Updating the pro shop and performance studio at Portland (Ore.) GC started with a full evaluation of what it should be offering, and how, followed by a makeover to match the unique look, feel and member experience that’s now being provided throughout the property.
Following on the heels of a successful clubhouse renovation, an updated pro shop and performance studio was a natural next step for the Portland (Ore.) Golf Club (PGC).
“The decision to remodel the pro shop was made to provide a consistent atmosphere and member experience throughout the entire club,” says General Manager Lonnie Lister.
(The second phase of the club-wide, master-planned makeover will also include a new pool and the opening of the Sandwedge snack bar at the golf course turn; those projects are scheduled for a later date.)
While construction for the pro shop remained on track and wrapped this past March, the shop’s full opening was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Even while operating on a limited basis, however, it is already providing improved traffic flow and streamlined operations, and proving its enhanced value for the PGC membership.
The Right Spot and Look
Partnering with Portland-area design firm 2Hemispheres, PGC set out to create a customer-friendly format that drives business in an aesthetically pleasing format. The 1,500-sq. ft. pro shop mirrors the look and feel of the recently renovated clubhouse, creating a consistent design throughout the facility.
“We took the coffered detail from the clubhouse and applied [it] in the pro shop, to align the architectural aesthetic,” says Dan Hones, 2Hemispheres’ Chief Creative Officer. White painted millwork is enhanced by a neutral green on the walls. “We also carried down the walnut finish from the clubhouse, which contrasted nicely with the white millwork,” Hones adds.
Located in the lower southeast corner of the clubhouse, just off the putting green and first tee, PGC’s pro shop provides easy access for golfers on the move—and even with stay-at-home restrictions in place in the state, there has been more of that movement than ever, with golf being one of the few remaining approved activities.
“We would have anywhere from 120 to 170 rounds a day in years past through the high season, with our busiest days of the year reaching 220,” says Lacy Erickson, First Assistant Golf Professional. “With our facility being busier than ever with stay-at-home restrictions, we have been averaging 200 to 220 rounds a day, with our busiest days seeing 260 rounds.”
The addition of a second entrance door to the shop on the east side (near the putting green and women’s locker room) now also affords greater traffic flow through the shop. The cash wrap was decreased in size by 50 percent, opening up the sales floor and giving shoppers more elbow room. An emphasis was also placed on having an open ceiling and bringing in more natural light, while also improving the organization and presentation of product categories (shoes, golf bags, hats, etc.) to eliminate any need for a “stack it high” merchandising approach.
This design strategy led to a more purposeful use of merchandising fixtures, now comprised of a mix of wall units with customizable attachments. “We migrated away from the typical fixed-shelf, cabinetry-style of fixtures often found in pro shops, to provide the staff with a wider range of merchandising solutions,” explains Hones. “The fixture selection and design was intended to let the product be the hero, and to simplify the buying and merchandising process.”
PGC, in fact, originally engaged 2Hemispheres through a business assessment of its shop and merchandising strategy, which then led to the firm’s involvement with the renovation. Shop layout and display decisions were “backed into,” based on the needs identified by the evaluation for what percentage of space each category and vendor merited, based on the desired sales mix.
Each entry point to the shop is now marked by lead-in tables with risers and bust forms that can be used to highlight new collections. Two full mannequins also help to market assorted gift and accessory presentations.
Special touches include stylish wooden hangers customized with “Est. 1914,” referencing the year Portland GC was founded. (C+RB featured PGC as the cover story of its March 2014 issue, during the club’s 100th anniversary year: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/going-distance/.) And eyewear is now displayed through an elegant, slide-out, self-serve “jewelry case” positioned at the front and center of the sales counter.
The emphasis on maximizing space also benefits key product areas for the shop. One such spot is the zone for footwear, which was identified by the business assessment, along with headwear, as being an underpenetrated category in the store.
Product display, seating and storage for the shoe category have now been integrated, Hones reports. “Previously, footwear did not have a home and was strewn throughout the shop, but in the new format, the space [for shoes] is focused,” he says.
Swapping out seasonal or undersold merchandise is also possible, thanks to customizable displays that can be updated as necessary. “We have established a fixture currently for aged goods, but the system is flexible enough that it can migrate, based on need,” Hones adds.
Fit and Functional
In addition to its carefully curated product selection, PCG’s pro shop now includes a private office for the head golf pro, a changing room, and a small lounge area where shoppers can relax in vintage leather chairs while taking in a tournament on a high-definition monitor. An enlarged clubfitting studio, four times the size of the previous area designated for this service, provides ample room for golfers to perfect their swings, and the club also envisions using this area as a multifunction space with PGC’s return to full operations.
A small storage area between the pro shop and performance studio, along with a club repair room, round out the amenities.
With such sweeping improvements made to its shop, PGC’s management and its design team are confident that the facility is also well-prepared to take on the challenges that will be presented by the newly altered operating landscape.
“As we have evaluated the current plan over the last few months, facing the changes of consumer behaviors and expectations due to [the coronavirus outbreak], we have found the layout to be very accommodating to social-distancing requirements as originally planned,” notes Hones.
And while PGC had to postpone plans for the shop’s grand opening, which included contests in the fitting studio, guest speakers, entertainment and special merchandise discounts, the club’s staff is still excited about finding the right time for when its spruced-up space can be properly showcased.
“When we can resume somewhat normal operations, we will certainly be celebrating the completion of the project in some form,” notes Lister. “And we’re looking forward to showing how [the shop] is now much more of another enjoyable member space, rather than just a golf shop.”
Portland Golf Club Pro Shop
Size: 900 sq. ft.
Renovation: Nov. 2019-March 2020
Master Plan/Architect: 2Hemispheres, Oregon City, Ore.; DECA Architecture, Portland, Ore.
Interior Design: 2Hemispheres, DECA Architecture
Lighting: Gotham Open LED
Flooring: Armstrong Flooring
Carpeting: Bentley Carpet Mills
Paint: Miller Paint
Display Fixtures (custom): 2Hemispheres