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Online Exclusives

December 2020

Technology Drives New Shop Business For Old Club

By Steve Eubanks

Yes, rounds around the country were up in a big way. By the middle of the summer clubs were experiencing a boom unlike anything seen in decades. But what about the golf shops? Balls and gloves were still a necessity, and, according to Golf DataTech, equipment sales hit record levels in July. But how did golf professionals handle shop closures during the pandemic? What happened when they missed their spring inventory turn? 

For one director of golf, the shutdown provided an opportunity to move into a space he’d wanted to visit for years. 

“During the crux of this pandemic, my assistants and I created an online pro shop, which really turned out well,” said Greg Bisconti, director of golf at Saint Andrews Golf Club in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. “It spurred sales while we were closed. We were able to ship merchandise to members who were either not in the area or who needed stuff to go play elsewhere.

“It’s something that I wanted to do for years, whether it was for members living in other areas of the country or people who just want to purchase a piece of history at Saint Andrews. It’s been really cool and fun to expand the business in this way.”

Saint Andrews Golf Club is the oldest golf club in the United States, which makes the logo very popular. Rather than set up the shop as an adjunct to the club’s website, Bisconti used Shopify so it could be customized.

“The members seem to love it,” Bisconti said. “It will also be a great way to spur some holiday sales. We’re usually liquidating in November because the club closes in December. But this now gives us an avenue for future revenues.”

 

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