Avoid the winter sales blues

As MD of Brand Fusion, Nigel Freemantle has experienced over 35 years of winters in the golf trade, so here are he offers a few tips on how to keep the tills ringing through the darker months.

Before long we shall be waving goodbye to the long, sunny evenings and preparing for the winter ahead, so now is the perfect time for the golf pros to start thinking about their winter stock and ways of increasing their sales for the slower months.

Autumn is the best time of year to get all members geared up for a yearly Golf MOT. You could even enrol them into a Golf MOT scheme and charge them a small fixed fee (perhaps by monthly D/D) for the assistant pro to go through bag contents and accessories to see if they are winter ready; the basics could even be included in the subscription fee. Such things on the check list should be:

Clubs – check loft and lie, state of the grips, shafts and grooves

Shoes – laces, waterproofing, cleats and studs

Waterproofs, umbrella and gloves

Trolleys – any damage, bearings, clean up and grease up

The pros already doing this have increased their sales ten-fold and the customer is delighted as they feel looked after and are confident their equipment is now winter-ready. How much is charged and what is included is something the pro must decide but it opens up lots of possibilities for increased revenue.

Other essentials are a good pair of winter playing gloves; not cheap ones which won’t keep the cold out but an investment into a decent pair will pay dividends in the long run. Winter mitts are a must to keep in the bag, as well as a woolly hat or snood. Something that I always carry in the winter is a thermal base layer set, which has saved me from hypothermia on many occasions! Brand Fusion sells some of the best thermals, that retail at £24.99 a set.

A good windcheater or windproof sweater is a great alternative to a waterproof suit when it’s windy and cold, rather than wet. The new water resistant trousers are fabulous and work well with base layer pants underneath. And last but not least, throw-away hand warmers to keep in your mitts and a hip flask of whisky!