The new Golf Shoppe at Boca West CC took inspiration from high-end department stores, offering lifestyle brands in a sophisticated setting.
Years ago, golf shops at clubs and resorts around the country were mostly functional spaces, carrying golf clubs, shoes and a hodgepodge of assorted golf accessories. But
today, the golf shop is taking on a life and personality of its own at many properties.
“For many years, the golf shop was the forgotten stepchild of the club,” says Mike Sieverson, President/Owner of Procraft Heritage Creations, which designs and builds golf shops. “Now, clubs are recognizing the importance of bringing the golf shop up to the standard of the rest of the clubhouse—both in its look and feel, as well as operationally and functionally.”
Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., wanted to do just that as it designed and developed its new golf shop as a shopping destination for not only state-of-the-art golf gear, but luxury lifestyle fashions and accessories as well.
The club’s golf shop remodel was part of its golf building renovation that focused on better serving Boca West’s increasing volume from its membership of 3,200 families. The club demolished its 47,000-sq. ft. golf facility and replaced it with a 153,000-sq. ft. golf and activities center that, in addition to the Golf Shoppe, houses The Boutique, Grand Central Sports Bar & Grill, Prime Cut The Place for Steaks, and a ballroom for activities, as well as a card room, full-service library, state-of-the-art locker rooms, and a covered golf car staging area.
The Golf Shoppe—located at the building’s center—was a vital addition to the new facility. While the club has a tennis shop and another club boutique, the vision for the space was for expansive retailing of both golf and lifestyle brands, all within a space designed as a high-end department store, rather than a traditional plaid-and-tan golf shop.
“We’ve seen a demand for more high-end clothing and lifestyle brands,” says General Manager Matthew Linderman, CCM. “Our members are looking for more than golf apparel.”
Today, the club’s golf shop spans 5,000 sq. ft., boasting high-end brands such as Bugatchi, Peter Millar, Ralph Lauren, Ted Baker and Lacoste, to name a few. “We sell more than some department stores,” says Linderman.
A Plan of Action
Of course, the new shop did not come to life overnight. Boca West’s staff assembled a dedicated team of architects, designers and vendors to help achieve its vision for a thoroughly modern golf shop. The club wanted a sophisticated shop that would emulate the style, grace and elegance of luxury retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. The goal for the project was to bring this vision into the club setting, while maintaining a versatile and functional space.
“The Golf Shoppe is three steps down, creating a bird’s-eye view of the entire space and a sense of arrival,” describes Linderman. “You walk into the space and get that ‘wow’ factor.”
The store boasts digital signage, product showcases, and top-line apparel and accessories. “We travel to shows in New York and Las Vegas where they unveil the new lines and trends for the year,” says Linderman. “We find new lines to bring into the shop. We listen to the members and have a good pulse of what they are looking for.”
Procraft worked closely with the club’s architect and designer to lay out the shop and create the desired atmosphere through custom millwork and a blend of materials and displays. “We’ve been doing custom millwork for almost 40 years,” says Sieverson. “There were a lot of unique designs in the shop that we needed to create to pull off the look, feel and functionality of the space. Our experienced designers and craftsmen engineered the unique radius millwork and numerous elaborate displays. We know the packaging, the sizing, and the lofts and lies of clubs. We took all of that into account in our designs.”
That experience and expertise was invaluable, Linderman notes. “Procraft has done a lot of shops around the country and ours was one of the largest, if not the largest, they’d done,” he says. “They were really excited and able to design some great new displays and features for us. And they used a nice blend of materials.”
A combination of rich, stained maple wood displays and cabinetry, white stone countertops and details, and brushed nickel, glass and mirror accessories established a sophisticated look for the shop, without being pretentious or stuffy.
“We also have beautiful white stone nesting tables in different sizes and shapes, similar to what you’d see in a Ralph Lauren flagship store,” says Linderman. “People in Florida like bright-colored clothing, and that really pops on those white tables.”
Lighting was another important element in the shop’s design. A combination of track and cabinetry lighting helps to set a bright tone for the shop, while displaying merchandise in favorable illumination.
The club also built three display windows to give members views from outside the building. “Promotional displays [let] members see what’s in season,” says Linderman.
To help with any needed adjustments after the shop opened, Procraft has continued to make resources available to Boca West. “They have been a real partner—and the relationship you build with your vendor is important,” Linderman says. “We have a vendor for life in them, where others may drop and go when a project is completed. I feel I can call the owner and get an immediate response.”
After opening in March, payoffs from the upgrade have been immediate, Linderman reports. “Our volume is 30% higher this year, compared to the old shop,” he says. “Our members use us as their first stop. It’s been a huge success.”
The shop has become a hub within the golf building, he adds. “We do trunk shows in the space,” he says. “People meet there and ladies come in to shop together, like they would at the mall. It’s a large space, with beautiful fitting rooms and backlit mirrors, like in a custom retailer.”
Linderman credits much of the store’s success to its non-traditional nature. “It’s important to look outside of the club world when designing these shops,” he says. “We knew we didn’t want a typical golf shop, so we looked at resorts and at what’s happening in New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas. It’s important to get out of your comfort zone.”