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Takeyourgametothenextlevel! SPRINGSPECIAL Golffor2 withpower cartfor ExpiresMay31/14 Notvalidforgroupbookings over8golfers $ 90 LAC DU BONNET, MB Teetimescanbebooked at204-345-4653ortollfreeat855-593-3306 Book your next tee time at the GRANITE HILLS GOLF CLUB 14 DAY ADVANCE BOOKINGS • GIFT CARDS Registeronlineforthe; MEN'SSENIOROPEN July9/14 LADIES'WELLNESSOPEN July22/14 0 2 • M A N I T O B A G O L F G U I D E 2 0 1 4 It turns out that a year's absence makes the heart grow fonder. A golfer's heart, that is. Put on the shelf in 2013 due to a transition in staffing, the Winnipeg Golf Expo returned to Red River Exhibition Park on the weekend of March 29 to 30. The reception was very enthusiastic, said the National Golf Course Owners Association's (NGCOA) regional director, Prairie Chapter, Kevin O'Donovan. "We were very pleased with how it went," he said. "The reaction from consumers was very positive. Their support was excellent, as was the support from expo sponsors. It's good to be back on the map after a one-year hiatus." He added that one of the most encouraging parts of the 2014 event was an across-the- board spirit of cooperation. "It's quite likely this is the first time the whole golf community in Manitoba was in the same room all at one time," said O'Donovan. "That was great to see – organizations like the Manitoba Golf Superintendents Association, Golf Manitoba and the PGA of Manitoba – sharing space with golf courses from across Manitoba, as well as Minnesota and North Dakota. Best of all, they were supported by a good cross-section of major golf equipment manufacturers. That high level of consumer response and exhibitor enthusiasm makes it an event we can definitely build on moving forward." In all, 35 exhibitors took part in the Winnipeg Golf Expo, which was organized by the NGCOA. Show features included a presentation stage manned by golf professionals from the PGA of Manitoba, an equipment demo range hosted by Golf Town, a PGA of Manitoba retail area and The Players Cup 19th hole, where show patrons could take a load off and watch some PGA Tour golf on the big screen. Exhibitors not only included local golf courses, but courses and resorts from south of the border such as the Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance, Minnesota Golf Trilogy, the Brainerd (Minnesota) Golf Trail, Madden's on Gull Lake and Medora North Dakota's Bully Pulpit Golf Course. Kathy Solga, golf shop manager at Bully Pulpit, said travelling north for the expo was well worth the trip. "We've been well-received here," she said. "It's been a very busy show for us, and everyone has been so welcoming. We've had a great time sharing what we have at Bully Pulpit with golfers here." Breezy Point Resort's director of golf, Mark Johnson, echoed Solga's sentiments. "It's provided us with a wonderful opportunity to spread awareness of all the great golf that's only hours away in Minnesota," he said. "It's been a very friendly, well-run show, and we'll certainly be back next year." Likewise, Manitoba-based golf courses also benefitted from attending the expo. "Several exhibitors from golf courses both in the United States and Manitoba told me much the same thing - 'many of the people at the show hadn't heard of our golf course, but said now that they have, they will definitely come out to play it'," said O'Donovan. Manitoba-based courses at the show included Pinawa Golf and Country Club, Poplar Ridge Golf Course, Bel Acres Golf and Country Club, Breezy Bend Golf Course, Minnedosa Golf and Country Club, Granite Hills Golf Course, Southwood Golf and Country Club and Shilo Country Club. "As time goes on, we plan to grow it into a more dynamic event that will benefit everyone even more." The overall idea, added O'Donovan, is to build an event that attains the balance required to simultaneously meet the needs of consumers and exhibitors. "We made great strides this year, and there are lots of ideas on how to make the expo better. Our task is now to review those ideas and incorporate some of them to build the show and move forward so that we can give consumers what they're looking for while providing exhibitors with the value they desire," he said. "Our hope is that 2014 marks the start of an industry-driven, consumer-focused golf expo that people will make a spot for on their calendar and make a point of attending every March to kick of the golf season." Golf Expo Makes a Triumphant Return Bully Pulpit Golf Course's Kathy Solga (left, with head golf professional Casey Moen), took part in the Winnipeg Golf Expo. PHOTO CREDIT: Todd Lewys By Todd Lewys For the Winnipeg Free Press M A N I T O B A As one of the oldest professional golf associations in the world, the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of Canada is a leader in promoting and developing the game of golf. The PGA of Manitoba is proud to be an active member of the organization. Membership in the Manitoba Zone has over 135 professional active members at over 75 golf courses, reaching thousands of golfers each year. The organization is host to 12 PGA of Manitoba professional tournaments throughout the season, including the PGA of Manitoba Championship in July. A great advocate in growing the game of golf, the PGA of Manitoba has also run a youth program at Rossmere Country Club over the last three years - hosting a group of junior high and high school students, selected by their school. Moving forward, the PGA of Manitoba will launch its Junior Program this season, open to all kids ages 11-16. The PGA of Manitoba Junior League will have participants play eight rounds of golf (9 holes) in a team format. The league is designed for juniors to play the game with kids their own age at a variety of different golf courses. The league will begin on June 23 and run for eight consecutive weeks. It will be operated by PGA of Manitoba Golf Professionals Glen Sirkis (known as Stretch) and Adam Boge (known as A-Bomb). Both professionals operate junior programs across the city, assisting anyone looking to get into junior golf. More information on the PGA of Manitoba Junior League is available at Provided by The Professional Golfer's Association

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