Chad Ayres, the 2014 Indiana PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA Head Professional at Fort Wayne (Indiana) Country Club.
I have always considered PGA Professionals among the most innovative professionals out there. We juggle many aspects of daily business and have several people to please. In my first year at Ft. Wayne Country Club, I wanted to do something that would be remembered fondly for a long time, to create a member and guest experience that goes beyond the ordinary member-guest event. As a Callaway Master Staff member, I used that relationship to help secure Roger Cleveland as a special guest for the weekend. He attended our pre-tournament party, socializing with members and their guests. He spent time on our short game area and custom fit every tournament participant for a new wedge. The clubs would be personalized with the players’ initials and the FWCC logo, so they never forget where they had such a special experience. Some players purchased additional wedges at full retail price to match their custom-fit member-guest gift. The weekend concluded with Roger Cleveland challenging members to a chipping contest on our practice area. As PGA Professionals, we all do a great job creating a welcoming environment at our facilities. With this endeavor, I felt it was my opportunity to go above and beyond, creating a weekend my members and their guests wouldn’t soon forget. Of course, now I’m asked every day just how I intend on topping it.
With a budget of $100 per player, I was able to secure the experience for $90 per wedge. Of the 144 players that weekend, we sold an additional 75 wedges with personalization and club logo at full retail price of $124.99 per club. That’s a $30 profit per club. Needless to say, our golf shop did pretty well that weekend, as an assortment of shirts and hats flew off the shelves. Time will tell what residual financial benefits come from this weekend. But with such an amazing experience, there are 144 Indiana golfers talking about Ft. Wayne Country Club and the time they got custom fit by Roger Cleveland.