‘Demo day’ offers chance to try first

Lucas Punkari

Local golfer “Snake” Krawchuk may have put it best for what many who hit the driving range at the Heron Landing Golf Course on Saturday were looking for as they attended one of the course’s “demo days.”
“For me, it’s about trying all of the new equipment and seeing if I can buy anything without ‘Mama’ finding out,” he joked.
“For me, a lot of my time is spent just looking at the new clubs that have come out this year and trying them out, and to see what clubs are more forgiving and can help to improve distance,” Krawchuk added.
Demo days such as the one held Saturday, which saw representatives from TaylorMade, Adams Golf, and Cobra on hand, have taken place at Heron Landing since 2005 and usually are held early in the season.
However, due to the fact the course opened later this year because of poor weather, Heron Landing golf pro and general manager Brian Johnstone had to make some adjustments in order to get things set in stone.
“We were looking to have this on May 4 but the weather sure didn’t help,” he remarked.
“Since the guys are mostly based out of Winnipeg, and they are working all over the region, we had to hold this year’s event over the course of three weekends,” Johnstone explained.
“So as a result, we had Callaway here last weekend, the three brands here on Saturday, and we will have representatives from Titleist here in the next couple of weeks.”
The shortened spring also has led to some havoc for those who travel across the region to attend the “demo days” as their already busy schedules have become even more hectic.
“I cover everywhere from Thunder Bay to Lloydminster, Sask., and this year alone I will be doing 63 events like this,” noted Stephen McGlenen, an independent salesperson from Winnipeg who was representing Cobra Golf on Saturday.
“It can be crazy at times, but this is something that I enjoy as every day is different and I’m constantly meeting new people,” he added.
Although each event can be vary as to what takes place, the questions many golfers have for the company reps usually are the same.
“A lot of them just want to try out the new clubs and are trying to figure out whether or not they want a driver, woods, hybrids, or irons,” explained Ron Bilawaka, the territory manager for Adidas, TaylorMade, Ashworth, and Adams Golf.
“They are curious about the flex of the shaft more than anything else, and they also want to know what’s in the club head as TaylorMade has three different types of drivers, for instance.
“That makes things pretty hectic,” he admitted.
For the golf courses, such as Heron Landing at Couchiching, having the reps come and visit is something that’s a great benefit for them.
“These guys come in and bring everything that is currently on the market for everyone to try out,” Johnstone explained.
“Because we are in a small market, we can’t have everything in stock, so this gives people a chance to try everything out and compare it to what they have,” he reasoned.
“Even though it’s a one-day event, it’s a big one for us here.”