Chris Slattery, the 2013 PGA North Florida Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, the 2017 West Central Chapter Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, and 2018 West Central Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA Head Golf Professional at Avila Golf and Country Club, in Tampa, Florida. He is also the President of the PGA North Florida Section West Central Chapter.
Chris Slattery on the importance of boosting club sales with demos:
At Avila Golf and Country Club, we have a fine practice facility that earns rave reviews from members and guests every day. With an impeccable double-sided grass driving range, wedge range, chipping green, and two putting greens, we have members who have told us the wonderful practice area helped reinforce their decision to join our club. In addition to the many services we offer that accentuate the country club experience and help build membership, we strive every day to grow our golf retail business as well. Available to members on our practice area are demo clubs of the latest make and models from some of the finest club companies out there. Members are welcome to try these clubs during their practice sessions to see how much better the results might be with an equipment upgrade. They can directly compare their golf shots with the results rendered using their current equipment. Being able to compare shots in such a manner often serves as a catalyst to conversation with a member of our golf professional staff. Our educated and knowledgeable PGA professionals and golf shop staff will then offer their expertise, ideally resulting in a personal custom club fitting and golf clubs sale. Engaging the member in the conversation is sometimes the biggest challenge, as new clubs may not be a top priority of theirs at the time. But when you provide the opportunity to “just try” the new stuff, members often change their thinking.
Chris Slattery on the business impact of boosting club sales with demos:
In striving for great success, it is often the simplest steps taken that provide the most beneficial results. We work with our various club representative to ensure an ample variety of clubs and shafts. We offer options from companies such as Titleist, Callaway, and Taylor Made. In this extremely competitive golf retail market, our golf shop continues to increase sales, as we have seen shop revenues increase roughly 20% over the past three years. This is attributable to the combination of demo club availability, an educated and knowledgeable professional sales staff, and the trust we earn from our members by forging relationships with them every day. I feel we have an advantage over the online and big box sellers when it comes to equipment sales for those very reasons.
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