Chart Hills have successfully rebranded and rebuilt their golf club. General Manager Anthony Tarchetti and Head Professional Kevin Oldall explain how G/FORE has been an integral part of their transformation.

    Chart Hills have successfully rebranded and rebuilt their golf club. General Manager Anthony Tarchetti and Head Professional Kevin Oldall explain how G/FORE has been an integral part of their transformation.

    Tell us about the changes that have taken place at Chart Hills?
    AT: We were handed the keys on Christmas Eve 2019 with 97 full members. Since then, we’ve lifted every fairway, replaced the drainage system, sand caps, and seeding.
    That was just the start of the project. We’ve now got new tees opening, and we’ve added a par three course. We’ve had a driving range refurbishment, and we’re having accommodations put in. That’s a quick overview of it. I wish it was that quick to do!
    We now have 350 members. The fees have gone from £1,200 a year to £6,300 for the first year and an annual rate of £3,300. As a business, it has changed a lot, as has our target audience. We’ve created a premium golf club, and I think it is safe to say it’s working. There was a massive gap in the market in Kent, which I believe is quite an affluent county, to create a model that targets the individual who doesn’t mind paying a high-end subscription or green fee to play at a high-quality venue.

    How has that influenced how you have stocked the shop?
    AT: With the improvements to the golf course, it has opened us up to a key demographic that we’ve not had. Historically, our membership base has been a little bit more seasoned! Following the huge investment we’ve had in the venue, we’re seeing a lot more of a wider demographic of people that have more expendable earnings to spend on their hobbies. We’ve seen a big influx of golfers in their early 30s to mid-50s who are looking to enjoy their golf, and they want to look good whilst their doing it

    KO: G/FORE offers something very different from the other brands that we stock. It’s a little bit funkier, and size-wise, it offers a bit more for all sizes. It comes up with some different ideas that offer our customers something unique to look at.
    It’s great in the shop. It can be merchandised really well. We’ve been buying into patterns heavily, G/FORE
    offers strong colours that aren’t too overpowering.

    How has the start to the season been?
    AT: On a good day, we might host 150 people- around the number we’d hope to get out there. With the poor weather, we’ve been fighting to get the new tee complexes ready. The shop has been a little quiet, but from now on, we will be busy, and it will give the staff an opportunity to sell the apparel to both members and guests. It won’t just be the same golfers who play all year round.
    With the changes made to our irrigation and drainage, plus the new tees, we now have a course that can be open all year, in tip-top condition.
    What products in the range sell well for you?
    AT: Let’s stop beating around the bush, G/FORE are smashing it! It’s hard not to like all of it. Around 50% of the apparel sold in-store is G/FORE. We buy through the line really. Shoes, apparel, accessories, golf bags, gloves.

    KO: G/FORE does a really strong job with patterns and prints. The floral stuff is funky, but our members love it. But they also offer really classic, clean products. They offer something for everyone. The G.112 has done really well for us so far. It’s a comfortable casual golf shoe. Golf style has evolved so much with hoodies, joggers, and the trainer-style golf shoes that golfers favour for that casual, comfortable look.
    Saying that, I think now the season is kicking in, the Gallivan2r will really pick up steam. It’s that combination of classic fused with modern that can be worn any time,
    it’s waterproof, and it hits a really competitive mainstream price point.
    AT: The spiked Gallivanter
    G/LOCK will start to sell once the weather improves. It’s the perfect golf shoe for the golfer who wants to look his best for a particular event or special round of golf.”

    What do the team at G/FORE do to help Chart Hills?
    AT: One of the things they helped us with was the refresh of our club logo. It’s now nice and subtle and the crest sits well on premium apparel. Losing the name of the club and using the shield looks better on garments.
    Everyone at G/FORE is awesome to work with. I’ve known Michael Hart, the National Sales Manager, for years, and he is a good friend. We almost never have any problems with G/FORE, but even when we do, the after-service has always sorted issues very swiftly. I won’t stock brands that are hard to deal with, but G/FORE is exceptional from a customer service standpoint. GR

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