A slight adjustment to the lie angle. An impromptu lesson on the practice fairway. Free club-fitting for members with no obligation to purchase.
It’s the intangibles that Patrick Fairweather and other PGA professionals provide that take the anxiety out of buying new golf equipment.
A club with a rich teaching history given the influence of David Mercer and Greg Hohnen for many years, Killara had been limited in the club fitting capabilities it could offer its members until very recently.
The club never had a dedicated driving range and it wasn’t until 2020 that head professional Patrick Fairweather had a fitting room built, a service that members can use for free.
But it was Fairweather’s decision to also provide an online portal at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic via its website (www.golfyou.com.au) that gave Killara members the full golf experience. ‘equipment.
Established as a sort of ‘click and collect’ service when COVID-19 restrictions prevented members from entering the pro shop or even coming to the club, Fairweather has seen a dramatic increase in sales based on the combination of customer service and convenience.
“Since I installed the Dressing Room, we have seen a significant increase in hardware sales,” says Fairweather.
“As soon as COVID hit I had two employees sitting around doing nothing, so I said, ‘Okay, let’s build a website.’
“We just jumped on Shopify, I bought a domain, and then we just started watching YouTube tutorials on how to build a website.
“We just put everything we had in stock in the store, put it together and off we went.
“It kept everyone engaged, staff wise. And it also made me relevant to the members.
Given the educational focus that was first prominent under Mercer and then continued with Hohnen, Fairweather recognized that equipment sales and service was the area of the business most open to growth.
The construction of the fitting room has greatly increased the capacity of the self-proclaimed ‘smallest shop in all of Australia’, but Fairweather believes it is the trust between the professional shop staff and its members that is the best tool sale of all.
“That’s the competitive advantage we have is that we have the ability to be able to take members inside the studio and say, ‘OK, if you watch this, let’s see if it works'” said Fairweather, who began his PGA training under Mercer and Hohnen in 1997.
“We start the process by asking the member to bring what they currently have, and then we’ll look at each brand we have and see which works best.
“Then we will send the member to the golf course with one of our demos that we believe is exactly the right club for them.
“If we need to, we can redevelop. It gives the confidence of knowing they don’t have to commit $1,000 to a driver that might not be right for them. And even if they left and paid, they can always come back and we will always find a way to help them.
In terms of hardware, Fairweather stocks top brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping and Titleist and has a full range of strollers, shoes, clothing, balls, bags and accessories, the majority of which are priced clearly on the store. in line.
“You have to be price competitive,” Fairweather says of being in the market with online and off-the-shelf retail giants.
“I can fit anyone with a set of TaylorMade irons and within three or four minutes of walking through the door they’ll know what the best price on the market is. If I provide a wrong price to begin with, then I’m way off the mark.
“With the dressing room, we’ve seen a huge increase in volume, so all of a sudden you can support margins that might be a little lower than they were before.”
• For reliable expert advice on equipment at a reasonable price, visit your local PGA Professional. Find your nearest PGA Professional at pga.org.au/find-a-pga-pro/