The PGA Merchandise Show is a crucial component of numerous facilities’ business plans each year. For Reunion Resort, the importance of attending has included some 20 members—a dozen of which are regulars—for the past half-dozen years who walk the floor and help the Kissimmee, Florida, club’s professional staff and buyer find unique apparel lines and cool innovations to carry in the resort’s shop.
This year, golf director Kevin Baker planned to dole out up to 30 PGA Show passes to club members. Reunion has probably sold six major lines and about 10 different vendors through the years that were recommended by show-going members, whose input into the merchandise mix makes them feel important and excited when they see it in the shop, Baker says.
“The 12 or so members who attend every year really enjoy it,” Baker notes. “They return with some golden nuggets they see, whether it’s a new apparel line or new accessories, then they report back to me and our buyer with the rep’s card and catalog and suggest we look at it. Once they’re into it, they’re in. In the end, out of the 20 or so people who attend each year, about three or four of them really get into it.”
Getting members involved in the buying process at the PGA Merchandise Show also demonstrates goodwill. “I know several pros who concur that it’s a good ambassador program, and I know several local pros definitely send some members,” Baker adds. “The basic idea of the inclusion of the club member is a good one. Give the people who support the club special discounts. One lady member, a six-day-a-week golfer, now has an ailment, can’t play anymore and has to use a scooter. I might task her to get some golden nuggets because vendors want people like her.”