I don’t need an excuse to visit Glasgow but it’s always nice to have a different reason to go and last week it was for the Scottish Golf Show. Held at the SEC over three days we decided it would be good to visit on the first day and see what all the fuss is about.
We thought about driving into Glasgow or using the Park and Ride in Perth but felt on this occasion it would be too much of a faff. What about if we had one too many impulse buys and had to carry them back into town to get the bus back? No. It was definitely a ScotRail kinda trip. Nice and easy from Perth into Glasgow Queen Street and is just over and hour and then a few minutes across to Exhibition (the station for the SEC, Hydro and Clyde Auditorium). It also means we both get to relax and watch the world go by during the journey too. And before you know it you’re in sunny Glasgow.
So what is it all about? Golf obviously! But as I found out there is a lot more to it than first meets the eye.
The Scottish Golf Show
As with all the usual shows there are businesses there to inspire you to travel, play and of course buy their products and this was no different. Gadgets to help your golf swing and watches to help you measure the distance of your shot. Shoes, clubs, bags and trolleys to specific golf breaks (in Scotland and abroad). You could also sign up as members to various clubs too.
That to me was all standard stuff and it’s easy to at this point to say that was all there was to see. But it wasn’t.
Have a go
As we wandered round the Scottish Golf Show we discovered there were plenty of “have a go” type activities too. Quite a good way to try things for free before splashing the cash.
Golf darts (who knew this was even a thing?): A huge inflatable dart board at which people used a golf club to strike a tennis ball to try and get a high score. Random but it looked like good fun.
Hole in One: exactly what it says, three chances to get a hole in one.
Bunker challenge: have a go at getting the golf ball out of the sand bunker and up onto the green. And yes, there was sand flying everywhere!
Fifteen minute golf lesson: you had to sign up for these and spaces were filling up fast but a great chance to see if you can improve your game with tips from a pro.
There were also a couple of places to practice your putting too.
Try before you buy
The driving range where different brands of drivers were available to try. This makes sense, as we would take a new car out for a spin before buying it, same thing. This sort of thing probably wouldn’t be available in a shop (maybe it is?) to try before you buy so the exhibition is a great idea if you are looking for new kit.
I am guilty of buying online without even knowing if things will fit me properly and be fit for purpose. So coming to a place like this would be really useful if there was that one thing you knew you had to get right.
You could have your new golf shoes properly fitted and even your golf balls can be specific to your game.
Yes you read that last bit correctly. Depending on how you play and your preferences will all depend on which ball would suit your game. We joined the queue for this one to speak to one of the Titleist professionals. As luck would have it we spoke to a lovely young lady and from the information Dude gave her about his style of game she was able to suggest which type of Titleist balls he should use. He was then given a pair of each (yes I know there are SO many jokes in this, but lets not go there!).
Throughout the weekend there was a whole host of golf pros, enthusiasts and brands giving talks, Q&A’s with the public. What a great idea. It’s always nice to hear from people who have the same interests as you. The same ups and downs that the game provides (same applies to photography and any other interest). It’s good to know that this sometimes fickle game treats us all with an iron fist.
Gadgets and gizmos
As with any another hobby or sport there is always a new must have toy or gadget that helps you play better etc. It seems golf is no different to photography.
I learnt that there are GPS watches JUST for golf courses, although as a non-golfer I am not going to pretend I understand why. I do have to say though, Dude did buy one, so when he gets out on the course with it I shall report back!
As well as the GPS we also found a product that analyses the player’s swing. Giving a report at the end of each course and hopefully this is supposed to make a better golfer.
Of course, there is no miracle cure for a bad day on the course and it takes time, practice and a lot of searching for balls in the rough! So I’m told.
I know that golf is mainly seen as a mans sport but I didn’t realise there would be so few ladies at the show. Even though entry to the show was free for women, once in the show I didn’t see much in the way of female clothing or other merchandise. There is a huge gap in the market here for female golfers. Quite intimidating I imagine with all these boys toys and a market focused mostly on men. This really should change.
I had lessons some fifteen years ago and I’ve never actually done anything with it. Never got any further than to driving range. Now we live in Scotland, where courses are ten-a-penny maybe I should re-fresh my skills and learn to play properly?
Do you know of any golf clubs that are welcoming (scared) female (potential) golf players near Perth?
All in all I did enjoy my day out at the Scottish Golf Show and I look forward to returning next year to see if there a more ladies there. Maybe I will be a golfer myself by then?
Many thanks to ScotRail for providing us with tickets in return for this blog and it’s images.
Views on the lack of female golfers and my golf course GPS ignorance are all my own.