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 Golfers of all ages and ability levels can sample and buy new equipment, get free lessons, enjoy clinics and demonstrations and enter the $25,000 Putting Challenge at the second annual Golfweek’s Golfest Presented by Transitions Championship the weekend of Feb. 18-19 at the Downs Golf Practice Facility.

Tickets are $10 daily for adults, with children 16 and under admitted free. Golfest hours are from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available at the Downs Golf Practice Facility or online at www.golfest.com.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit The Future Champions Golf Tour and The First Tee. Golfweek’s Golfest is the nation’s largest outdoor golf lifestyle event and the only such show in the Tampa Bay area.

The list of instructors and celebrities set to attend is a veritable “Who’s Who” of golf teaching. It includes David Leadbetter, considered by many the world’s No. 1 instructor and coach of the winners of more than a dozen major championships and 100 worldwide tournaments; Mike Shannon, a top-50 instructor and putting guru to many PGA Tour players; and Dennis Walters, whose “Golf Lessons and Life Lessons” show with his co-host, “Super Dog Bucky,” has inspired millions of golfers and non-golfers.

“Golfest is an excellent opportunity to bring out the entire family to try the latest products, receive instruction, win prizes and enjoy good food and beverages, and it provides great visibility for the track and our facility,” said Downs Golf Practice Facility manager Jon Johnson, a PGA Class A professional.

“This year’s event covers the gamut of the golf industry, from instruction on all phases of the game to Dennis Walters and his trick-shot exhibition” (or, as Walters calls them, ‘shots from unusual lies’), Johnson said.

“Mike Ziegler will give a long-drive demonstration, and we also have instruction from Marius Filmater (creator of the SAM Putt Lab systems) and numerous top area teachers, including Matt Mitchell and Brian Moore here at the Downs and Tim Polce, the North Florida PGA West Chapter Teacher of the Year.

“We have an excellent variety of speakers, and a lot of the major equipment companies are offering more corporate involvement, with launch monitors and club and ball-fitting,” Johnson added. “Callaway is bringing their Tour van. So if you want a new set of irons, you can be fitted and have them built here on site before you leave.”

Golfers can enter the $25,000 Putting Challenge sponsored by Paradise Golf & The Future Champions Golf Tour and the Cobra AMP Short Game Chipping Challenge with a chance to win prizes and merchandise. Discounts will be offered throughout the weekend at the Downs Golf Practice Facility Pro Shop Tent.

For details, call the Downs Golf Practice Facility at (813) 854-4946.


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