2012 Ottawa/Gatineau Golf Expo Wrap Up

It’s Monday, I know …. The weekend is as far away as it will ever be. Not only is it Monday, but with the end of the annual Ottawa/Gatineau Golf Expo we have now entered I time I like to call golf season purgatory. 

I play golf all spring, summer and fall and when it gets too cold to golf, in November or so, I have two reprieves, one, Christmas is just around the corner which normally means some new golf stuff and two, hockey season is well underway, a sport I love to play just about as much as golf. Once we get through Christmas I begin to plan and anticipate the upcoming golf season. As someone who works in the industry (I use the term work loosely) the Golf Expo is a big milestone and while actually playing golf is still many months away, January and February are pretty golf heavy in terms of  working on new promotions, starting to re-engage your customer base after letting them go for a couple months, etc. Also, it is the start of the PGA Tour season which provides a good golf outlet on cold Sunday afternoons. All of this early golf season excitements builds and builds until it all comes together at the Golf Expo.

Now it is March and the Golf Expo is over. While the weather is nice, golf season is still likely a month or so away for most courses and even those that do open early the conditions present you with a game that is not quite golf, but rather some cross between golf and the Mud Run. If you are lucky you go south for a couple of weeks at this time of you year, play some golf, and when you come back golf season has started. As we head into March the PGA Tour season seems old and not as exciting, by May I don’t seem to watch any tournaments other than the majors. So with the Golf Expo over, the golf season not quite here yet, and my interest in the PGA Tour tiring what is a golf addict to do? I guess write about it.

With the above aside, I had a great time at the Golf Expo this weekend, spending two days in the Metcalfe Golf booth handing out coupons, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. I thought the location was great, but the pay parking was a bit of a pain. As an exhibitor I didn’t have to pay an entrance fee, but I did hear a few comments from people that it was a little high at $14 (especially when parking was $7).

As an exhibitor I thought the show went really well. Saturday was definitely busier than Sunday, but the crowds on Sunday were still ok. The space at the CE Centre was really good, we seemed to be able to avoid the bottle necking we often saw at the OAC. In particular to the Metcalfe booth we saw a lot of traffic, handed out a lot of coupons, ran a couple of contests and engaged a lot of people, 

From an Expo goer perspective I thought there were some great product deals, especially at the Tommy & Lefebvre booth. I managed to pick up two pairs of golf shoes, a pair of Footjoy Contour’s for $29.99 and a pair of Nike Air Zoom Elite II’s for $29.99. 

I was a little disappointed in the food service, the food was good enough, but the price and portions where a bit ridiculous (I think I paid $6 for a Cesear wrap that was the size of the soft taco you would get from Taco Bell). 

Unfortunately I didn’t catch any of the speakers or celebrities in attendance, due to the fact I didn’t spend a whole lot of time outside of the Metcalfe booth. But, from what I hear they were all good. Lisa Longball Vlooswyk seemed to be particularly popular and I am told she was quite humorous on stage. There was also a lot of talk about the special guest at the Golf Now booth, the Golf Channel’s Lauren Thompson.

There didn’t seem to be any glaring omissions from the exhibitors and was surprised to see the likes of Bearbrook Golf Club there. Upon investigation I learned that the course has been sold (or leased, not quite sure which yet) to a golf course management group out of Kitchener/Waterloo. The short term plan is to increase the conditions, with a longer view of adding 18 more holes and a new clubhouse. I can’t say I have ever played Bearbrook before, but did get a 2 for 1 coupon from them so might try and check it out once this summer.

I thought the giveaways and coupons from the courses were adequate. I know when I first started going to the Expo about 5 years ago there use to be more free rounds and 2 for 1’s being given away, but I am fairly certain those days are behind us for the most part.

By Sunday afternoon the Golf Expo was over and I was beat. My feet appreciated the rest last night. Now, what to do until April…


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