The Newport Beach (Calif.) Country Club leads the 2022 list of Top Ranked Pro Shops. The remainder of the Top 5 includes the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creeks, Ga.; Shadow Wood Country Club in Estero, Fla.; Sand Valley in Nekoosa, Wis.; and Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs, Fla.
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The Newport Beach Country Club Pro Shop expertly blends the more traditional items like golf attire and clubs with luxury gifts and accessories. The shop is perfectly aligned with the relaxed upscale vibe of the local Newport Beach area. Whether a member is looking for a Callaway driver or a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses, they can find it in the Pro Shop.
“Our Pro Shop staff is always there to lend a helping hand whenever needed and they take great pride in assisting our members in picking out just the right items off the floor or through a special order,” the submission stated.
Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) has a storied history that dates back 125 years. Its membership enjoys a first-class experience, whether engaging in the array of recreational activities or enjoying the myriad social events. It stands to reason that a club with such rich traditions also boasts a Pro Shop that enjoys wide appeal throughout the membership: men and women, young and old, and an allure no matter the season or the sport.
Kristen Everard, Director of Retail at AAC, and her staff know and understand their customers and are adept at catering to their needs. But they also work tirelessly to keep things fresh and go the extra mile — from offering creative seasonal promotions to unveiling innovative, visual merchandising initiatives.
For example, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) reigns supreme when it comes to college football and the AAC membership. Enter Kristen and her team: In August, the Pro Shop debuted its very own “SEC Corner,” featuring apparel and accessories from the conference and its rival schools. One will find the flags and pennants from all the schools adorning the walls, making for an attractive and eye-catching display, which stays up from August right through the holidays. Available for purchase are school-logoed polo shirts, hats, outerwear, belts, tumblers, keychains and much more.
Timed with Black Friday last year, the Pro Shop introduced a “Spin-the-Wheel” promotion where customers upon checkout were given a chance to secure deep discounts. Depending on where they landed after a spin on the wheel, customers came away with savings of 50, 40, 30 and 20 percent off. And, most importantly, everyone was a winner. Kristen and staff even heard some customers came in to make a purchase just because they had so much fun spinning the wheel!
Kristen and her staff also are adept at working with other departments at AAC to ensure the Pro Shop is reaching the membership’s diverse demographics. “Ladies Operation 36” is an example of a perfect marriage between the club’s golf professionals implementing an innovative program for women and the Pro Shop stepping to the plate with attractive incentives sure to bring them in for the latest equipment and apparel they’ll need to look, feel and play better. To incentivize their visits to the Pro Shop, every registrant from each session was presented with a 20 percent discount coupon to spend as they wish. Sure enough, before and after each lesson, many of the members could be found heading to the Pro Shop to take advantage of the savings. Thanks to a great deal of hard work and creativity from the Pro Shop staff, deftly working in concert with the golf professionals, Ladies Operation 36 is flourishing on all fronts.
And the Pro Shop goes well beyond golf as it has embraced the club’s emerging “athleisure” activities. From working out in the Fitness Center to playing tennis to aquatics, members can select from wide apparel offerings featuring the latest activewear brands and styles.
In 2020, the Shadow Wood Country Club Board of Directors presented a plan to the members to build a brand-new Golf Shop. The vision included more than doubling the amount of existing retail space, creating a better arrival and check-in experience for members and guests, and relocating the shop to capitalize on the best exterior views and allow for better proximity to the Golf operations. The Members voted overwhelmingly in favor to approve this $2 million project, which would be completed without any additional costs to the members.
In the Spring of 2021, construction began on the new 3,500 sq ft two-story octagonal structure, which also included golf administration offices, a covered bag drop and arrival area, and covered walkways connecting to the locker rooms in the existing clubhouse. The architecture and interior design for the Golf Shop introduces abundant daylight in the space through large perimeter and clerestory windows for a more enjoyable shopping experience. The new Golf Shop overlooks the expansive golf practice facility and cart staging area.
The new Golf Shop opened in January 2022 and features unique retail opportunities that are unparalleled at most private clubs. In addition to member favorite golf brands, such as Peter Millar, Fairway & Greene, and Tail, the Shadow Wood Golf Shop also carries Tommy Bahama, Lilly Pulitzer, Gretchen Scott, Charleston Shoes, Enewton Jewelry, Yeti, and much more. It’s a one-stop boutique style shopping experience featuring over 60 brands and styles for all.
Since the re-opening, the Golf Shop has seen a 30% increase in daily traffic. A 50% increase in overall inventory levels has been established in the new Golf Shop while the increase in categories of retail offerings has gone up to 20%. Following the completion of the new Golf Shop, membership sales hit a record high and the club maxed out the waiting list for golf members and had to create a waiting list for the waiting list.
Overall the new Golf Shop has completely transformed the golf experience, from arrival, to tournaments, and everything in between.
4. Sand Valley
Three golf courses run through our one shop as well as all three of our logos are sold out of the Sand Valley shop. With only 1,200 sq. ft., the resort does more than $3.7 million in sales and 71,000 rounds. The property has continued to increase overall sales each season by honing in on the wants and needs of its guests. Management has outfitted the shop with the best fixtures to increase the amount of product in the most efficient way without overwhelming the space. Utilizing our PGM interns as well as Assistant Professionals and Head Professionals in conjunction with our retail staff creates a personal and unique shopping experience.
Bonita Bay Club continues to be recognized as a leader in the industry for customer service, amenities, programs and for being forward thinking. These attributes remain consistent within their retail operations which can be used as a model for many other private facilities.
Staff training and retention is a big driver in keeping the retail space fresh and energetic, while at the same time earning the trust of the members who frequent the golf shop.
Bonita Bay Club’s golf shop carries a wide array of apparel brands, accessories, and lifestyle offerings year-round. Regular trunk shows, promotions, and ever-changing dynamic displays keep the members excited about returning to the golf shop on a recurring basis to see what’s new. This year-round retailing philosophy sets Bonita Bay Club apart from many seasonal operations.
Three to four times a week, once again year-round, their club-fitters are set up on the range to market and fit the latest equipment using Trackman, GC Quad, and Toptracer technology. Other days private club-fittings are available by appointment. The philosophy “members should never need to leave the property to purchase apparel and equipment” is more than a motto, it is reality.