Meet the PGA Pro: Richard Perkins

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire January 29, 2020 05:33

The head professional at Walmer & Kingsdown GC in Kent talks about getting more juniors to play the game, being a Certified Putting Instructor and what he does to ensure maximum profitability from the pro shop.

Richard Perkins

What daily challenges do you face in running a pro shop and teaching?

I think managing your time is the key, with so many different areas that you are expected to be involved in, good diary management and organisation are essential..

There is a constant flow of new golf products – how do you manage your stock to serve the needs of your members and visitors?

We are very fortunate at Walmer &  Kingsdown, that we are part of a larger group of pro shops, The Matthew Paget Group, this enables us to stock rotate effectively, and also have a much larger stock holding to be able to sell from.

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

How do you manage your day?

Get up very early! Walmer & Kingsdown is a very ‘early morning’ golf club and it’s not uncommon for the first tee to have a queue even before the sun rises!

Richard Perkins

What are you doing to support junior golf and introduce kids to the sport?

We are really trying to encourage junior golf at ‘The Club on the Cliffs’ as we like to call ourselves. With my RJP Junior Golf Academy taking place on Saturdays, juniors from four years old upwards come along to the sessions to start golf. Then, if they make progress and are keen to continue, we have a clear pathway to a ‘Performance’ squad, enabling them to play competitions and gain an official handicap.

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

Are you trying to attract more women to golf?

We’re trying to attract everyone to golf at Walmer & Kingsdown! The club has seen an increase in female membership over the past couple of years. We are lucky to have a thriving ladies section, which is always trying to encourage new ladies to join in with their weekly competitions, coffee mornings and various other social events.

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

A lot of PGA pros are having to be a step ahead of their competitors in their offerings and technology – what additional added value services do you provide?

We are very fortunate to have the latest launch monitor technology to assist me in my teaching and custom fitting offering. We are also hoping to be able to add an indoor swing studio soon as adding a facility of this kind would greatly benefit current members and be a big attraction to potential new ones. Here’s hoping!

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

The Matthew Paget Group is a partner of TGI Golf, how has this been of benefit to you as a PGA professional?

I have worked with the support of TGI Golf for the past three years and I have found it to be a really good set up for PGA professionals.

TGI Golf has really helped our pro shop, especially from a marketing point of view. Through the group’s e-newsletter programme we have pre-made templates for email marketing, personalised PoS and retail assistance always available. My advice would be for every PGA professional to take a look at what they can do to help. In addition, the ability to swap stock with fellow TGI partners has really helped the business too.

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

What year did you turn professional and what have been your career highlights, both playing and employment?

I turned pro in 1998, playing off scratch. Since then I have worked in variuos different roles, including being an assistant pro at both a private (Littlestone) and public (Etchinghill) course, golf and corporate operations at Prince’s Golf Club in Sandwich and now the head professional at Walmer & Kingsdown, The Club on the Cliffs.

This year I also qualified as a CPI (Certified Putting Instructor), a qualification which has given me a really in-depth knowledge of putting and I now hold regular putting workshops for golfers to come along and improve their performance on the greens.

Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Club, Kent, UK

For more information, visit www.kingsdowngolf.co.uk

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire January 29, 2020 05:33
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