Ty Martinez ollies a skateboard while juggling a golf ball in their golf shop at Keeton Park Golf Course. (Photo by Ryan Lochhead)
Golf retail, and the golf shop itself has experienced a renaissance of sorts, as many aspects of the game continue to evolve in the 21st century. The advent of e-commerce means you can shop from your home without even stepping foot in a store, and vendors use analytics and data to determine your preferences and strategically market their products and services.
At Keeton Park Golf Course in Dallas, Tony Martinez, the PGA Director of Golf and his son Ty, the PGA (Associate) Head Professional, want to welcome you into their golf shop, as they revolutionize golf retail and create an experience that is special and borderline one-of-a-kind in the golf industry.
As an urban municipal course at the on-ramp of the game, the Martinez’s welcome a distinctively diverse clientele, delivering a progressive vibe across the golf shop and through their conversation. “Connecting with our customers and engaging in topics and themes that speak to them is a vital aspect of our marketing and promotion. It’s about more than just golf,” the elder Martinez said.
Tony Martinez came up with this concept after taking his staff to a local mall to determine the atmosphere they preferred for their golf shop, and as it turned out, the stores that had music playing, a fresh young vibe in the air and a diverse menagerie of displays to view were the ones preferred by his team.
That same Keeton Park team creates displays that capture the attention of their customers and are not traditionally seen in golf circles. In fact, you may think you’re in a record store or a skate shop, rather than a golf shop. The music playing is also not what you’d expect at a golf course, with classic R&B and old school hip-hop hits from Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur not just playing in the background, but every bit a part of the vibe you experience upon entry.
There’s a “shoe room” where Ty takes his die-hard customers every time a new Jordan golf shoe drops and they’ve been waiting in line for two hours before the staff is even allowed to sell them. Patrons take photos on their phones and post them to their social media sites, tagging Keeton Park and bringing attention to the special community of golfers, non-golfers and dedicated customer base that falls in between.
The team at Keeton Park pays attention to more than just trends in golf. They’ve got their finger on the pulse of music, fashion, footwear and pop culture, as well. “Cool stuff” is selling over basic necessities they say, and specialty products, unusual tees, hoodies and hats that are simply not found elsewhere are what’s in demand.
Tony says, “We’re going to be more successful selling products that our staff is excited about because it’s easier for them to engage customers when they’re passionate about the merchandise they’re selling.”
Keeton Park Golf Course has a successful online shop that is highlighted by the presentation of merchandise when it’s shipped to their eager customers. “We pay close attention to the presentation when shipping items, as the younger generation will take photos or videos of the special unveiling, revealing our highly-visible logo. I wish I can take credit for all of this, but it’s my son Ty and our team who know what their generation wants and they’re taking steps to satisfy those needs,” Martinez concluded.