Hugh Matthis is the PGA Head Professional at Tavistock Country Club in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
The practice facility at our private club has just a 160- foot driving range, but a great short-game area. We think creatively about ways to utilize all the components fully. This spring we initiated a new program, the Pin Seeker Package. We use a package of 12 demo wedges from a single manufacturer to offer our members a series of three half-hour private lessons, including chipping, pitching, bunker shots and 100 yards in, as well as a wedge fitting. The cost of the package is $225, which includes a 10 percent discount on wedge purchases. Among the demo wedges, there are various bounces and degrees. We have found that amateurs don’t change their wedges often enough. They don’t realize they are losing spin because their wedges’ grooves are worn out. Many participants in the program decide to purchase a wedge, giving us a chance to make sure they have the right wedge in their hands. We use demo wedges for the lessons, and order new clubs for members when they make a purchase. We promote the Pin Seeker Package through our weekly and monthly newsletters, and we post it in various places around the club.
We began the program in March and had 15 participants in the early season. As a result of this new program, we have increased wedge sales by 35 percent this year over last year, to date. About 65 percent of those who participate in the program purchase wedges. And we have done $5,000 more in lessons so far this year compared to last year for the entire year. A large majority of this increase is attributable to this new package program. Wedge lessons are not something people naturally seem to seek out, so this program has increased awareness of the importance of wedge play, wedge fitting and club selection. We expect the Pin Seeker Package to grow more this year and continue to thrive in the future.