Finding the best bargain takes strategy

A secret this is not: the best deals on golf equipment often come during demo days and tent sales such as the one on Saturday and Sunday at Black Butte Ranch.

Black Butte Ranch’s tent sale on the Big Meadow driving range will offer discounts of as much as 70 percent. From golf balls to clubs, and from golf bags to the latest apparel, “pretty much everything we have will be on sale,” says Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf.

Most of the major manufacturers will be represented, too. There is a reason that the two-day festival of golf is annually among Black Butte Ranch’s most popular events.

But that is not all there is to know about shopping at a tent sale. Finding the very best deals in a sea of bargains might take a little savvy, too.

How so?

Begin with the most obvious advice: start your shopping early, if possible. The tent sale opens at 9 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, and in this case the early bird might catch the right size on the perfect shoe.

“It is always better to start on Saturday because it is not as picked through as on Sunday,” Fought suggests.

Still, procrastinators should have some luck, too.

‘We have enough product that if you’re looking for the latest fashion apparel by all the name companies, you will get a good price on it,” Fought adds.

Also, if a golfer is in the market for an older model golf club, know the fit. It does not matter how great a discount, a poorly fit golf club is a bad deal. Don’t know the exact fit? That is where the demo days, which begin at 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, can help.

Representatives from golf’s biggest names such as TaylorMade, Nike, Ping and Adams Golf will be showing off the newest equipment. Smaller manufacturers such as custom-wedge maker Hopkins Golf, and putter-maker Bettinardi Golf, as well as Bridgestone Golf with its ball-fitting system, will also be on hand.

That is cool enough.

But the most underrated aspect of demo days is what comes for free: professional fittings. Golfers can learn their exact fit and get their swing analyzed by the best in the business … all for free.  Plus, instead of hitting a club into a net at a store, golfers can actually see a particular club’s ball flight at Big Meadow’s driving range.

Informed shoppers always make the best shoppers, to be sure.

More than offering a free, hands-on trials, manufacturers will also be offering special pricing. And most of the manufacturers allow special demo day ordering through Black Butte Ranch, guaranteeing delivery within a week even if the exact club is not on hand.

Even if a golfer is not in the market to buy a new set of clubs, it is still a blast to hit the latest and greatest equipment in golf.

“Coming out and hitting everybody’s equipment and having fun is what this is all about,” Fought says. “Being able to start the season off by looking at all the new equipment — hit it, feel it, and see it actually go in the air — that is big.”

The demo days will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The tent sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Everyone is welcome and admission is free.


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