Meet the PGA professional: Peter Hammond

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 28, 2024 13:39

The PGA professional at Shanklin & Sandown Golf Club on the Isle of Wight for the last 34 years, and new TGI Golf Partner of the Year, Peter Hammond, explains how the club, and particularly the areas he has control over such as the pro shop and teaching, have continued to grow in recent years.

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

Initially Covid was a challenge and with the support of the membership, suppliers and the government grants, this allowed me to plan a way forward.

Once we reopened for golf the demand was incredible. With increased membership and revenue, this allowed the club and me to develop an existing snooker room into a swing studio which opened in May 2023.

Since opening we have seen an upsurge in lessons and custom fit during a difficult period. Prior to our new studio, teaching was reliant on the weather and was very hit and miss.

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

The main challenge for me is finding time for admin and any course issues that may occur.

Managing my time with the various roles I cover as a club pro is a fine balancing act. Running the pro shop, teaching, managing the club’s buggy fleet, course updates and info are just some of the areas I’m responsible for!

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

Using the excellent XPOS system from Crossover helps me manage stock levels and the reports allow me to forecast stock deliveries going forward.

We also supply logo merchandise for visitors which sells well in the summer season.

How do you manage your day?

My day starts with a course update from the head greenkeeper, we then prepare any buggies and electric trolleys that have been pre-booked.

Then I go through my emails and diary for the day and prepare our studio for any bookings and custom fittings for that day.

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

My assistant runs regular junior coaching sessions and is currently teaching in several local schools, which helps us to create a pathway for any youngsters who are keen to get involved in the sport.

Are you trying to attract more women to golf?

We are always looking to attract new women golfers and will be running some new-to-golf coaching sessions in the late spring / early summer this year.

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

The academy membership scheme we introduced several years ago gives us a steady flow of new golfers and is a successful pathway to full membership.

Our academy memberships involve lessons, on course tuition with rules and etiquette and several rounds of golf, which is great value for someone looking to see if golf is for them.

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?

In partnership with the golf club we built an indoor studio with the latest technology from ForeSight Sports using the GC Quad.

This is great for coaching when we can’t get out on our practice ground. It also allows us to coach and custom fit with all data feedback golfers are expecting now in this day and age.

I also still enjoy attending CDP courses with the PGA and travelling to the TGI Golf business conference each year. This really helps us to keep up to speed with all the latest trends in the industry.

I also have my TGI Golf retail consultant Simon Keeling available at the end of the phone and in store to keep me on my toes and help me with every area of my business. It’s amazing to have a set of expert eyes from outside the business coming in and helping me with everything.

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

After working and trading as a club pro for roughly 10 years and through speaking to fellow pros I realised I was probably not getting the best trading terms available to enable me to compete with my competitors.

At the time I was quite prominent in Hampshire and a rep who I trusted advised me to look at TGI Golf.

Having met with a couple of groups, Eddie Reid was on the road then before he took over as managing director, it was quite clear that TGI Golf was the best fit for my business.

Here we are 22 years on and I can safely say it was the best business decision I have ever made.

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

TGI Golf has allowed me to retain my identity as an individual and helped raise my profile as a PGA pro through firstly the golf trade shows in Harrogate and then the business conference with all the education that’s provided.

I have been able to keep up to speed with an ever, and fast, evolving industry. We also have on tap retail consultants that are happy to help with merchandising and so on, plus now the updated website with tools such as MyMarketing HUB that allows us to design and print personalised marketing material, which allows us to make our shops look first class. The Email Marketing Service also gives us the chance to communicate professionally with our customers as independent retailers.

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

After a successful amateur career I had aspirations of playing golf for a living, turning pro in 1980, but I soon realised this was a lot harder than I first realised!

In 1982 I was lucky enough to be appointed assistant to Keith MacDonald Jnr at Goodwood and became a qualified PGA pro in 1987.

I was appointed club pro at Shanklin & Sandown GC nearly 34 years ago, just a year after getting married. We moved to the Isle of Wight and are still going strong.

I am also proud to be a TaylorMade ambassador, rubbing shoulders with some of the best pros and retailers in Europe is an amazing honour and experience.

My most recent highlight was being awarded TGI Partner of the Year at The Belfry. This was a complete shock, as TGI is a group of top quality PGA professionals so to be recognised as Partner of the Year is the ultimate accolade.


Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick March 28, 2024 13:39
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