PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Three prominent PGA Members will be honored as the national 2018 PGA Merchandisers of the Year at the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. The Awards will serve as the kickoff to the PGA Magazine Merchandiser of the Year Conference. Dave Marr III will serve as the host.
Recognized as the top merchandisers among the nearly 29,000 PGA Professionals who comprise the PGA of America are:
• Private Facilities: Nick Muller, PGA, Country Club of Lincoln (Nebraska)
• Public Facilities: Mark Rashell, PGA, The Golf Club at Newcastle (Washington)
• Resort Facilities: Erik Wilson, PGA, The Grand Golf Club - San Diego
“For their excellence and expertise in merchandising and the business of golf, along with their commitment to further the standing of the PGA Professional, the PGA of America is proud to join PGA Magazine in honoring PGA Members Nick Muller, Mark Rashell and Erik Wilson as the national PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award recipients,” said PGA President Suzy Whaley.
"We congratulate each of these professionals on their well-deserved accomplishment and look forward to having them with us throughout the conference. Now in its 12th year, the PGA Merchandiser of the Year Conference brings together the best-of-the-best, and we feel it is a great platform for the PGA of America to honor their national award winners,” said PGA Magazine CEO & Chairman Rick Summers.
Nick Muller, a PGA Member in the Nebraska Section and PGA Director of Golf at the Country Club of Lincoln (Nebraska), is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Private Facilities. Since he joined the Country Club of Lincoln six years ago, the golf shop has enjoyed double-digit growth in sales each year, as well as a 300 percent increase in junior clinic revenue. The growth was also reinforced by a 73 percent increase in ladies’ apparel sales and 110 percent increase in overall tournament revenue, thanks to Muller’s implementation of well-choreographed events, such as turnkey fashion shows.
His creative merchandising strategies, combined with his ability to engage customers through newsletters, branded posters and a mobile app used by 80 percent of club members, has been instrumental to his success. A member of the Nebraska PGA Section’s Board of Directors, Muller is also passionate about mentoring through merchandising/service seminars to students in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln PGA Golf Management University and Hospitality Resort & Tourism programs.
Mark Rashell, a PGA Member in the Pacific Northwest Section and the PGA Director of Golf at The Golf Club at Newcastle (Washington), is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Public Facilities. Since his arrival in 2011 at The Golf Club at New Castle, Rashell’s golf shop merchandise sales have experienced steady growth thanks to his attention to detail, competitive pricing strategy, focus on superior customer service, commitment to club fitting and merchandising a diverse selection of quality products.
Among his best practices, Rashell capitalized on his facility’s close proximity to Seattle, in order to create a successful program that leveraged Seattle Seahawks-licensed merchandise sales in his shop.
Erik Wilson, a PGA Member in the Southern California PGA Section and PGA Head Professional at The Grand Golf Club in San Diego, is the recipient of the 2018 PGA Merchandiser of the Year Award for Resort Facilities. As the PGA Head Golf Professional at The Grand Golf Club since 2012, his pioneering philosophy has helped deliver a steady growth in sales.
His commitment to fostering personal relationships with golf vendors and customers has been a key to the facility’s success, along with his belief that a knowledgeable, motivated and empowered staff is his most valuable asset. Wilson’s use of a full-time club fitter and weekly fitting experiences through different vendors has led to a 40 percent increase in custom club sales. His willingness to take a chance on smaller growth brands has also been fundamental to his shop’s success.
You can watch the awards presentation on Saturday evening, live, via Facebook.