Retail Opportunities:
Walk This Way

Brett Eaton, the 2014 Pacific Northwest PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA Head Professional at Tacoma (Washington) Country & Golf Club

We’ve always had a lot of walkers here at Tacoma Country & Golf Club. Members walk the golf course, the perimeter walking path, community roads and along the lake. These days, they’re looking for casual activewear.

I started carrying athletic pieces from Gear, and now we have a selection of hoodies and T-shirts from Levelwear. We also carry SParms sun protection shawls for walking, golf and outdoor activities, beach towels for the pool and lake and EcoVessel water bottles. After receiving multiple requests, I have an order of Yeti water bottles coming in, as well.

We began carrying Theragun around the holidays last year, and the Mini and Elite units sold out quickly. Theragun is for all active people – they use it for their lower back, calves and so much more. I even have friends who use it on their feet, which get sore from walking the golf course. We keep a Theragun Mini behind the counter for demo use so members can feel its effect firsthand.

For our Member-Guest Invitational involving 192 participants this month, our Theragun rep is going to do a demo day on our driving range with their RecoveryAir JetBoots, which retail for $699, $899 and $1,299. We’ll carry a few in the golf shop if we can create product awareness. We’ll also gauge member feedback. JetBoots are about pressure massage, and with golfers walking and standing, it helps their circulation. They would be great for anyone who has a stand-up desk, rides a bike, walks, jogs or runs.

As you can see, we are a very fitness-conscious facility. We have a fitness center, tennis, pickleball and swimming pool, and 80 percent of our members walk the golf course when they play. Golf ’s a great game for fitness because you’re walking five miles during the average 18-hole round.

I recently gave a golf lesson to a gentleman who is 70 years old, and we talked about stretching and other exercises that he could do to stay in shape for golf. I mentioned to him as we get older, stretching and exercise assist with flexibility, and are key elements in walking a round of golf. Golfers walking five miles with their golf clubs on their back need to maintain a satisfactory fitness level.