Meet the PGA pro: Lee Brotherhood

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 21, 2020 17:31

The head PGA professional at Hollywood Golf Club in Birmingham details how he keeps track of members’ consumer interests and what he’s doing to get more women and beginners to play golf.

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

Managing the retail side of the business is the biggest daily challenge. I don’t say that because it’s not something I enjoy, but it can cause lots of headaches when not taken seriously.

We try to be as accurate as possible with buying and stock management, each week we analyse sales, stock turn and margins. If any appear to be performing poorly then we investigate immediately, try to identify the reasons and discuss any better options if needed.

With teaching and other areas of the day job it’s about discipline with your diary. Before, I used to book in lessons and appointments all over the week, now I have specific days and times so I always know where I am and what I’m doing each day. Routine is key!

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

As a small business with limited footfall, it’s impossible to stock all brands. We try to stay as best connected to the membership as we can by creating polls, sending newsletters and general chat in the pro shop.

We stock two main hardware brands and two main apparel brands in the shop, then we have four hardware brands in our fitting studio. This helps to keep stock to a minimum but offer a decent choice when fitting.

How do you manage your day?

We have a weekly staff meeting every Monday morning at 7am. We use this time to analyse reports and look at the week ahead, it’s an essential part of our week and it helps each day be as productive as possible. We use Google Calendar, which is linked to staff devices, whenever we add or remove appointments, everyone is notified by email.

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

Together with my head assistant, Connor Thomas, we have generated a comprehensive junior programme that includes kids from the age of four up to 16. We now have four groups with over 30 juniors attending every Saturday. During the summer months we have after school sessions on the course and often put on ‘fun days’ for kids in the school holidays.

Are you trying to attract more women to golf?

Every year we run our Get into Golf programmes that target two groups, ladies and beginners. They usually start around April and run through the summer with fun, on course sessions and events with current lady members.

We like to include ladies and beginners in club activities as soon as possible and show them the value of being a member. We have a vibrant social scene at Hollywood which is a key factor when new members are looking to join the club.

Do you have any programmes in place such as academy membership to make it easier to introduce beginners to the game?

We have exactly that. This is something golfers who attend the Get into Golf groups can move into almost immediately. It gives them access to the course when competent, six one-to-one lessons with the pro and a bar card for discounts on food and beverages.

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

Our biggest advantage is our indoor swing studio which we created in 2016. We have recently refurbished the room and added new technology such as HMT for GC2 and an upgraded projector.

In my opinion this is a room that needs to have the wow factor when customers come in so should be maintained to a high standard. Amidst all the poor weather this winter, we have had our best November, December and January. Without this room that would not be possible.

When did you join the TGI Golf Partnership and what was it about it that attracted you?

I joined TGI in 2016 when I started at Hollywood as head professional. My previous employer was a TGI Partner, so during that time as an assistant I got to know some of the retail consultants from site visits and other TGI Partners at events like the Team Challenge in Turkey. From what I saw during those years and speaking with other partners on how TGI has helped their businesses, it was a no brainer for me to join.

Has TGI Golf been of benefit to you as a PGA professional?

Absolutely! I try to use all the services that TGI offer as much as I can, be it the newsletter, help from my retail consultant with merchandising, marketing and overall business support. Plus there are fantastic events that we can take advantage of such as golf days with customers and the business conference.

 

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

I turned professional in 2005 when I started my training at Nuneaton Golf Club. Since then I have worked hard to maintain my playing standard and build and improve my business. 2019 was a great year for me both in playing and business. I was lucky enough to win the Worcestershire PGA Strokeplay Championship and win TGI’s Most Improved Business award! Both are fantastic achievements that I am very proud of.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 21, 2020 17:31
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