Toronto Golf and Travel Show
by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
Off to Golf...
We almost missed our train! We were off to Toronto to go golfing. Well, not golf exactly; we were going to the Toronto Golf and Travel Show! I know that it was going to feel like “golfing” because I had visited the show’s website.
It all began a few weeks ago. I received an e-mail from my friend Michael Podaru (aka Doogie – so named because as a kid he looked like the TV kid doctor Doogie Howser). Doogie had obtained two VIP tickets to the Toronto Golf and Travel Show and asked me if I wanted to go with him. I e-mailed him that I would love to go. After all, it had been a long winter and this was going to be my first “Festival Nomad” show of the year!
The Convention Centre...
As I said, I had visited the show’s website, so I knew what to expect. After walking the distance from Union Station to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, we located the show. We had arrived before opening, so there weren’t too many people on the show floor. I thought, this is good, it won’t be too crowded! We followed the signs to the lower concourse and suddenly were engulfed in a sea of people! The line-up spread all around the floor. Doogie said, “Don’t worry, we’ve got VIP tickets and there’s a special entrance for us.” Fortunately he was right, there was a special entrance and we were let right in! Once we were back upstairs on the show level, we started to make our way around the show.
This was easier said then done, because there were so many golf enthusiasts. We took Judi’s advise (she wrote in one of her Festival Tips) “to start at the opposite end” or something like that, and that’s what we did. It worked so well that we were able to try our hand in chipping out of a sand trap over a high embankment. Doogie stepped up to the ball and his first shot landed on the green! He should have stopped there! I also tried my hand at chipping, but missed on all my shots. Maybe I shouldn’t be golfing after all! As we were trying our hand at chipping, the crowd behind us grew! From the chipping booth we started to “walk the show”. It amazed me at how much golf products and services were available! The main sponsor of the event, our ticket benefactors, Golf Town, even had a full golf store set up within the show. Doogie and I entered the store and “drooled” over all the amazing golf equipment and clothing! As I mentioned, the show featured a wide range of booths. There was one full section devoted to “Golf Destinations”. If I only had the money …! One area that we definitely made time for was the “teaching and Demo Arena”.
Again, because we had VIP tickets, we were able to find “preferred” seating for the main attraction and interview and demonstration by Sean Foley. For those of you who are up on the “who’s who” of golf elite, you might not know Sean Foley’s name. I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t. However, we all know the name Tiger Woods! Sean is Tiger’s newest and perhaps best swing gold coach! Sean, from Burlington Ontario, has made a huge name for himself in the golfing world by consulting some of the game’s elite players, Justin Rose, Stephen Ames and, of course, Tiger Woods. After his interview, Sean started to talk about his teaching techniques. In listening to him, it’s easy to see why he had done so well! And what is so great about Sean, even with all his fame and success, he seems to be still a modest, well grounded individual! I hope that Tiger keeps him around for a long time. Having witnessed Sean’s golf lesson, Doogie and I can now brag that we have been thought by the best! This should go a long way to enhance our golf reputations! That is until we actually have to tee off! Frankly, I have started preparing my excuses now … atmospheric pressures fluctuating, wind velocities, sore arm from work… The Toronto Golf and Travel Show was extremely interesting and certainly got both Doogie and me into a “Golf Frame of Mind”! See you on the links!