Meet the PGA professional: Chris Robinson

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 15, 2024 12:40

Chris Robinson, the head PGA professional at Portpatrick Dunksey Golf Club in Wigtownshire, in a remote location in south-west of Scotland, details how he manages his shop and time, introducing the game to local children and beginners, and why he believes joining TGI Golf was the best decision he has made for his business.

How has your business adapted to the golf industry’s changes since the start of this decade?

I’ve continued to evolve as a PGA professional through continued learning and experiences, and none more so than Covid-19. We learned so much through this period on customer needs and buying trends, which gives us a better understanding of the industry we operate in.

As a result, we’ve modernised our custom fitting environment which includes enhanced offerings from multiple brands and have also relocated the pro shop within the clubhouse, which now gives us a larger retail space in a prime location. The retail space now allows us to merchandise in a far better way than before.

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

Every day brings a new set of challenges, but every day begins with being organised. I take extreme pride in the presentation of the pro shop and to ensure this my staff, and I, leave the shop each evening how we would expect to find it the following day.

Long days and late nights seem to be the norm in the golf industry but I’m always looking to find ways to streamline our operations and improve my time management.

I often find myself getting pulled in different directions daily, tending to the visitor and member requirements, liaising with our bar and catering team, green staff and secretary.

Communication is key among my team to stay on top of the daily duties and to provide a great customer experience. It is imperative that I provide sufficient staff training to enable us to keep up with the workload.

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

This is one of the biggest challenges and the risk associated with stock holding due to the rising costs is now greater than ever.

I prefer products with longer life cycles, especially on hardware brands. My EPOS system is critical for my forward purchasing and stock control and is a very important member of my team.

The seasonality of the business is the hardest challenge, particularly due to my remote location in the south west of Scotland.

My members are very supportive and understand that we’ll not always have an item in stock but with the help of fellow TGI Golf partners we can often source items we don’t usually stock.

How do you manage your day?

My 30-minute commute to work allows me to plan and prepare for my day. A typical day would involve being behind the shop counter throughout the morning before coaching and fitting in the afternoons.

The first job each morning would be preparation of the club’s buggy and electric trolley fleet to suit each day’s requirements. I’m a little old school and find it best to use the PGA paper diary to best manage my time each day.

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

We view it as an obligation to promote junior golf and encourage future generations to the game.

I host a weekly junior evening from April to October where we offer on course events and dedicated practice sessions and coaching, and we also offer a monthly coaching morning.

All this coaching is given complimentary for our junior members.

I also work closely with a fellow PGA pro (my former assistant) who is introducing golf to kids within the school curriculum and then we’re bringing them to the golf club.

Are you trying to attract more women to golf?

We have an annual action plan to help attract women to the game and as a club we have signed the Charter for Women in Golf, which shows our commitment to the women’s game.

Our strategy always works in tandem with the club and combines a coaching programme and membership offer for beginners.

Some of our best initiatives are when we’ve included the current membership within the coaching groups to allow beginners to meet current members.

We’re fortunate to have the benefit of a nine-hole par three course at the club which is a great place to learn the game. Our nine-hole course also offers incredible value at only £200 annually, which makes it very accessible.

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?

I’ve made significant investment over the last number of years, and we have an indoor simulator room as well as an outside covered area that offers us the best of both worlds for the custom fitting experience.

We use TrackMan for all our lessons and custom fit sessions and offer a complimentary after-sales service to check all clubs and provide yardages.

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

I joined TGI from day one of becoming the club professional at Portpatrick Dunskey. My predecessor was with the group, so I was aware from the get-go what TGI could offer me. It is without doubt the best decision for me and my business.

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

To have the TGI Golf community of head office staff, retail consultants and fellow TGI partners is invaluable, nothing is ever too much trouble, and my retail consultant is always at hand for support, in-store visits and staff training.

The events are second to none and provide great learning experiences and the chance to network with my peers. Time spent away from my workplace in this environment allows me to work on the business and always has me returning to the daily job with renewed enthusiasm and new ideas.

The marketing support we receive in the form of an Email Marketing Service and MyMarketing HUB allow us to produce professional and personalised marketing. These services are invaluable to help us tell our customers about our business, services and promotions.

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

I turned professional in 2008 after an enjoyable amateur career, which included representing Scotland. My playing highlight would be my 12 under par score of 58 at Portpatrick Dunskey.

Coincidentally this occurred while playing with the club members two days after taking over as club professional.

My most recent trip of a lifetime to Ping HQ in Phoenix would be the career high, I feel privileged and honoured to have had such an experience. To be announced as TGI Ping Custom Fitter of the Year in the PING Gold Putter Vault was the crowning glory.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick February 15, 2024 12:40
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment
View comments

Write a comment


Join Our Mailing List

Read the latest issues

Advertise With Us

For editorial enquiries in the magazine or online, contact:

For advertising enquiries in the magazine or online, contact: