Pittsburgh Golf Show returns to Monroeville Convention Center
Even if the weather is cold and snowy, for some people, the annual Pittsburgh Golf Show — which starts Friday and runs through Sunday at the Monroeville Convention Center — is one of the first signs of spring.
North Coast Golf Shows has produced a show in the Pittsburgh area for more than 20 years, and the show purposely is timed for the end of winter, said Joe Stegh, president of North Coast.
“We come to town just before golf season, when the weather hasn't broken yet,” said Stegh, of Cleveland. “We bring in an entire show related to golf to get people geared up.”
This year, for the first time, the show will include a celebrity guest, Chi Chi Rodriguez. Known as one of the great showmen in sports history, Rodriguez's career has included 38 professional wins, with 22 Champions Tour victories, Stegh said
Rodriguez will give a talk and answer questions on Saturday and then sign photos for fans.
There are “a ton” of activities for golfers, such as an indoor driving range with the newest 2014 golf clubs that visitors can try out. There also are various competitions, including a $25,000 hole-in-one competition for which a special golf hole was built, Stegh said.
The show will have 175 vendors selling “anything and everything” to do with golf and at “phenomenal” prices, he said.
“The golf show kicks off the season and also establishes our presence as a destination for golf and events,” said Megan Hawk, internal auditor at 3 Lakes Golf Course in Penn Hills.
3 Lakes is a public golf course and event center. Photos of its facilities will be on display at the show, and 3 Lakes gets a lot of new customers when its representatives speak with show visitors, said Hawk, of Penn Hills.
A prize wheel also gives spinners the chance to win everything from free golf equipment to private golf lessons, Hawk said.
Few golfers are good enough for the PGA Tour, but the Pittsburgh Golfers Tour, or PGT, offers players the chance to travel to different courses, PGT director Dan Rieg said.
“We're at the golf show to promote the PGT and bring in new members,” said Rieg, of Mt. Lebanon. “It doesn't matter how good or bad you are because you only compete against players with similar skill levels.”
The PGT has been an exhibitor at the annual golf show for 12 years. The show provides the chance to speak with potential new members and talk with representatives of various golf courses where PGT golfers can play, Rieg said.
Visitors to the show also can shop for discounted golfing equipment, said Joe Corsi, owner of Corsi's Indoor Golf in Hempfield Township.
Everything that has “anything to do with golf” will be on sale at the show, said Corsi of Unity Township.
“With the weather we've been having, the show gets people out and in the mood for golf season,” Corsi said.
Even the romantic side of golf will be represented. One of the exhibitors is the Three Rivers Singles Golf Club, said Mary Kukich, treasurer of the group.
“It's to encourage people who are single in the Pittsburgh area and who like to golf to meet other golfers,” said Kukich, of Scott Township.
The club has had about 15 marriages since it was founded in 1996.
At the show, representatives will be signing up new members and talking about the various golf outings and other functions the club sponsors, Kukich said.
“The golf show is really fun,” Kukich said. “You meet a lot of people there and see many different vendors of golf items.”
Concessions are available from the vendors who work the convention center, Stegh said.
Show hours are 1 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $10 for adults, which is good for all three days, and children ages 12 and younger are admitted for free.
Based in Twinsburg, Ohio, North Coast Golf Shows produces a series of seven golf shows in northern cities every year. Because of the winter weather, golf cannot be played outside, and everyone is preparing for the season, Stegh said.
“A lot of people wait for the show to stock up on equipment,” Stegh said. “It's really anything and everything for the golfer.”
Melanie Donahoo is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.