The greens at the Meadows of Sixmile Creek
Put yourself in the picture: The greens at the Meadows of Sixmile Creek, one of the
convention’s exhibitors

Golf, Anyone?

The local golf season seems eons away, but, really, it’s never too early to get your mind back into your swing. The Greater Madison Golf Show sets up its endless rows of kiosks and exhibitor tables this weekend and boasts more than 100 vendors offering up to 70 percent discounts on everything from golf bags to nine irons. The $7 admission also gets you free rounds of golf at The Meadows of Sixmile Creek in Waunakee and Windwood of Watertown in Watertown (when the season starts up again in the spring), and a year’s subscription to either Golf Digest or Golf World. Free video swing analysis will be offered throughout the show and a free sleeve of golf balls will go to the first 500 people to show up on Saturday and Sunday. The show runs 1 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9; and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 10.

GO Greater Madison Golf Show. Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Wy., Madison, 608-267-3976,

While you’re in the area: On Saturday night, stop at the Lake Kegonsa State Park (2405 Door Creek Rd., Stoughton, 608-873-9695), where hundreds of luminaria (small lanterns) will provide a glow along two miles of cross-country ski trails through woods and prairie. At trail’s end, the Lake Kegonsa State Park Friends Group will serve drinks and desserts beside a blazing bonfire.

Where to Stay: The Hotel Ruby Marie (524 E. Wilson St., Madison, 608-327-7829, is a 140-year-old boutique hotel with 15 guest rooms across the street from Lake Monona and within walking distance of downtown Madison; rates range from $110 to $160 a night. The Mansion Hill Inn (424 N. Pinckney St., Madison, 608-255-0172, is a 156-year-old historic mansion with luxuriously renovated guest rooms overlooking the Capitol Building; weekend rates range from $250 to $350 a night.

Where to Eat: 43 North (108 King St., Madison, 608-255-4343, specializes in surf (black cod), turf (red-wine braised beef), and innovative salads and appetizers (duck confit with candied pecans, salmon tartar). Nostrano (111 S. Hamilton St., Madison, 608-395-3295, serves Italian fare, including whole-wheat pappardelle with lamb ragu, grilled octopus, and snapper brodetto.


Photograph: The Meadows of Sixmile Creek