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Las Vegas golf convention sub-par at best

The Las Vegas Golf Show was in town over Labor Day weekend.

It’s always a good thing when you enter a golf show and hear drivers smacking balls into the nets with an occasional “Oh, yeah!” accompanying. To my right were the club manufacturers Mizuno Corp., TaylorMade and Callaway demonstrating the latest in club technology. To my left were the representatives of Southern Nevada Golf Association and Las Vegas Golf & Leisure magazine. Las Vegas Junior Golf Association was selling used clubs to help the cause.

Farther down, there was information about golfing in the Laughlin area. The El Rio Golf Club and Laughlin Ranch Golf Club were offering specials. Golf Mesquite Nevada was there featuring all those great courses to the northwest of us. SQN Escapes was offering south-of-the-border golf outings to Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and Nuevo Vallarta.

Heber Valley in Utah was proudly bragging on their courses. Crater Springs Golf Club, Soldier Hollow, Wasatch Mountain and Red Ledges courses all look very playable.

Arrowhead Putters was there to demonstrate “Refined and Defined Interactive Adjustability.”

Putting Pro demonstrated the patented new training device that uses a laser to determine the putting line. It’s not available yet, but investors are welcome to be part of the evolution.

Bear’s Best Las Vegas was introducing its “Text Club,” which has some pretty cool offers.

The next and last golf booth stumped me: “Welcome to Chimera Golf Club in Henderson.” I scratched my head. What? Director of Golf Sean Solodovnick solved my confusion: “The course used to be named Tuscany Golf Course. It’s now owned and operated by a local group.” I have to check this out.

And that was it for the golf booths. Maybe 20 golf booths. In a golf expo? There were about 80 more booths set up. So what other booths were at the Las Vega Golf Show?

Let’s see, there were the ubiquitous solar panel companies promising free power. The Damsels in Defense offering stun guns; the next generation of negative ion health jewelry, Dianetics — enough said.

Let’s go through some more of the list of vendors. Stop me if you see the golf connection.

Fashion, makeup, food, yoga, massage, you name it.

To their credit, the promoters of the show did come up with some winners.

Jeunesse — Experience what it’s like to be flawless. Golf instructions? No, pimple medicine.

Steiners Nevada Style Pub — Two-for-one happy hour drinks.

LucyVegas — Oops, not what I thought.

Exotics Racing — Drive an exotic car as fast as the greens were.

Sam’s Club — Cheaper golf balls by the dozen.

I Love Kickboxing — Giving up golf? Take your aggression out.

Believe me; I know how difficult it is to put on an event. In an earlier life, I worked for a corporation that was heavily involved in charities. Each senior manager was tasked with putting on a charitable event to benefit the cause. I chose to put on a wine tasting. I arranged for a premier location, had lots of nice wines donated, imposed on the wine distributors and other volunteers to run the tasting booths, bargained with a magician for entertainment and even persuaded the Los Angeles Dodgers to send two then-relatively unknown players to be honorary hosts for the event. Everything was in place.

The Dodger players were great hosts. Although they were unknown then, we are very familiar with them now.

Way back in the planning stages months earlier, it was overlooked that the particular Sunday I chose was Mother’s Day. Attendance was marginal, and I felt a little (a lot) of guilt over that event. Putting on any type of an event is daunting.

I can’t wait for the Las Vegas Bowling Expo. I need more information on timesharing opportunities. Don’t plan it on a holiday weekend.

— John Asay is a longtime golfer and local freelance writer.

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