client focus: st. annes old links, lancashire, uk
We’ve had the GC2 for five months and it has totally changed the nature of my business.
I’ve had to change the layout of the shop because of the extra business it is bringing in. Th e demand for fitting and coaching since we got the unit has been immense – instead of me doing 1,600 a month in coaching I’m now doing around 3,000 a month, which, ironically, as a club pro is too much. I’ve also got other things to be doing like running a business and committee meetings. It’s not a bad position to be in…
I’ve moved my workshop and offi ce, which was in a room next to the studio, and knocked through into that so I’ve brought the studio into the shop. If people come into the shop for a chat they can pick up a club and I’ll invite them to have a hit on it. Th ey don’t need to be supervised because it’s in the shop – it’s a totally diff erent set-up we have now; an interactive pro shop basically.
I’ve had to employ my wife to work with me now because I’m too busy coaching and fi tting all the time. I’ve also had to employ a custom fi tter – this time last year I didn’t need either of those, though I’ve always been pretty pro-active. In the golf trade at the moment you’re either a big retailer – you ship out at low price – or you’re a service provider. I’m a service provider now. I’m selling because of my service not because of my price. The GC2 allows me to provide an improved service; members love it, pros coming in are impressed by it. It’s changed the whole direction. We’ve seen big diff erences since we’ve had the GC2. The GC2 allows me to show the consequences of my actions, so by saying to somebody, for example, that they have a weak grip, I can show them on the video camera and the GC2 will show them the fade. I strengthen the grip; we can see it on the camera and then they hit a shot on the GC2 and it shows that they hit a draw. And they’re astonished. On a practice ground they can’t see that kind of thing. People see the direct consequences of our actions as a coach straight away. It’s phenomenal.
Word then gets about and people come for more. I’m doing skills test evenings through the winter; opening for about 10 or 12 members, give them a glass of wine and a few snacks before doing pitching skills test, driving skills tests, nearest-the-pin contest, a range of chipping skills – it takes around two hours to do everybody. We’ll have an order of merit and some prizes and a little presentation at the end of the evening. You can’t do that in winter normally.
I’m doing my pro-captain matches in the winter evenings on the GC2, because I’ve been too busy during the summer. We’ll be taking on nine holes at Pebble Beach raising money for the captain’s charity. Again, with a glass of wine and a bite to eat… And members can come and have a bit of fun with us when, normally in winter, we wouldn’t be seeing them. I’m looking forward to the winter – for a golf pro to say that it’s very strange, because of the potential and what it can do for me throughout the winter.
Our scratch team is also going to take on other scratch teams in the area at skills test evenings. Th e skills tests are competitive and make coaching more fun. You can’t offer it any other way.
The GC2 is incomparable with the equipment I had previously. The accuracy, consistency, ease of use, speed… every aspect that’s possible to improve upon the GC2 has done it.
“My message to my fellow pros is simple: Stop wasting time; you can’t aff ord not to use a GC2. It’s that important if you’re a golf pro trying to provide a service to your customers, whether you’re a coach, a retailer or a custom fitter.”
I’ve had to invest more in the shop since I had the GC2, what with the expansion, but in the long-term it will increase the bottom line considerably. The potential for much more business is there now, even to the point that when we have the Open Championship down the road at Royal Lytham next year, three manufacturers have already jumped at the opportunity to have fi tting evenings and events here because they know we have the GC2.