20 Tips for Going to the 2020 Cleveland Golf and Travel Show

Each year, thousands of golfers from all around Northeast Ohio shake off their cabin fever and descend upon the IX Center for the Cleveland Golf and Travel Show. Full of bargains, contests, presenters and more, the golf show is always a fun way to scratch that golf itch during the frigid winters in Cleveland.

If you are planning on going to the show or on the fence, we have you covered with all of the information and pointers you will need to know. From tips to industry insights, important information to maximizing your value, you will find it all below.

They say hindsight is 20/20, but a little bit of foresight never hurts either. Let’s dig into this year’s edition of the Cleveland Golf Show!

Unlimited Golf

1. Know what you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay

Cleveland Golf Show

Before you go to the show, think about what exactly you are looking for. Whether it is time to upgrade the ‘Big Dog’ or to stock up on golf balls for the season, it is always good to go in with a goal in mind.

Also, spend some time looking at products you are interested in online prior to attending. This will help you know what is and what is not a good deal as you will have a mental benchmark.

Pro Tip: Think of it like a par 5. Begin with the end in mind and your experience will be much smoother.

2. Be sure to note the new equipment models (2018) vs. the previous versions (2017)

Cleveland Golf Show

Just like cars, it is easy to be fooled by marketing terms. Many signs with the words new, closeout special, and original price are designed to show you, the customer, value. Whether that value is true or just perceived is another story.

Overall, be weary of exactly what is being offered. For example: A 2017 model club may be new in that it has not been hit, but the 2018 model is the actual new club most golfers want. This is especially important if you are shopping for another golfer.

That is also not to say that a 2017 model of a club is much different or even inferior to the 2018 model. We all know that the technology doesn’t change significantly, just the promises of better golf with newly coined phrases of technology.

Pro Tip: Used demo versions of clubs that are in good condition offer a great value. The clubs having been hit prior likely will not affect how they play in your bag.

3. Always check to be sure the club is genuine

2020 Cleveland Golf Show

It is rare to see counterfeit clubs at trade shows, but it is not unheard of to find products that are not genuine. When looking at clubs that you will be spending your hard-earned dollars on, there are some easy signs to help you spot real vs. fake:

  • Grips that are not standard size or smell overly rubbery signal the club may not be real.
  • For 2015 and newer models, the shafts should all have a holographic sticker.
  • The paint fill on the clubhead should be high quality and not bleed out of the area it is intended to be.
  • Serial numbers are also a great way to verify the club is made from the legitimate manufacturer.

For a full breakdown on what to look for, you can visit this great guide by Golf Club Brokers by clicking here.

Pro Tip: Buying from a certified professional or authentic retailer is still the best method to get exactly the product(s) you want.

4. Take advantage of the various speakers throughout the show

Cleveland Golf Show

With plenty of instructional speakers scheduled to speak, it is worth your time to take a few minutes and hear what they have to say.

While we all wish equipment could magically make us hit better shots and lower our scores, it is often not the case. But speakers will probably help your game the most and give you some meaningful insights to head into the 2018 golf season with.

Pro Tip: Understanding your golf game and course management is the best way to quickly improve your scoring.

2:45   Northern Ohio PGA
           Instructional Presentation

3:45   Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

4:45   Northern Ohio PGA
           Instructional Presentation

5:45   Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

6:45   Northern Ohio PGA
           Instructional Presentation

9:45    Northern Ohio PGA
Instructional Presentation

10:45  Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

11:45  Michael Breed, PGA
            World Renown Golf Instructor

1:15    Northern Ohio PGA
Instructional Presentation

2:15    Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

3:15    Michael Breed, PGA
            World Renown Golf Instructor

4:45   Northern Ohio PGA
           Instructional Presentation

10:45   Northern Ohio PGA
 Instructional Presentation

11:45   Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

12:45  Northern Ohio PGA
            Instructional Presentation

1:45    Brian Pavlet
Professional Golf Entertainer

2:45    Northern Ohio PGA
            Instructional Presentation

5. The demo range is probably the best value

Cleveland Golf Show

The demo range allows you to test out all of the new equipment from major manufacturers for just a few bucks. Don’t buy something that you think you will like. Take it our for a spin first!

Pro Tip: Don’t be like me and buy a brand new driver only to sell it for half the price a month later because you can’t hit the broadside of a barn with it.

6. Feel free to haggle, but be careful not to offend

Cleveland Golf Show

No matter what you are buying, you can always haggle to some degree. While there is surely some room to agree on a lower price than the sticker price, it is important to not low-ball your offer so much that the salesperson simply decides it is no longer worth it.

A good way to get more for a product that a salesperson may not be willing to lower the price on is to inquire about getting a second product for free or at half price. Remember, their job is to sell quantity and two is always better than one.

Pro Tip: Cash helps here. When you pay with card, they’re automatically losing 2.5-3% of the sale to processing costs. So, for a $300 club, you should be able to at least get $15 or so dollars off when you pay for cash.

7. Understand what is happening with your information

Cleveland Golf Show

Among all of the products and booths will also be a ton of vendors asking for mailing or email addresses from you. Whether it is to potentially win a contest or to receive more information, your contact information will be a popular requestof you with most anyone working.

And it’s not all bad! As you are reading this, you likely enjoy reading about golf and don’t necessarily mind receiving marketing materials from golf companies. All in all, golf emails are way more enjoyable than those ones from major retailers who will not stop pestering you.

Business cards or return address labels can help you enter contests or give your contact information more efficiently.

Pro Tip: You’ve made it this far in our Tips for the 2018 Cleveland Golf and Trade Show article, so why not sign up to receive more great golf content from us?

8. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door

Cleveland Golf Show

You can save a couple of dollars by pre-purchasing your ticket for $10. Or, you can purchase your ticket when you arrive for $12. Children ages 12 and under are free. Also, parking is $10 for the event.

Parking and ticket sales are cash only. Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Apple Pay and Android Wallet are not accepted.

Pro Tip: Include the price of parking and your ticket into the price of the goods your buying. Saving $10 on a club while having paid $22 to park and enter may not be the best deal.

9. Michael Breed will be speaking twice on Saturday

Cleveland Golf Show

Michael is currently the Director of Instruction at the Michael Breed Golf Academy at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point. Michael received the highest honor of his career when he was chosen as the PGA’s National Teacher of the Year 2012.  In 2003, he was selected as a Top 100 Instructor in America by GOLF Magazine. In 2011, Michael was voted into the Top 50 Instructors in America by Golf Digest, now ranking 13th on this exclusive list, and #1 in the state of New York.

In 2008, Michael became the host for The Golf Fix on Golf Channel. Michael also hosts A New Breed of Golf on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio where he covers the latest headlines around golf and offers listeners swing tips. In addition to all of this, Michael has worked with over 30 PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, Nationwide Tour and Senior Tour players.

Appearing Saturday only at 11:45 am and 3:15 pm.

Pro Tip: He will likely stick around some to chat with and meet some fans.

10. Consider where you find value when it comes to your golf game

Cleveland Golf Show

Consider where you want to get the most value in golf before you head to show.

If you only want to spend ‘X number of dollars’  yearly, weigh how much of that you want to put towards equipment, playing golf, traveling, etc.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to look into The 2018 & 2019 Fairways Golf Membership. Membership includes Unlimited Golf at Mallard Creek, Dragon Ranch, Briarwood and Pine Brook for all of 2018 & 2019 and has travel incentives at Walt Disney World® Golf Courses in Orlando, FloridaDiscover Unlimited Golf at 4 Courses for 2 Years – Just $398!

11. Think about going on a golf trip


Golf trips can be a ton of fun and provide all that go on the trip with a lifelong memory. From a tame weekend trip to Orlando to a lively getaway in Myrtle Beach, there are options aplenty. Representatives from many of the most popular golf trip destinations will be at the show and be able to showcase packages and available dates for you and your group.

Pro Tip: Think about activities beyond golf when considering where to go. For instance: where to eat, nightlife options, local tourist attractions, etc.

12. If you want it, go for it

Cleveland Golf Show

When it comes time to pull the trigger on buying anything at the golf show, it is your world. If the price is right and it’s a product you really want, go ahead and make the purchase – you will be glad you did.

If the price isn’t right for you, then just walk away. There are likely other sellers with the same product who may be able to beat another’s price. And, if all else fails, there is always the internet.

Pro Tip: While buying online can sometime be hard to trust, you can almost always use PayPal. With PayPal, you automatically have buyer protection and the ability to use PayPal Credit to pay for your golf items when and how you want. (You can also join The 2018 & 2019 Fairways Golf Membership for $0 down and no interest for 6 months this way)

13. Get a free lesson from a PGA Professional

Cleveland Golf Show

Available throughout the entire show, PGA Professionals will be on hand to give you a free lesson. Provided by the Northern Ohio PGA and their dedicated professionals, this is a great way to head into the 2018 season with something to work on.

Pro Tip: When you need some additional work during the season, Mallard Creek offers Free Tips from the Pros each Wednesday evening on the range. Learn more here.

14. Cash is (still) king

Cleveland Golf Show

We have already covered that cash is the only accepted way to pay for parking and tickets at the door, but there are still other reasons to rely on old-fashioned cash at this year’s Cleveland Golf and Travel Show.

Firstly, when you only bring what you are willing to spend with you in cash, it is easier to have some self-control in a setting designed to make you do just the opposite. Also, cash makes haggling and saving even more money all the easier.

Pro Tip: Always get a receipt and contact information with any purchase. Ask about guarantees or warranties for any product you buy.

15. Join Email Clubs

Cleveland Golf Show

Join all of the email clubs you can. I repeat: join all of the email clubs you can.

If you enjoy saving money and learning about special offers and course news along with golf articles, you’ll find value in joining email clubs.

Pro Tip: Email is the best way to get discounts and offers directly from the course. And if it doesn’t help you, you can always unsubscribe.

16. Pay it forward

Cleveland Golf Show

It’s a gentleman’s game, right? If you are taking some time to grab a bite or a beer, there is nothing wrong with covering the food of the person next in line or the buying the guy over at the bar a cold one.

You never know… that guy could be a local course employee and there may be a free round of golf in it for you. At worst, you did something nice.

Pro Tip: I enjoy Great Lakes Dortmunder

17. Participate in the long putt and long drive contests

Cleveland Golf Show

For just a few dollars, you can enter the long putt and/or long drive contests at the show. Not only is this fun and something for you and your friends or family to laugh about, but there is always the chance you could win something.

Pro Tip: The longest putt has been the same setup for a few years now. It double breaks right to left and then left to right at the end. Begin your putt along the fringe or just over it on the right-hand side and you should be close.

18. Enjoy it – golf season’s coming soon!

Cleveland Golf Show

It may be cold now, but the golf show always signals the end of winter is near. Have fun and enjoy yourself at the show. If nothing else, it will get you excited for what is sure to be another great season of golf right here in Northeast Ohio.

Pro Tip: Make your 2018 and 2019 seasons great with The Fairways Golf Membership!

Here’s a to a great 2018 season!

Hopefully our guide has helped you before you head to this year’s Cleveland Golf and Travel Show.

Feel free to share any additional tips or opinions in the comment section below!

Neil McGrew

Neil McGrew

Fairways Golf
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