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How many club members are shopping with you?


Charlie Hartley Business Development Consultant at Foremost Golf discusses the percentage of club members that are shopping at their club pro shop and tackles the reasons as to why some are going elsewhere.

At Foremost we conducted a customer survey in late 2023 on behalf of our member retailers and received over 42,000 responses. This survey highlighted some key information on club member shopping habits. The headline stat was that on average 59% of club members buy the majority of their golf equipment from their Professional shop. This article will highlight some key areas that will impact this figure and also the opportunities you have as retailer to ensure your business is outperforming this average in 2024 and beyond.

Marketing ‘You’ and Your Point of Difference

The first thing you need to do is place yourself in your customers shoes and ask yourself this question. ‘When you think about buying golf product where do you think of first?’. If the answer is ‘elsewhere’ you need to do more. The solution to this is successful marketing and self-promotion across all your available channels. You need to make sure your potential customers are aware of the full range of services that you offer. This needs to be done regularly, not once in a ‘blue moon’ but regularly and consistently with professional digital marketing. These channels include your: website, weekly newsletter, social media and instore screens.

Within your communication channels look to showcase the expert services you run as a green grass retailer. This would include your coaching and custom fitting proposition where simply the online and high street can’t compete with you. As an example, a face-to-face custom fitting in person would provide the ability for the customer to try the product before purchase, but most importantly allow the customer to purchase the correct club(s) for their game and provides an opportunity to show you ‘care’ about them and their performance.

Ensure you market your expert services

Misconception of Price

When asked about their preferred place to buy golf equipment, 41% of respondents said they didn't buy the majority of their golf equipment from their club pro shop. 56% of these respondents mentioned the price as the reason for purchasing elsewhere. This can be frustrating for PGA professionals who manage club pro shops because they offer competitive prices and provide qualified advice, demos, and custom fittings to improve the game of golf club members.

To address this issue there are two solutions that can be put in place. Firstly, it’s imperative to have a clear ticketing solution throughout the store showcasing your value and counteracting the myths that green grass retailers are more expensive. Secondly, it’s worth considering a ‘Price Match Promise’. Foremost Golf members can benefit from an optional free in-store signage pack and digital support through: newsletters, digital signage, and social media posts.

The reasons as to why customers are shopping elsewhere


When it comes to purchasing equipment, it is important to consider more than just the price. The pro shop wins on convenience. There is nothing more convenient than buying golf equipment from the place where you play. Having to be in a set place and time slot to sign for delivery for larger purchases can be a frustrating experience for online shoppers. This is why click-and-collect purchases have become increasingly popular. Foremost Golf allows golf club members to purchase stock online and pick it up from their pro shop, making it even more convenient for them.

The pro shop also wins on the returns process. Returning a set of irons or a faulty electric trolley to an online retailer can be complicated, and most online retailers now charge for returns. With your club pro shop, you can simply drop the product back at the place of purchase. The returns process couldn't be simpler! Most pro shops even go above and beyond in terms of offering aftercare services that cannot be matched. From after-purchase equipment assessments to check that the clubs are still working for the customer to cleaning the shoes after a full set of spikes, some pro shops go to great lengths to excel in after-sales care. By being this type of retailer, customers can become your greatest marketing asset.

Showcase the convenience services of your business

Don’t give them a reason to go elsewhere

Considering your expert services, price, convenience, and after-care, the pro shop can’t be beaten on its retail proposition. Especially when pro shops offer the customer the ability to touch, feel and try on products before a purchase is even made. Tactile insurance is integral to many consumers, and pro shops have an advantage here too. Therefore, it is important to communicate the benefits of buying from the pro shop to all golf club members. Tell them in-store and online, and keep replicating your messages on price, value, and care. Work together with the golf club to improve members' golfing ability, which ultimately leads to them playing more often and improving the fortunes of the golf club and pro shop. Offer your time to the club and cover the various sections from within it through clinics or clubhouse discussions. Offer new members time with you, as golfers are never more inclined to buy new golf equipment or lessons when they just start at a new golf club. Make sure they and all your members think of you first when deciding on where to make that purchase.

Make sure your customers know that you care about their golf game

For more information on how Foremost can assist you and your business in simply email or call 01753 218 890

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