The first unofficial sign of spring arrives this weekend in the form of the National Golf Expo Boston. I’ve attended and/or worked the Expo for more than 10 years now, and I’ve compiled the definitive list of do's and don’ts for attending.
Ignore these items at your own peril.
Hardy's Golf Expo Do's & Don'ts
- DO NOT, under any circumstances, buy any clubs without trying them out first. Some of the deals make it undeniably attractive to pull the trigger on last year’s driver at a huge discount, or this year’s model at an Expo-Only price. But unless you’ve hit it, you run the risk of throwing your money away on a club that looks great, costs little, but you can’t hit worth a squirt. The Expo features a “try before you buy” indoor range. USE IT.
- DO take advantage of the New England PGA professionals giving 10 minute lessons for 10 bucks. One of the best lessons I ever got was under similar circumstances from Bob Beach of Braintree Municipal Golf Course. Now, Bob is a nationally recognized instructor to begin with, but the format itself is fantastic. If you’re anything like me, you can’t concentrate on something for more than 10 minutes anyway, and the pros at the Expo will use that limited time to focus in on the one thing you really need. All the men and women professionals working this event excel in these quick tune ups, so take advantage.
- DO NOT get hammered and start haggling prices. I witnessed this 2 years ago, and I was embarrassed for both the drunk guy and the retailer who was calmly trying to explain that no, he could not further discount the bag of used golf balls recovered from ponds. Sober price negotiation usually ends with one back and forth. Drunk haggling can go on forever.
- DO take time to check out the travel booths. These people can turn you on to golf destinations you’d never consider because you think they’re too pricey, too impractical, too much trouble. You’ll be amazed to find out how easy it can be to take that golf trip to Ireland, Bermuda or Barbados. And you’re also going to learn about some spots closer to home that you probably haven’t considered (like Prince Edward Island).
- DO NOT heckle me when I’m on the demo stage at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be doing a “live” version of the Sports Hub Golf Club, which will start airing again during Masters Weekend. If you’ve listened to the show, you know I don’t give tips, lessons, etc. I bring in the experts for that, and I’ll be doing the same at the Expo. Paul Gozbekian from Equinox will be with me both days with advice on how to get in golf shape and stay that way; Steve Conley from Callaway will be showing off all the new toys his company has for 2018; Brian Golden from Sandy Burr Country Club will give us all a lesson, plus a few surprises.
That’s it. See you there. And if you see Mazz walking around, ask him about the 74 he shot last year at the Links at Outlook in Maine. He’ll act all embarrassed, but trust me – he’s dying to tell you about it.
-- By Rob "Hardy" Poole, 98.5 The Sports Hub