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January 8, 2020

Tim Fleming: Network at the PGA Merchandise Show to Help Navigate a Renovation

Tim Fleming, the 1998 South Central PGA Section Golf Professional of The Year, 2008 Merchandiser of The Year for Private Facilities and a three-time Bill Strausbaugh Award winner, is the PGA Head Professional at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma.

Tim Fleming on the importance of networking at the PGA Merchandise Show to help navigate a renovation:

Here at Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club, we’ve been undergoing a nearly year-long extensive renovation to our course and practice facility. Our shop stayed open the entire time, however, and while the course was getting a facelift, we opened a new indoor performance facility on February 1. Consequently, we had to have the shop ready for customers and had goals and incentives we were looking to hit. This created a problem: how do we get the normal amount of members – those with zero interest in golf performance yet love the sport and can’t currently play here – to come shop? This past year at the PGA Show my Buyer/Merchandiser, Kristin Friday, and I were talking to Nick Muller from the Country Club of Lincoln (Nebraska), whose facility had also undergone a recent renovation and had the same hurdle to overcome. That conversation gave us an idea we ultimately put into action earlier this year.

Tim Fleming on the business impact of networking at the PGA Merchandise Show to help navigate a renovation:

As a way to entice people to stop by we began raffling off various items some longtime vendors were kind enough to donate…with a catch: you had to buy a product in the shop, and then got to put your name into the raffle. And these were nice items too, ranging from shirts to top-of-the-line drivers. The program was a huge success. Traffic increased, especially after our range re-opened in August, and the high-quality level of product kept our members interested. Our overall goal was to achieve 60 percent of our normal sales and we reached 80 percent. The takeaway message: if you’re going through a renovation or some kind of major change, reach out to someone you know who has gone through the same. Your facility can still thrive.

If you would like to contact the author of this Best Practice directly, please email tfleming@okcgcc.com