‘Most golfers don’t know what the pro does’

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 20, 2013 11:03

A major survey of golfers who work in golf clubs has found that they feel they get little recognition from club golfers about what work they actually do.

The Today’s Golfer poll of members of golf retail group Foremost Golf found that the role of a professional golfer has changed exponentially in the last decade, but that most members of clubs are unaware of this.

Historically, club pros made their money via selling equipment in the pro shop. However, partly due to the rise of golf superstores and online retailers, more than half say they now sell fewer than 10 clubs per month, which means money generated from these sales is no longer sufficient to sustain most pro shops.

As a result, professional golfers now tend to top up their income by teaching lessons and by helping their golf clubs attract more business, with many today involved in the club’s operations, marketing, business and course improvement decisions.

However, most pros feel that club golfers do not appreciate the long hours they work, the financial risks they take or the general administration they do for the club, according to the survey.

On average, a club pro works for more than 60 hours a week at a club, including two hours a day, six days a week teaching lessons. Most professionals also invest their own money in stock and carry out admin ranging from, for example, fixing electric trolleys to putting together newsletters to send to golfers.

Most club professionals like their jobs but the hours, moaning customers (particularly from members if the pro takes a few days off), people misunderstanding their role and a lack of respect were cited as negative aspects of what they do.

The research reveals that 97 percent of club pros offer free or discounted lessons for club teams or junior members and that nearly half of them play 18-hole rounds less than once a week during the playing season.

The poll also found that more than 70 percent of pros think that just 30 percent of golfers – or less – hit their drivers as far as they think they do.

The survey did reveal one positive trend however. There has been an increase in equipment sales in the last two years as pros have been able to compete with golf superstores and online retailers by, according to them, offering expert advice at the point of sale.


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams May 20, 2013 11:03
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  1. Rick Williams May 25, 16:20

    Unfortunately, these comments are true. I also speak from experience as a PGA Member and as a PGA Head Professional for eight years. And now, I’m going to be blunt. Most of the issue stems from the golf professional not communicating his/her value to their players in an effective way. I also am the Area Sales Executive for RetailTribe on the East Coast and see/hear this scenario daily. We can help in this arena, because we help over 1,100 golf professionals every week communicate effectively with their players. We help them bring timely, inspiring, relevant, inspiring information every week to their players. Customized content is created each week to reach their players and bridge that “understanding what the Pro does” gap. Visit http://www.retailtribe.com to learn more.

    In the U.S. there are 27,000 PGA Professionals. These men and women have specialized talents and need to acquire continuing education and professional development credits each year. These range from seminars on business development, teaching, club fitting, new technologies, stress management among other topics. If you’re a top club fitter in your area, shout it from the roof tops and show through clinics and player seminars WHY it’s important to get custom fit and HOW you do it. You’re a solution provider, not a “club seller”. You don’t just sell apparel, you understand fashion and lifestyle choices and provide clothing that fits needs. You just don’t teach, you create coaching relationships that provides ongoing improvement in all aspects of the game!

    Why just throw in the towel when speaking of “the discount stores”? Market yourselves. Show your value proposition. The golf professional is many things, but most of all, the pro is a rainmaker and a trusted advisor in their local community. Be a leader. Change the perception.

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  2. CIMSPA Yorks&Humber (@CIMSPA_YH) May 22, 21:45


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  3. @IanCook May 22, 10:04

    » ‘Most golfers don’t know what the pro does’ http://t.co/30Qbsp9dLL

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  4. CIMSPA Yorks&Humber (@CIMSPA_YH) May 21, 19:21

    Lifeguard Triathlon entries top 2012 numbers http://t.co/9OZ8x8nFJU

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  5. Edward Saxel (@ispygolfpro) May 21, 13:20

    Do you know what your golf pro does? http://t.co/c7WXqJbZrS

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  6. Alexandra B Almeida (@xanagolfe) May 21, 09:04

    » ‘Most golfers don’t know what the pro does’ by Emma Williams #GolClubManagement http://t.co/nFgyyy4zub #clubpros…you’re not alone!

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  7. 19th Hole Social (@19th_holesocial) May 20, 12:37

    #Golf #Panthersocial ‘Most golfers don’t know what the pro does’ http://t.co/evnJrniSrh

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  8. 19th Hole Social (@19th_holesocial) May 20, 11:51

    A major survey of golfers who work in golf clubs has found that they feel they get little recognition from more… http://t.co/WrhvQWHXJu

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