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January 9, 2019

Nathan Kalin: Use the PGA Merchandise Show to Plan for Fitting and Demo Days

Nathan Kalin, the 2017 PGA Nebraska Section Merchandiser of the Year for Private Facilities, 2010 and 2015 Section Horton Smith Award Recipient, and 2009 Section Assistant Professional of the Year, is President of the PGA Nebraska Section and PGA Director of Golf at Fremont Golf Club, in Fremont, Nebraska.

Nathan Kalin on the importance of using the PGA Merchandise Show to plan for fitting and demo days:
At Fremont Golf Club, we have two heated hitting bays that allow us to teach year round, hitting balls right out onto our open range. In addition, with equipment and club fitting technology getting better all the time, we also utilize the space for custom club fitting anytime a member is in the market for new clubs. To ensure we are offering the latest and greatest selection of clubs from all the leading club manufacturers, I attend the PGA Merchandise Show every January. While there, I meet with my club reps, gaining firsthand knowledge of the newest equipment, including the ins and outs of the technology that goes into it. Being knowledgeable in this area of the game not only makes me a best club fitter, but helps me sell more golf clubs, both efforts making better golfers of my members. From the Show itself, I contact various members back home to let them know where I am, and to promote the custom club fitting sessions we hold every Saturday in February. Done by appointment only, we host a different sales rep each Saturday, as we custom fit members using such high-end technology as Trackman and FlightScope. Sales reps from Callaway, Taylor Made, Titleist, and Ping bring their expertise, and through the relationships fostered over time, we ensure members get the clubs most suited to them, while achieving our collaborative sales objectives. We don’t charge for the fittings but are confident in the sales possibilities since members who take the time to get fit by appointment usually have intention of buying new clubs. In addition to planning these club fitting sessions with our reps, we also use the PGA Merchandise Show to set up our multi-vendor demo day, held every May, as well as the various wedge, putter, and driver fitting days we host throughout the spring.

Nathan Kalin on the business impact of using the PGA Merchandise Show to plan for fitting and demo days:
Having used the Show to gain product knowledge and keep the relationships with my reps fresh, the annual trip to Orlando is a perfect way to prepare for the upcoming golf season. The Saturday fitting sessions in February get members excited for the new year and provide a great revenue stream early on. We average almost a dozen appointments per Saturday with more than 90% of those fittings resulting in immediate club sales. Ultimately very few members take the time to get fit without eventually buying. In fact, new club sales have more than doubled in the past five years. With so much knowledge and experience under one roof, the PGA Merchandise Show is a wonderful annual opportunity to keep great relationships alive as my business continues to grow.

If you would like to email the author of this best practice directly, please email Nathan.kalin@fremontgolfclub.org