Molly McMulligan’s Fab 5


by Susan Fornoff

Now that the Colorado Golf Expo has moved to the Colorado Convention Center, right there next to the light rail stop and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, there aren’t many reasons not to go. It’s February 17-19, a Friday, Saturday and Sunday when golf courses that happen to be open are not likely to offer ideal conditions. And it’s so easy. Golfers can even make a downtown day of it with nongolfers, who might enjoy the nearby theater or hop the Mall Shuttle to the Denver Art Museum.

But, for the golfers who still need some persuasion, here are a few reasons to get that bored butt off the recliner and walk the aisles. I never miss it!

Free samples. It’s like the Costco of golf! Up and down the aisles, you’ll get to taste goodies designed to help your game. You can try the newest equipment, the clubs the pros have been hitting all year and the public finally got to see at January’s PGA Golf Expo in Orlando. Take advantage of this opportunity to remember your golf swing, especially because the range balls will be brand new this year. When you get thirsty, you can visit The Turn and hang out there sampling local beers, wines and spirits.

Coupons galore. When Colorado’s public golf operators met for their annual meeting in November, the question was asked: “Who’s raising green fees and cart fees?” Every hand went up. At the Expo, you can still find deals and discount cards for top courses around the state. And you can flip through the popular coupon books to see if they’re worth an investment. Scout the aisles, consult with your pals, and plan your next golf getaway! As for clothes and equipment, I recommend visiting the Expo on Sunday afternoon. As with any trade show, exhibitors do not want to take home merchandise if they can help it. Make them an offer.

Free lessons. This feature, offered by Colorado’s PGA teaching professionals, is so popular that you should sign up as soon as you arrive: a free 10-minute lesson. One year, I had a broken foot but was going on vacation, so I got a 10-minute lesson on golf in a boot! How might you benefit from 10 minutes with an expert? Don’t waste the opportunity. Also check the seminar schedule for longer lessons, CGA sessions on rules and handicaps, and stretching or yoga classes.

Contests and giveaways. Don’t get me started here. First, do not bypass the opportunity upon entry to input your contact info in exchange for a raffle entry, because this year’s prize is a stay-and-play for four at stunning Chambers Bay near Tacoma, Wash. You’ll find other opportunities throughout the Expo to enter giveaways. Then there are the skills challenges. The longest line is always at the putting contest, because we all think we can putt, right? But you’ll also find the chance to win prizes in Optimum Golf’s simulator Long Drive and Closest to the Pin contests.

Family reunion. You can take along your own family and let the kids run around at the Junior Golf Area. But then there’s also that big golf family you haven’t seen so much this winter. Look for them roaming the aisles, lined up to spin the South Suburban prize wheel and tasting beers at the turn. Trade notes for anything you might have missed, then go roll a few putts together. The Expo has a new owner this year, Kevin Morton, and his first innovation will be a nine-hole miniature golf course, “fun for both kids and adults,” he promises.

Veteran journalist Susan Fornoff has written about golf for publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, ColoradoBiz magazine and her own She became a CGA member when she moved from Oakland, CA, to Littleton in 2016, and ghost-writes as “Molly McMulligan,” the CGA’s on-course consultant on golf for fun. Email her at


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