Sand Point Country Club


Craig Hunter, the 2009 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities and a U.S. Kids Top 50 Master Kids Teacher, is the PGA director of golf at Sand Point Country Club in Seattle, Washington.

From  Lisa Goulian:

For many PGA Professionals, golf shop space is at a premium and devoting even a small area to junior/kids equipment and apparel seems too risky a proposition. But the growth of junior golf and a new emphasis on bringing families to the golf course may be changing that way of thinking.

“It’s my opinion that developing a business plan towards youth is the quickest way to grow the game at your facility,” says Jim Collins, PGA general manager at San Ramon (Calif.) Golf Club, whose junior golf academy has generated almost $240,000 in green fees, range balls and merchandise sales and more than $450,000 in lesson revenue since it opened in 2007. “Once they’re engaged, they will return daily and support you. Additionally, in youth you have customers that will play the game for a lifetime.”

Collins is a big supporter of U.S. Kids Golf, which takes a holistic approach to junior golf, offering seminars in teaching and clubfitting to complement its line of clubs, shoes, apparel and more. Collins likes the company because it’s very organized in terms of fitting and matching a set to a junior’s needs, and he uses their point of sale racking system so “the kids know exactly where to go, as keeping it organized is critical to the success.” The San Ramon shop features the entire product line and sells it through about four and a half times each year, he says.

The junior golf program at Trump National Golf Club Washington D.C., in Potomac Falls, Va., has grown from 50 juniors in 2008 to about 175 juniors this year, with revenues increasing by more than $30,000 over the last four years in junior golf. The Trump National shop carries a wide selection of U.S. Kids Golf products, including clubs to fit any player from age four to adulthood, as well as shoes, gloves, balls and apparel. During the season, they devote a corner of the shop to kid’s goods, and they typically sell about 25 sets of U.S. Kids clubs a year.

“Since we have more juniors participating in our golf programs, their parents are spending more money in our golf shop on junior clubs and apparel,” says Randi Miller, PGA director of instruction and a Top 50 U.S. Kids Golf Teacher. “Having junior clubs, shoes and clothing available allows a child to get out on the range sooner that having to go shopping elsewhere.”

Craig Hunter, PGA head professional at Sand Point Country Club in Seattle, is also a big supporter of U.S. Kids Golf, giving lessons based on their program, using their Level 1, 2 and 3 booklets, and awarding pins that his juniors can they can put on their golf bags. He uses the U.S. Kids club trade-in program, which he calls “one of my most profitable parts of the shop.” Hunter also stocks Garb in his 1,000-square-foot golf shop, saying, “I love their clothes and the parents love the way they fit the kids. Garb has gotten better each year with new, cool designs. Kids clothes are an easy sell and after researching the market, Garb is the best choice.”

In addition to U.S. Kids Golf and Garb, Fore! Axel & Hudson has partnered with The PGA of America on a golf-inspired collection of boys and girls apparel – the PGA Authentics Junior line – which is garnering attention for its fashion-forward clothes, accessories and headwear. “The quality and fashion sense of the line is really impressive,” says Joanie Clover, the golf shop buyer at Brookfield Country Club in Clarence, N.Y. “The hats are really attention getters in the shop. We’ve had a lot of interest the clothing and accessories from parents buying them for their children to wear on the course, and from grandparents.”