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Top Speakers, Trip to Mauna Kea Mark 10th Golf Show

One way to beat the winter blues is a trip to Hawaii. OK, maybe just the thought of Hawaii. Well, this year to help celebrate the 10th annual West Michigan Golf Show, to be held in Grand Rapids on Feb. 27-March 1, a Grand Prize trip to Mauna Kea Resort in Hawaii will be given away to two lucky patrons just for attending the show.

Along with over 120 exhibits featuring golf equipment and merchandise, resorts and golf schools, apparel and specialty items, the WMGS will also highlight two top-notch headliners giving free clinics all weekend. Appearing courtesy of Republic Bank, Grand Rapids native Todd Anderson will be returning to his hometown to make his first appearance at the Show. The Director of Golf Instruction at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL, Anderson is a member of Golf Digest's celebrated Golf Schools. In August, Anderson appeared on the cover of Golf Digest for his instructional article, "Why Less is More_How to increase your distance by shortening your swing." Anderson has established a reputation as one of the best young instructors in golf today, earning the distinction as being a faculty member for the PGA of America for its golf professional training program. A frequent lecturer for the South Florida PGA Section, Anderson's 30-plus students include Dicky Pride, winner of the '94 St. Jude Classic, and Darrell Kestner, the '96 National Club Pro Champion.

A 1980 graduate of Rockford HS, Anderson went on to earn a golf scholarship at the University of Alabama where he played on the golf team for four years. Later turning professional, Anderson was an assistant pro for two years at Green Ridge CC in Grand Rapids. "It'll be a thrill and an honor to come back to GR as part of the Show and to be able to share some of the knowledge I've learned over the years," said Anderson. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL with his wife Stacey and his three sons, Travis, Taylor and Tucker.

"Are you playing the wrong equipment?" That question will be dissected by the author of an article by the same name at the show. Associate Editor of Golf Digest, Mike Stachura has written or co-authored more than 100 articles for the magazine, including the aforementioned "wrong equipment" article that was the cover story in the December issue. "What was amazing to me in researching the article was the fact that two-thirds of golf equipment buyers were not fitted for their clubs," said Stachura. "Yet, nine out of 10 golfers say they play better with fitted clubs."

In all, Stachura has written 20 articles on equipment, shedding sound consumer advice and insight into the oft-confusing world of shafts, clubheads and swing weights. On the staff of Golf Digest since 1992, Stachura has worked with Playing Editors Nick Price and Mark O'Meara for their contributions to the magazine. He has also co-authored articles with Hale Irwin, Ernie Els and Bernhard Langer. An avid golfer ("an occupational necessity"), Stachura "plays to about a 14 handicap, except when it matters." He lives in Trumbull, Conn. with his wife Kathy and his daughter Annie Kate.

One lucky patron at the Show this year will experience a golf trip of a lifetime. Courtesy of Mauna Kea Resort and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a grand door prize golf vacation to Hawaii will be given away. On the Big Island of Hawaii, the Mauna Kea GC is one of the premiere golf courses in the world. Designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones Sr., Mauna Kea opened in 1964 to instant acclaim. Set atop a 5,000 year-old volcanic lava flow on the scenic Kohala Coast, Mauna Kea features breathtaking ocean views, undulating fairways, uphill holes, steep greens and Jones' trademark bunkering_120 in all. Mauna Kea's sister course -- the HapunaGC -- is fast becoming equally famous. Designed by Palmer and Seay in '92, Hapuna is set on a lava hillside ans landscaped with native grasses and Shrubs. Members of the Westin Hotels and Resorts, Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotels are two of the most lavish and elegant resorts in the world. (1-800-882-6060)

Other attractions at the show include a $10,000 putt contest sponsored by Pontiac/GMC Truck Dealers and Tournament Promotions and a closest-to-the-pin contest via and indoor swing simulator sponsored by Compaq Computers. Free golf lessons by area pros are also a popular feature.

The West Michigan Golf Show is presented by the West Michigan Pontiac/GMC Truck Dealers and sponsored by Michigan Golfer, Century Cellunet, Orson E. Coe Pontiac/GMC, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, WZZM TV-13, Republic Bank and Compaq Computers Located at Ford Fieldhouse in Grand Rapids (616-771-3990), Show hours are 5 pm - 9 pm on Friday the 27th; 10 am- 5 pm on Saturday; and 11 am - 4 pm on Sunday. For more information on the West Michigan Golf Show, call 616-247--1931.

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