Mobile Golf Shops

nick-spinnato-bgs-120x143Nick Spinnato, 2014 Middle Atlantic PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA director of golf at Turf Valley in Ellicott City, Maryland.

We are a 36-hole private/resort facility. We use the mobile golf shop technique for six one-day charity events throughout the year, each with over 200 players. It’s labor intensive, but we get a lot of help from our vendors. Five of our mobile golf shops are done by Nike and one by Titleist. The vendors are present at each event, helping with receiving and distribution of product. We don’t request sizes from players; instead, we order more than the amount of everything we need, with variable size runs. We’ve never run short of anything. Nike brings outerwear, shirts, hats, and clubs. We usually go with a wedge or hybrid, because they don’t need as much fitting as other clubs. We don’t logo product for each event, except hats, because it doesn’t work to return these items. In most events, we select four packages for men and two for women in the allotted price; then each person chooses the package he or she prefers. This is a popular option for tournament directors, because it limits the time players spend shopping before teeing off. People love the package options, the personalization of the approach, and the fact that they leave with gifts in hand.

We are growing this program, attracting more high-level events. Charitable organizations realize they can maximize donations by coming to a 36-hole facility, thereby doubling the number of players in their event. We have refined the ordering process, getting much closer in estimating the quantities and sizes we will need for each event. In terms of revenue, since these are high-volume endeavors, we are OK with making a 20-25 percent profit. You have to weigh the volume of the sale compared to the profit margin. Besides, this approach benefits charities and gives our club a great reputation, thus drawing even more high-end charity events to our mobile golf shop events program.

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