Autumn is here and winter is nigh. Here are some ideas and products to keep the pro shop busy over the off-season and to keep revenue coming in
1. The Off-season M.O.T.
Winter is the time golfers should be making sure all the gear in their bag is in full working order, rather than waiting until competitions start again in earnest in the spring. Pro shops could offer the golf bag M.O.T., with checks on shafts, grips, lofts and lies, and golf spikes too.
2. Keeping wheels in motion
The golf bag M.O.T concept can extend to trolleys too, as winter is the ideal time for golfers to get their trolleys serviced, or at least to have their batteries checked. This is something that can be done in the pro shop, with good margins available on new battery sales. A stock of trolley winter wheels can also be significant, as they can help golfers to keep their trolleys on the course throughout the wet periods. If golfers can use their trolleys throughout the winter, many will play more golf, which brings them into the pro shop more often too.
3. Festive spirit
Make sure you have a detailed plan for the build-up to Christmas, with Christmas shopping beginning in earnest in November. A prominent festive display of stocking fillers will attract attention, while a Christmas prize raffle is a good way of keeping people coming into the shop. How about a lucky dip, with raffle tickets numbered from 1 to 500 in a hat, with each number representing the cost of the ticket in pence (from 1p to £5.00)? Pros could also email a Christmas wish list to their customer database, for customers to fill in and give to their loved ones. You could stir up Christmas wishes by releasing a list of the top-selling Christmas present products from 2013.
4. Seeking sunshine
Now is the perfect time to plan a golf trip to sunnier climes with members for the New Year, as their pre-season warm-up. As the dark winter evenings draw in, golfers like nothing more than to plan for a trip to play golf in the sun. By hosting a trip for a group, this is an ideal way to generate both income in the off-season, and customer loyalty among those who make the trip.
How about this package from Golfbreaks, to Lumine Golf & Beach Club on Spain’s Costa Dorada:
3 nights B&B + 3 rounds from £255/€315 per person
5 nights B&B + 4 rounds from £375/€459 per person
Package includes: Free buggy for the pro while on site; single occupancy room for the pro; free use of practice facilities & range balls. As the Official Golf Travel Company of the PGAs of Europe and a partner of the PGA, pros booking with Golfbreaks receive a free place plus 5 percent commission.
5. Indoor golf
If golf clubs or pro shops have a room or area that is big enough to house a golf simulator and screen, and in which golfers can swing a club, simulator golf can be a great way to keep people coming to the club over the winter.
“It brings in revenue to the pro shop, but also increases usage in the clubhouse bar, especially throughout the winter months,” says Gordon Townhill, director of golf, Brough GC, East Yorkshire, who has installed the Foresight GC2 in what used to be the club’s neglected snooker room. “Even in inclement weather, we can still use the simulator for coaching, club-fitting, playing on some of the world’s great courses, or for nearest-the-pin and longest-drive competitions.”
“The Foresight GC2 has set a new industry standard for increasing revenue during the winter,” claims Ed Doling, European sales director at Foresight Sports.
“Foresight simulator customers have confirmed to us that despite bad weather and short days in the winter, they have actually booked more lessons because of the comfort and convenience of an indoor facility, and by custom-fitting so many clubs they don’t need to spend as much money on hardware stock either, which frees up capital for fast-moving apparel lines. A full simulator installation can pay for itself in a single winter.”