Dan Colvin, the 1994 Connecticut PGA Section Teacher of the Year and 1999 New Jersey PGA Section Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Director of Golf at the Fishers Island (New York) Club.
When I was a PGA assistant professional, I always looked forward to the PGA Merchandise Show and was excited to learn more about retailing and buying from my PGA Head Professional. I’ve used that experience to invigorate my own staff during PGA Merchandise Show week. This past year, I had 12 staff members that I met with prior to the PGA Show to set expectations for the week and the upcoming season. I made sure to give them ideas of what to look for during the PGA Merchandise Show to empower them to make decisions that could help the club save money, increase its revenue, or both. I give my more experienced assistants budgets and allow them to write orders. Then, at the end of the season, we meet to discuss what worked and what may not have worked.
PGA Merchandise Show week has become a teaching experience for me and a learning experience for my assistant professionals, which we have all come to love. By allowing my assistants to get more involved in the buying process, it energizes them for the upcoming season, which is priceless. Furthermore, over the years, through their empowerment, we have found some great products at the PGA Merchandise Show that have really sold well for us at Fishers Island, such as new accessory companies and women’s apparel vendors.