PORTLAND – The golf season in Maine is a good month away, but nevertheless, it’s the time of the year when golfers start planning for the season.

The Portland Golf Expo, now in its 20th year, can help golfers get in the swing.

The Expo, this Saturday and Sunday at the Holiday Inn By The Bay in Portland, will offer clinics, free rounds of golf, brand name clubs at discounted prices, long drive, putting, chipping and closest to the pin contests, raffles, vacation packages and other freebies.

Times for the Golf Expo are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 a person, but discounted tickets are available at www.portlandgolfexpo.com,

Willowdale Golf Club in Scarborough and Point Sebago Resort in Casco are each giving away 2,000 rounds of golf. The first 700 paid admissions on Saturday receive two free rounds of golf and the first 300 starting at noon will receive two free rounds.

On Sunday, the first 1,000 through the door will receive two free rounds.

The Golf Expo will be giving away thousands of dollars in door prizes and drawings, including stay and play vacation packages, compliments of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commence.

Other golf offerings will be a two-for-one greens fee at Dunegrass Golf Club in Old Orchard Beach. Spring Meadows GC in Gray, Fox Ridge GC in Auburn and the Poland Springs Resort are offering three rounds of golf for $99. Brunswick Golf Club is a new exhibitor at the Golf Expo and will be offering $300 off a single membership to new members and a discounted greens fee coupon. Other new exhibitors are Riverside Municipal GC, Fournier’s Fitness, Austerer, Higgins Physical Therapy and Wellness, and the Greater Portland Golf Association

Also, a paid admission will bring a year’s subscription to a choice of either Golf Digest or Golf World.

The clinics offered are:

Dr. John Hayes, a Cape Elizabeth chiropractor, will talk about getting physically fit for those opening swings of the season. He will show exercises for the lower back and shoulders. His clinic will begin at 11 a.m. both days.

Mike Dugas, the PGA professional at J.W. Parks in Pittsfield, will talk about the recruiting process for Junior golfers. His session is at noon both days.

Ron Bibeau, executive director of The First Tee of Maine, will speak at 1 p.m. both days on the First Tee youth-development program and what is needed financially to be successful.

Scott Mayer, co-owner of the Portland Golf Expo and the head teaching professional at Nonesuch River GC in Scarborough, will talk about the mental side of golf. His clinic is scheduled for 2 p.m. both days.

Jim Fairbanks, a PGA professional, will talk about the short game and how to be successful from 100 yards in. His clinic is at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The Golf Expo will help benefit The First Tee of Maine. Donations to a silent auction will generate funds for the program.

Parking to the Golf Expo is free at the parking facility adjacent to the Holiday Inn.

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: TomChardPPH