With Chicagoans still in the clutches of a miserable winter, Mike Galeski provided a cheerful reminder of things to come.
``We’re only 120 days from our tournament,’’ Galeski, director of the Encompass Championship senior tournament, said Friday as the Chicago Golf Show kicked off in Rosemont.
Golfers seem to be embracing that warm thought. The Golf Show, which runs through Sunday at the Stephens Convention Center, is expected to approach the three-day attendance record of 19,200 set last year. Friday’s attendees found a boggling array of attractively priced merchandise, golf course and resort information, lessons and the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in their sport.
But then, golfers are a dedicated lot.
Even in this trying winter, 35 players teed it up on Jan. 5 at the Eskimo Open at Cog Hill, where two courses remain open 365 days a year.
``That was our lowest number in 50 years,’’ owner Frank Jemsek said. ``We had nine other golfers the rest of the month, the lowest number we’ve had in years. They usually use colored golf balls, and they’ve been wearing snow shoes.’’
Less hearty players are feeding their golf urge at the Golf Show. While Cog Hill pro Kevin Weeks gave a lesson on the main stage, some golfers took a stab at winning a prize by sinking Chicago’s Longest Putt.
Other golfers merely stopped by the Free-Golf booth to receive one of the complimentary-round vouchers being offered to all show attendees.
The Encompass Open, which again will be played at North Shore C.C. in Glenview, is selling discount tickets at the Golf Show. It also is beginning its signup for volunteers.
The Wanamaker Trophy, given to the winner of the PGA, also is on display at the 2015 PGA booth. The PGA returns to Whistling Straits in 2015.
Admission to the Chicago Golf Show is $10 for adults. The show continues on Saturday (9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Sunday (9:30 to 4). For more information: chicagogolfshow.com