TARRYTOWN – A number of dedicated local golfers were able to resist the early spring weather Saturday and took in the Journal News Golf Show at the Westchester Marriott.
It was no easy task given the unseasonably warm temperatures.
The show was reimagined following a year’s hiatus and was moved following a decade at the Westchester County Center. Close to 500 people attended the first day. The show continues on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More than 40 vendors will be on hand.
“It seems to be a little smaller than in the past,” said White Plains resident Tom Bouyer, who plays at Hudson Hills. “It whets my appetite for golf season, and we can get out there earlier with this kind of weather. It’s a good show and I hope that it continues.”
A few of the local courses are open already, and more are coming on line next week.
“There were challenges reviving the show and this is just the start,” said Journal News Golf Show manager Kate Keller. “We’re pleased with the support of the local golf community and with the turnout. We’re hoping to be even bigger and better in the future.”
Education was a major focus.
Noteworthy local professionals including Scarsdale Golf Club’s Bill Smittle, Paramount Country Club’s Steve Scott and GlenArbor Golf Club’s Brian Crowell provided group instruction on the MGA Education Stage.
Questions about the rules of golf were fielded by former MGA tournament director Gene Westmoreland. There were yoga and fitness demonstrations, as well.
Sundays lineup includes an 11:15 a.m. panel discussion on the road to college with Manhattan College men’s coach Frank Darby, St. John’s women’s coach Ambry Bishop and Mount Kisco C.C. head pro Chris Case, who graduated from the Professional Golf Management program at New Mexico State University. There will also be a presentation on golf injury prevention by Dr. William B Macaulay, an orthopedic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian.
A women’s networking breakfast attracted 60 golfers looking to connect with like-minded players.
“It was really interesting,” Hastings resident Elizabeth Holdstein said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but now I might even join the Executive Women’s Golf Association. I have so much trouble finding women to play golf with. This was a great avenue to do that.”
Players looking for a tune-up were able to get free instruction from eight volunteer pros from the Metropolitan PGA, who staffed the inflatable hitting bays.
“It helped me a lot,” Bronx resident Patti Bagwell said after taking a lesson from Scott. “It’s a smaller venue, but the room here is much better.”
Anthony Casalino of Innis Arden, Max Galloway of Mohansic, Kevin Hardy of Darien and Sara Dickson of Quaker Ridge joined Smittle and Scott on the lesson tee. Two of the inflatable hitting bays will be staffed again by Met PGA professionals.
A representative from TaylorMade Golf will set up shop in a third bay and will let attendees demo the company’s newest equipment.
Golfers filled bags with trinkets provided by the vendors and registered for giveaways. Wine tasting in the Leros Lounge was a popular attraction.
Foot traffic on Saturday declined after lunch as temperatures climbed.
“I think the venue is nicer,” Tarrytown resident Greg McNally said. “We always got charged for parking at the County Center, not here. There are some non-golf vendors in here. I like the layout. The crowd is always going to ebb and flow. We have to remember there are less golfers now. For me, the instruction here is the most important thing.”