The Model Professional

    Tony Clark, former golf professional and owner and CEO of PlaneSWING, reports into GOLF RETAILING after a visit to Cameron Clark at Moor Hall Golf Club

    I left Moor Hall Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield inspired. I spent two hours with PGA professional Cameron Clark (no relation) and learned how he was building a thriving retail business through investment in his shop and teaching facilities.

    What struck me when I first arrived at Moor Hall GC was the quality of the signage on the windows and the entrance. There was no clutter. First impressions are crucial.

    When you enter the shop you immediately notice that it’s merchandised professionally, with good shelving and a feeling of space in what is actually not a large shop. His range is not expansive but it is well thought through, with excellent use of colour.

    On meeting Cameron, a board partner at the TGI Golf Partnership, I was immediately impressed by his appearance, confidence, positivity and his rapport with customers; as good an example of the power of mind-set as you’ll find. I asked Cameron about his retail philosophy:

    CC Shop  interior

    “A well-stocked and organised shop conveys a successful business,” he started, “Alex, Rob and I work hard to keep everything neat and tidy. I stock good quality brands and products that I know will reflect well on me and my customers, and this in turn creates confidence amongst members and guests. I also make sure that I’m dealing with suppliers that share my values so I can be confident that I’ll get the support I need when I need it, and being a TGI member ensures that. It really isn’t complicated.”

    But it’s clear that Cameron is no marketing novice. On the counter is a TV screen advertising his latest offers and he’s already geared up for Christmas with a Members Christmas Draw board. “I’m always looking at ways to engage with my customers and offer them value,” he adds.

    Cameron is also a regular on the Midlands tournament scene: “I support the regional events and play with members in most of the pro-ams. This keeps my game in shape, allows me to network with fellow pros, maintains a local profile and builds the all-important relationship with members.”

    Success in partnership

    And how does that member-pro relationship work? Cameron explained: “It’s essential that any pro and their club work together and have a shared goal, and that’s to deliver a great service to members and their guests. I work closely with the captain and committee to provide advice and support when needed in respect of equipment, instruction and any other golf related matters, on and off course, and it’s a two-way street. Only as a team have we got the best chance of exceeding people’s expectations, and knowing that we want each other to be successful is a real motivator. Ultimately you get out what you put in, and I believe that because of the close relationship we make it easy to work for each other.”

    So what about coaching? “Alex and I both coach and this certainly takes up much of our time,” says Cameron. “With the support of the club I recently upgraded my teaching and fitting facility, invested in a Foresight GC2 and PlaneSWING, and converted one of three covered bays into a private and secure studio. It’s been a great investment all-round and works well for us and our students, especially during the winter months.”

    To contact Tony Clark and to receive more information on PlaneSWING:

    T: 01604 830 880