Portsmouth Golf Centre is bucking the trend when it comes to attracting new golfers, boosting profits at the same time. The South Coast based golf hub has recorded an 11% uplift in lesson income and improved sales through its pro shop in the first four months of 2016. Owner Terry Healy puts this down to his investment in a new all-weather coaching area created recently by Huxley Golf.
Recognising that many golfers liked to practise outside, Mr Healy commissioned Huxley Golf to create an outdoor coaching zone to complement the Centre’s 22 hi-tech covered bays. The new training facility features a 6ft x 48ft (1.8m x 14.6m) driving area and a 77 sq. yard (64 sq. m) five hole putting green with two chipping pods, all created using Huxley Golf’s top flight all-weather surfaces. Located close to the 18th hole, fencing was skilfully designed to facilitate views of the Huxley Golf practice area, sparking interest and cleverly generating new coaching enquiries. Floodlighting across the facility extends coaching into the evening.
The Centre pro shop has benefited too, as golfers can use the area to try out new equipment in a non-pressured environment and on Huxley’s extremely realistic, yet durable, playing surface. Indeed, it has enabled the team there to introduce a new service, Putter Fittings, to its extensive list of custom fitting services. Sales have improved and the customer’s buying experience has been enhanced.
The new practice facility has been launched in tandem with a new Portsmouth Golf Centre Performance Academy. The concept is to build community spirit and encourage more people to give golf a go. For a modest annual subscription, members of the Academy enjoy one hour of supervised practice on the Huxley Golf practice area each month free of charge.
The initiative has created what Terry Healy calls ‘a wow factor!’ He explained: “I think it says a lot about our ethos that we always strive to offer our customers the best and that’s why we chose Huxley Golf to design and install a fully rounded coaching area for us. Coaching here is a more interesting and attractive proposition now. It has opened up options for small group lessons which participants, and our PGA Pros, find extremely beneficial. We can accommodate up to eight juniors in a one hour lesson which is fun and engaging for them – we can even run competitions. Importantly too, my coaching team is over the moon with this new first class facility and I know it will help me retain the top talent that I have here.”
Mr Healy has worked with Huxley Golf over a number of years. He said: “For me, the quality of the service is just as important as the quality of the product. The whole Huxley Golf team are a delight to work with. I particularly appreciate their consultative, advice-led approach. I know what I want to achieve but they know how to do it! They listen carefully, are open to suggestions and spend time working up ideas that are right for us, not just presenting us with packaged options.”
Paul Chester, General Manager at Huxley Golf commented: “We were commissioned to work on this project in two phases – first the tee area and then the putting green – but we’ve received feedback to suggest that it looks very much like a singly designed cohesive area. It’s particularly pleasing that the new coaching zone has enabled Portsmouth Golf Centre to build up its new Performance Academy fast and we are thrilled about the commercial impact that it’s had for this innovative Golf Centre as a whole.”
Huxley Golf provides premier all-weather surfaces for golf around the world. Clients include training and coaching establishments, golf resorts, ranges and academies as well as many well-known golf courses.
Huxley Golf www.huxleygolf.com
Portsmouth Golf Centre www.portsmouthgolfcentre.co.uk