe — February 15–17 the city of Detroit will host its FIRST-EVER golf show at Cobo Center, aptly named the ‘Motor City Golf and Travel Show.’ Hope everyone reading this post gets out and talks up this mid-winter show in a newly renovated Cobo Center. It should be a fun way to enjoy the snow while staying indoors.
I’ve lived and worked in and around Detroit for close to 40 years and I can’t recall the city ever hosting a golf show. So this is good news for the city and the metro area and is another sign the city continues its comeback as the show’s promoters hope to grow golf in Detroit. And just to make sure I wasn’t making up the claim I contacted officials at both the Michigan PGA and the Golf Association of Michigan (founded in 1919 with current membership of 60,000 strong). I even contacted the Detroit Convention & Visitors Bureau for its help.
None of these authoritative sources for professional and amateur golf in Michigan as well as tourism in Detroit can recall the last time a golf show was hosted in the city … or if there ever was a Detroit golf show Downtown. There have been other golf shows in the area but they’ve kept to the burbs.
A golf show in Downtown Detroit is way overdue especially since Michigan has the most public courses per capita of the top ten best golf states in the country (ranked by Golf Digest Magazine). And Michigan lays claim to having more 5-star courses than any other state ranked by the magazine and has the most 4-star courses on its list, as well as the largest population. Another reason is because public golf in Detroit is alive and well. It’s great to see one of Michigan’s own energetic young entrepreneurs is stepping up to filling a void in Detroit – the very same town where Arnold Palmer, one of golf’s greatest players, won his first US Golf Association title.
The show’s promoter is Michigan native and PGA professional Corey Byron. He’s a MSU grad and has been involved in the golfing world for close to 20 years both running an online golf business and also as a golf professional at one of the area’s premier country clubs. From Corey’s perspective now is the time to bring a golf show to downtown as the city and the business community work together to attract and retain a young, high tech workforce many of whom are helping repopulate key neighborhoods (all centrally located to Cobo Center).
He’s hoping the show will help bring more people to Detroit who will help in the city’s recovery and help grow the game of golf. In addition, he sees the show as an opportunity to give back and help support Detroiters who were dramatically affected by the nation’s financial meltdown of 08-09. He hopes the show can raise more than $50,000 for local charities in its first year.
So what can you expect when you attend the inaugural Motor City Golf and Travel Show? For starters, the first 500 guests to visit the Patriot Golf Day Shootout Par 3 Challenge receive a free 18 holes of golf on one of Michigan’s premier courses at one of the state’s premier resorts. Everyone attending the three-day show receives a free round of golf to Forest Akers west course for participating in the longest putt contest. By the way, Forest Akers is the home course for MSU’s golf team. Both are pretty good starter reasons to go to the show.
Everything golf-related will be at the show from the latest equipment to state of the art golf simulators and there will be plenty of practice room with more than 30 yards of demo tee area. Complimentary golf instruction is being provided by the Fox Hills Golf Academy. Jordan Young, 2012 Michigan “Teacher of the Year”, will lead his staff of professionals in providing swing and ball flight evaluations and putting reviews.
There will also be an extensive number of equipment exhibits and displays, instructional presentations by golfing experts and regular demonstrations throughout the show, golf travel and vacation packages offered for all level of golfer and several really fun golf challenge contests that include a longest drive, a Big Break chipping event and closest to the pin.
Daily prizes will be awarded for each contest winner. A free lease of a new 2013 car will also be awarded to the grand prize winner of the longest putt contest on the 60-foot Big Moss Green … what better grand prize in the Motor City then a new car.
Detroit Charities to Benefit
Most importantly, several local Detroit charities will be beneficiaries of the show’s attendance — Gleaners Food Bank, Boys and Girls Club and the Lion’s Steven Tullouch Foundation for Children. With the purchase of each ticket a minimum of 20 percent will be provided to these critically important local charities. So the more of your friends, golf buddies and neighbors you can bring to the show the more needy Detroiters will benefit.
Show Times and Highlights: The three day event will educate and entertain with countless free events, fun-filled prizes and engaging activities for golfers of all ages and skill levels.
Show hours are:
Friday 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Saturday 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Folds of Honor and Patriot Day Golf Par 3 Contest
The Par 3 Contest is a unique opportunity to try your hand at a Par 3 in the dead of winter. Designed as a replica of Hole 2 on the Treetops Resort Signature course, which celebrates its 20th season in 2013, this par 3 will be sure to challenge even the best golfers and compete for prizes donated by the Folds of Honor Foundation and a chance to win $25,000.
Longest Drive Competition
Men, women and seniors can participate in their respective category’s longest drive contest on famous golf courses to win prizes each day. For the shorter hitter they will have the opportunity to guess their distance (within 5 yards) to have the chance to win additional prizes.
Big Break Contest
Following in the footsteps of the Golf Channel TV show contestants will have to beat the scores of two prior contestants (who are local celebrity golfers).
Closest to the Pin Contest
On the Tru Golf Simulator contestants try to win a new set of irons for making a hole in one.
Test your putting skills on the Big Moss Green. Each participant who makes the 60-foot putt in the preliminary round will have the opportunity to be selected to come back on Sunday and try again to sink another 60-foot putt for the show’s Grand Prize … a multi-year lease courtesy of the Dick Scott Automotive Group.
Atwater Brewery’s 19th Hole
Check out some of the finest hometown microbrew beers available throughout the metro Detroit area at Atwater Brewery. So stop by the 19th hole where you can take a break, relax during the show and enjoy some great refreshments provided by one of the Detroit’s premier Breweries. After you’ve tried one of Atwater’s finest brews just remember not to drink before you drive … the long drive competition that is … if you want to give yourself a fair chance to win.