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June 30, 2016

Brent Lingel: Open a Repair Station at Your Facility

brett-lingelBrent Lingel, a certified PGA Professional in Golf Operations, 2010 Assistant Golf Professional of the Year in the Southwest PGA Section, 2014 Northern Texas PGA Section Player Development Award winner, is the PGA head professional at Keeton Park Golf Course, Dallas, Texas.

Brent Lingel on the importance of opening a repair station at your facility:
I’ve been a lifelong equipment and tech junkie, lucky enough to visit tour vans. Constantly fascinated by what tour players are doing to their clubs and inspired by Scottsdale’s famed Cool Clubs, I invested in club repair equipment (re-gripping, wedge stamps, loft/lie machines, the whole nine yards) myself and became a kind of club repair guru running it out of my garage in Tucson, AZ. I brought all that with me when I joined Keeton Park, and after a talk with Tony Martinez, we realized that we had an extra spot in the pro shop where we could take my garage setup to the course and become the go-to club repair/fitting/whatever you need done place in metropolitan East Dallas. It’s been a perfect storm. We now provide a much needed service for our customers (we’re a public facility), allowing them to have, for example, their putter re-gripped while they hit balls out on the range. And even though we can’t fit for every brand, we do offer as many services as possible for as many brands as possible, opening ourselves up to the biggest pool of customers.

Brent Lingel on the business impact of opening a repair station at your facility:
Installed in 2013 “The KP Chop Shop” generated $3500 in sales in the first six months alone (that’s everything except hard good sales and fittings). In the first year, we saw $60,000 in hard good sales, and club repair revenue jumped from $8,000 in 2013 to $10,000 in 2015. My fittings have gone up from 10 a year before the Chop Shop to 30 in 2013, and 64 full bag fittings and 120 fittings overall (just a driver, just wedges, etc) in 2015. We also do something called Grip Demo Day, where we put the re-grip machine on the back of a Cushman and take that out to the range. Started in 2014 we do that twice a year and usually do about 20 sets of clubs that day in the moment, which at $8-10 per grips adds up to about $2600 for  a four-hour morning. And the mere presence of the truck gets people asking about our facility and residual use follows. Lessons wise, 70 percent of my client base comes from clubfitting – it’s doubled in four years, helped by a dedicated page on our website), and I’ve also become the fitter for my colleagues’ students. The Chop Shop has created loyalty and a good marketing story for us, as we see people from surrounding courses coming to get their wedges stamped here even if they bought it elsewhere. Rounds have increased, range revenue has gone up ten percent every year and our player development programs have gotten a 25 percent burst in participation. So dedicate an area of your club for all things equipment. You just may find your newest revenue stream.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email bling5@hotmail.com