Hugh Matthis, is the PGA Head Professional at Tavistock Country Club, Haddonfield, New Jersey.
Once a year we hold an outdoor clubfitting day for our youth golfers ages three through 13. Our youth golf chairman speaks with parents in the clubhouse while I occupy the kids on the range, with the help of my three assistants and a few experienced youth players. Then the parents join us. For our beginners who do not have clubs, we have a fitting system with which we can fit their new clubs according to their height. Shoe and apparel representatives are on hand to help with selection and fitting for those items, too. The kids hit tennis balls to some blow-up creatures — Golfopotamus and Golfzilla – and we have Birdieball, like skeet ball for golf. We also have games, contests and clinics. It’s a one-stop shopping day, which the parents appreciate. Since our clubhouse looks down on our range, members see our youth clubfitting day and marvel at all the activity. We market it through a monthly paper newsletter, a weekly e- newsletter, flyers placed around the club and word of mouth.
Three years ago we had 40 kids at our youth clubfitting day; last year we had 75. The first year we sold six pairs of shoes and two or three sets of clubs. The second year the families bought nearly all the clothing we had on hand, as well as some shoes and golf clubs. We were able to increase hard good sales by 30 percent and soft goods by 10 percent from 2014 to 2015. Overall it led to a 15 percent increase in sales, and I anticipate another 10 percent increase this year due to the event’s popularity and the fact that we moved the date into late May. In addition, since our youth clubfitting day begins at 4:00 in the afternoon, most families decide to stay at the club for dinner, creating another revenue source.