Matthew Paget, the head professional at Royal Mid-Surrey GC, speaks to GOLF RETAILING about how he created one of the finest pro shops in the country.
I like people coming through the door and saying ‘Wow’,” starts Matthew Paget, head professional at Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club in Richmond, Surrey. Paget has been the professional at Royal Mid-Surrey for seven years, and even though he inherited a reasonable shop that had only been built in 2003 – after a fire had devastated the clubhouse and shop in 2001 – he had the entire shop refurbished in 2011.
“The shop was a reasonable size beforehand,” adds the TGI-member professional, “but it had limitations in the way it could be navigated by customers. We knocked a few walls down, made it more open plan, and we re-positioned our fitting studio, which now has a glass front so everyone can see what goes on in there.”
Out went the traditional cherry-wood interior and slatted walls, and in came sleek window displays and a layout that can be easily navigated.
“We have new customers coming in all the time and the shop still has that ‘wow’ factor,” adds Paget, who made an investment to the tune of £90,000 in the refurbishment, which two years on, he describes as a no-brainer. “Word has spread and we have seen a big increase in business across the board. We have more people coming through the door because it is a nice place and now it has a reputation. People come in and conversations that start on product can end with talk about tuition or even about membership.
“We still have big windows, but fitters Millerbrown designed stands to go in front of them, so the light still comes in but we can make better use of the space.”
Millerbrown’s Paul Sanders was impressed with Paget’s willingness to break with tradition and offer something to golfers that stands out.
“We changed the whole orientation of the space,” says Sanders. “Matthew’s members thought he had extended the shop, when he hadn’t. He had just made better use of the existing space.”
“In the old shop we spent our whole time looking for items for customers,” adds Paget, “whereas now, we still give customers our full attention, but they can shop for themselves and browse. They can see everything.”