Four keys points that should be kept in mind by the pro-shop manager of a golf club

Quinta da Ria Golf Course. Four keys points that should be kept in mind by the pro-shop manager of a golf club

Four keys points that should be kept in mind by the pro-shop manager of a golf club

Pro-shop manager of a golf club: As a player and great golfer enthusiastic I like to travel and play on different golf courses and, of course, visit the pro-shops. Unfortunately, in many cases the pro-shop is a sad image of the club. My question is: why is it so complicated to have a pro-shop in a condition and generate more profits for the club? Well, it’s not complicated at all. But you have to put in charge a suitable person to take care of the pro-shop, a person specialized in retail. As a greenkeeper for the greens, as a receptionist to sell greenfees and make reservations, as a waiter to serve a drink and something to eat before or after the game.

The most important thing is the purchase
For that you have to know everything about quality, keep up to date with market trends and activities of competitors, know your customer (sizes, age, taste) and carry an adequate stock to meet sales objectives.
Preparing before a visit from a supplier or before visiting a fair is very important, you should know what is in stock, know what is pending and what you have to order for the next season to satisfy your client and, more importantly , to reach your goal. There are very good suppliers who have a lot of experience and that can help you but it is always preferable that you are in control. Every pro-shop is different!
You don’t have to be afraid to buy colors or prints. Today’s player follows the trends and will ask you for a polo shirt they have seen in tournaments on TV. You should always keep a proper stock with a good basic in neutral colors, and don’t forget merchandise with your logo, both in famous Golf clubs or in member clubs! It is advisable to have a members corner in the pro-shop exclusive for members or companies where they can choose their garments and merchandise with their logo. It is important to have lists prepared each season where you write their name, size and color to avoid complications at the time of order.

Vilamoura Old Course. Dom Pedro Golf Collection

Vilamoura Old Course

Sale is an art
Always standing with a big smile and earring of your customers. You need to know exactly what you have in the pro-shop and know where the merchandise is for efficient service. Watch your client and interpret their preferences, just by looking at which brands he wears, you already have to know what you can offer him. If they are regular customers it is important to greet them by name (and in their language in clubs with many tourist visitors). Remembering which brand they usually buy and what size they wear are details that customers appreciate very much. Golf knowledge is recommended to have a dialogue about your game, the other day match, an important tournament or recent news.
The decoration of the shop and the mannequins always updated is essential. You should check in advance which important groups come to play to have the pro-shop prepared. And if they play again in a couple of days change the mannequins and make sure you present a new experience every time they enter the pro-shop.
The reception is also the point of selling all kinds of accessories. It is important for the person selling the greenfee to ask if the player needs balls, tees, gloves, marker, ball fishing, etc. Sales of accessories with a greenfee represent a very large amount in the total sales of a pro-shop.

Pinheiros Altos Golf Course. Dom Pedro Golf Collection

Pinheiros Altos Golf Course

Maybe it’s the most boring part, but it’s not the least important. A pro-shop has to carry out good management to ensure a good functioning and always keep up with the numbers when it comes to meeting sales objectives, adequate stocks of merchandise, ordering replenishments, checking orders, billing control, prepare budgets, prepare purchase and sales reports (monthly, quarterly, annual).
You must ensure quality compliance, customer service, health and safety in the pro-shop. Promote pro-shop in newspapers, magazines, social networks. Calculate and set prices with commercial margin. Set seasonal rebates and discounts for regulars. Manage problems with merchandise, complaints, comments and customer questions. Implement commercial policies and operating procedures for the store. Plan and organize activities in the pro-shop or for a tournament. Maintain good contact with suppliers.

Amendoeira Faldo Golf Course. Dom Pedro Golf Collection

Amendoeira Faldo Golf Course

The stock of a pro shop is an investment
We must work in collaboration with management and provide information necessary to establish an investment amount. Provide information on merchandise, procedures, performance, new initiatives, promotions or special events, forecasts, prepare budgets. It’s a delicate point because in many golf clubs they don’t want to invest a lot of money in the pro-shop. But with a good report on forecasts, performance and results you can get the pro-shop ahead in any club.
These are the points that I think are the most important. Of course there is much more like where to place the pro-shop, how to design it, etc. We could go into more details because managing a pro-shop correctly requires your work… but it also brings a very big benefit to the golf club.

In the last three years I have worked as a pro-shop manager. As I wanted to continue growing in the world of golf I decided to start the road of CMAE in November 2017, where I have surpassed the MDP 1, MDP 2, Club Management Diploma, Course Management and finally the MDP 3 in May of this year in Dubai.

by Petra van Schelven

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