GFAA Best Practice: Boost Golf Fitness Awareness Through Your Golf Shop

Bonnie Hamilton is the AGM Director of Retail at Washington Golf & Country Club in Arlington, Virginia.

Bonnie Hamilton on the importance of boosting golf fitness awareness through your golf shop:

Washington Golf & Country Club has a robust golf fitness and wellness program. Member enthusiasm and participation was invigorated even more when we refurbished our free-standing fitness center more than five years ago, adding new state-of-the-art equipment and hiring certified instructors who teach yoga, Pilates and barre. We also have a massage therapist and call on nutritionists to hold seminars throughout the year. Our fitness efforts go beyond just golf; we promote fitness as a lifestyle for healthier and happier members. With the coronavirus pandemic lingering for almost two years, our fitness instructors have conducted an array of Zoom classes online, as well as outdoor sessions in an area supported with heaters to ensure a comfortable and welcoming setting. To further the engagement with members and guarantee an ever-growing fitness program, it is essential that our golf operations team, especially our PGA Professionals, also incorporate strength and stretching programs that play a major role in a holistic approach to improving members’ health, as well as their golf swing. Combining golf and fitness efforts has proven successful in increasing participation, as well as in boosting retail sales.

Bonnie Hamilton on the business impact of boosting golf fitness awareness through your golf shop:

With traffic in the fitness center very limited when COVID began and still uncertain as the Delta variant continues to wreak havoc, we decided to bring fitness apparel into the golf shop. Now, when members come in looking for clubs and the traditional golf apparel they’re used to, they will also be welcomed by leggings, hoodies, joggers, Henley-style shirts and Theraguns by Therabody. With new product lines, to which many members are unaccustomed, they come into the shop and support it now more than ever. Members who have already implemented fitness into their lives now have a more-convenient means of attaining these fitness-related items, and for those who are predominantly here for the golf, their eyes are opened to a whole new world of health and wellness. In addition, with more members working from home, these types of fitness items can cross over into at-home wear. What started as a connection between fitness, nutrition and golf has now also become a lifestyle and fitness trend that we are successfully incorporating in our golf shop. Members are more aware and golf shop sales reflect the influx of new golfers, as well as a new enthusiasm for healthier living, on and off the course.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email