Golf season is right around the corner and one way to prepare is at the Minnesota Golf Show.

The 31st annual event, presented by Choice Bank, is set for Feb. 18-20 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s the largest golf show in the Midwest, attracting roughly 11,000 golf enthusiasts each year.

Minnesota is an underrated golf state, and COVID-19 didn’t slow down rounds of the links over the last two summers. In fact, the pandemic seemed to have helped introduce golf to more first-time players.

According to the Minnesota Golf Association, it gained roughly 4,000 more adult members during the pandemic. In youth golf, the MGA reported an increase in its membership for the Minnesota Chapter of Youth on a Course from 4,700 participants in 2019 to over 12,000 in 2021.

The MGA is estimating it will have roughly 80,000 active members for 2022. Minnesota hasn’t seen that many active participants since 2001 when membership was 95,000.

In 2020, the MGA reported that rounds of golf in the state increased by 30% from the previous year. The increase was only 2% from 2018 to 2019.

A few years ago, Links Magazine ranked the best golf states in the country. Minnesota was near the top 10, ranking No. 11 (Florida was No. 1).

One fun golf fact, Minnesota is the only state to host all 17 championships conducted by the United States Golf Association, starting in 1916 with the U.S. Open at Minikahda Club in Minneapolis.

Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska has been the host many major events over the years, including the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in 2019. The course will be the host of the Ryder Cup for a second time in 2029 (the first time was in 2016).

So what can golf enthusiasts find at the Minnesota Golf Show?

There are plenty of vendors and exhibits, including 2nd Swing, 3M Golf, Minnesota PGA Section, All Seasons Golf and the Meadows at Mystic Lake, a course by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which has won awards from Golf Digest, Golfweek and Midwest Gaming and Travel.

At the golf show, there are “100,000 square feet of pure golf.” There are simulators to try out new drivers and other types of clubs.

There is a lot to see and do in three days, including taking a free 10-minute lesson from a PGA professional, seeing the newest technology from leaders in the golf industry, booking a golf trip or finding great deals on apparel and clubs.

At past shows, there has been over 10,000 golfing items from some of the nation’s top country clubs with some deals ranging up to 90% off.

There’s even a chance to win some money. Sink a 75-foot put through multiple breaks and levels and win $10,000.

For more details on the Minnesota Golf Show or to purchase tickets, go to minnesotagolfshow.com.

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.

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