Brian Tolnar, the 2013 Western New York PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year, Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, and Player Development Award winner, and the 2016 NOPGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA Director of Golf at Mill Creek MetroParks in Youngstown, Ohio.
Brian Tolnar on the importance of holding multi-company demo days:
Every season, our facility hosts a major multi-company demo day. We promote each aspect of golf equipment buying: irons, wedges, woods, hybrids and putters. The professional staff and I are onsite to offer free clubfitting for the day with any purchase, as well as to educate the customers on all the new technology. We also have the company tech representatives onsite with their fitting equipment (i.e. Trackman, flight scope, Sam-Putting Lab, etc.). It’s a great opportunity for our customers to test drive the latest and greatest equipment out there and to see what’s fresh, new and exciting in golf technology. Having one of the largest selling Golf Headquarters (large retail store) in the country located across the street from our facility requires us to have a higher service level with our PGA Professional staff to maintain a level playing field. In addition to the multiple vendors on site, Handle’s Ice Cream, a local ice-cream vendor, offers complimentary items. Also, Pepsi offers free drinks throughout the day through its contract with the MetroParks.
Brian Tolnar on the business impact of holding multi-company demo days:
The revenues during the golf club/golf ball demo days are between $5,000 and $7,000 annually. We did exceptionally well with the Bridgestone golf ball fitting challenge booth over the past two years: In 2015, we sold 72 dozen golf balls out of the golf shop stock based on their golf ball fittings. In 2016, we were good for 66 dozens sold based on the golf ball fittings. Having a Golf Headquarters literally across the street from our facility makes it tough for golf equipment sales, but having our PGA Professional staff onsite to give valuable club fitting knowledge and expertise has helped us slowly gain traction and loyalty in the hard-good business. I feel having multiple companies onsite at one time gives the customer a great ability to compare products and to get immediate decision making data.