One of the best things about attending the West Michigan Golf Show is the ability to take advantage of the outstanding seminars held over the weekend. Some of the top teachers in the game are on stage at DeVos Place to impart astute advice and wisdom on becoming a better golfer. The 25th edition of the Show—to be held Feb. 8-10 at DeVos Place—will again offer golfers the opportunity to listen and learn from some award-winning talent. This year the Pfeiffer Lincoln Seminar Stage will highlight a cadre of Tour and teaching professionals with a ‘Made in Michigan’ theme.
Two-time PGA Tour winner and Michigan Hall of Fame member Dan Pohl will give seminars at the Show sharing insights on his celebrated Tour record. Twice a Michigan Amateur champion, Mount Pleasant native Pohl won the 1986 Colonial Invitational and the 1986 NEC World Series of Golf. One of the game’s longest drivers, Pohl is also known for his runner-up finish in the ’82 Masters, losing in a playoff to Craig Stadler. Pohl, 55, also competed on the Champions Tour but chronic back ailments hampered his play.
Hoping to follow in Pohl’s footsteps on the PGA Tour are two aspiring Grand Rapids pros who’ll be competing in various Tours this year: Matt Harmon and Andy Matthews. Kentwood’s Matt Harmon, a five-time winner on the mini-tour, has conditional playing status on the Web.com in 2013, the all-important ‘minor league’ of the PGA Tour. A Michigan State standout, Harmon won $88,000 last year on the Web.com Tour. Harmon will be joined on stage by his long time instructor, Dave Kendall, a two-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. Kendall is the founder of the Kendall Academy of Golf in Ann Arbor.
A former Michigan Amateur champion and University of Michigan golf captain, Ada’s Matthews will seek his card via the PGA Tour Canada this summer. He’ll compete in eight events where the top five money-winners automatically advance to the Web.com Tour the following year. The 2010 Mexican PGA champion will be joined on stage with his teacher, Charley Vandenberg, a four-time Michigan PGA Teacher of the Year. Vandenberg teaches at Thousand Oaks Golf Academy in Grand Rapids. Also during the weekend, Vandenberg will hold a seminar with Barrett Kelpin, another prized student who won the 2012 Michigan Open in record-breaking fashion.
Other home grown teaching talent at the Show are Treetops’ Jason Guss and Boyne USA’s Brian O’Neill who will team up and provide an informative and humorous seminar on a “Worst Swing Makeover.” Part of the acclaimed Treetops Golf Academy, Guss has been recognized by Golf Digest magazine as one of the Top 20 Teachers under the age of 40. Starting his 23rd year at the well-known Boyne Golf Academy, O’Neill is one of the state’s top instructors. One of his longtime students is Joey Garber, the 2010 Michigan Amateur champion who now plays for the top-rated University of Georgia.
A graduate of West Michigan University rounds out the speakers for the Seminar Stage, Frank Thomas. The former Technical Director for the USGA and now popular golf author and putting consultant Thomas is making his third appearance at the Show. Thomas is the author of Dear Frank and Just Hit It and just released his third book titled The Fundamentals of Putting. On the heels of the USGA’s recent ruling banning anchoring the putter against the body, Thomas will have plenty to say on the subject as well as recipes for better putting.
A complete roster of speakers and seminars is available at www.westmichigangolfshow.com
Held continuously since 1989, the West Michigan Golf Show will attract thousands of Michigan golfers to hundreds of exhibits and will feature clinics, putting contests, junior golf instruction, swing analyzers and unbeatable golf shopping opportunities. As always, several charities will benefit from their involvement with the show. Sponsors include: Treetops Resort, Pfeiffer Lincoln, Odawa Casino Resort, Swan Lake Resort, Golf Association of Michigan, Boyne USA and the Michigan PGA.
Produced by ShowSpan Inc. and held at DeVos Place, the West Michigan Golf Show's hours are 4:00 pm-9:00 pm, Friday; 10:00 am-7:00 pm, Saturday; and 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sunday. Tickets are $10 for adults, $4 for children ages 6-14, and children 5 and under are free. Tickets will be available at the door as well as online at www.westmichigangolfshow.com