Sean Palmer, the 2014 Philadelphia PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, is the PGA Director of Golf at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Union League of Philadelphia, the nation’s No. 1-ranked city club, recently purchased Torresdale- Frankford Country Club in efforts to provide extra amenities to our 3,200-plus members. The Union League drew up plans for a large- scale renovation project for both the course and clubhouse facilities after the purchase. Our main focus of the $15 million-plus renovation was to attract people from the city and double as a destination for not only golfers, but non-golfers as well. The design of our golf shop was important to me to set the tone for our retail operation for both the golf club and city club.
During the renovation, we completely gutted everything, installed high-end fixtures, and used a thoughtful floor design that incorporated much more than a typical golf shop. We created a unique look and feel and even included a haberdashery into the design. We also included a shoe display showcasing a very wide variety of golf and casual shoes from a wide variety of vendors reminding golfers that we can get any product for them, not simply a few SKUs and colors. The goal was when anyone walked through our shop door they would forget they are in a golf shop. We aimed for an upscale, retail experience that wasn’t simply a place to check- in for your round, and we nailed it.
The high-end redesign of the shop (no longer golf-exclusive) produced results beyond our expectations. Within the first two hours of opening after our ribbon cutting ceremony, we brought in $16,000 in sales, and over $60,000 in our first eight days. In regards to our new shoe display example, in my previous experiences I noticed that golf shoe sales were rather slow due to the lack of a creative shoe display. By incorporating the wall of shoes into our store design, I noticed a large increase in shoe sales.