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August 27, 2020

Susan Roll: Leverage Vendor Relationships

Susan Roll, the 2011 National PGA Merchandiser of the Year and PGA Southern California Section Golf Professional of the Year, the 2016 Section President’s Award Recipient and a Past President of the Section’s San Diego Chapter, is the PGA Owner/Operator of the Carlsbad Golf Center, in Carlsbad, California.

Susan Roll on the importance of leveraging vendor relationships:

Relationships are a vital aspect of success in our business. Whether bonding with members over a round of golf or a drink at your club, or growing a great working relationship with vendors, developing these connections often leads to economic benefits in various aspects of your facility. One example of such a benefit is derived from the rapport I have with my sales reps, as well as the volume of business we do at the Carlsbad Golf Center. Every so often, one of my vendors will come to me with an opportunity to attain special limited-edition items. They might be balls, hats, sometimes even putters – we highlight them on our social media platforms and website and display them proudly in our golf shop. They draw attention because of their uniqueness and limited availability. For example, we recently attained 24 special Rickie Fowler-inspired Puma hats that donned the Arnold Palmer umbrella logo. We posted a photo of them on our Instagram page and they sold out in a few days. Also, my Callaway rep told me about a small selection of Shamrock-logoed golf balls that I gladly brought in. They were so popular that they sold out before we even had a chance to post them online. It is that kind of response from customers that demonstrates the importance of acquiring these items, as well as the marketing advantage they provide us in the shop and online. That helps increase sales of regular items as well.


Susan Roll on the business impact of leveraging vendor relationships:

These fun and unique golf items continue to direct much attention to our already popular online presence and get people talking who have been to our facility, and who know us online. Through our efforts and with the superb team we have in place, we have earned a bevy of national merchandiser awards from such golf industry leaders as the Association of Golf Merchandisers, Golf Digest Magazine, GolfWorld Magazine, and the Golf Range Association of America. Adding to our thriving sales of golf’s most technologically-innovative equipment, latest apparel, and wide array of popular items, having these distinctive products that golfers can’t find anywhere else goes a long way in bringing them back to our facility, as we remain their primary golf retail store. The relationships we have forged with our vendors are a major catalyst in attaining that success. It is very rewarding to know that when my Titleist rep has a limited number of special-edition Scotty Cameron putters, I will get that call.


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