Merchandising is a team effort

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Dustin Kerr-Taylor (Brent Long)

A day in the life of a member or guest at Bayview Golf and Country must be an extraordinary experience from start to finish.

That’s the vision Head Golf Professional Dustin Kerr-Taylor brings to the Toronto club as his golf shop team works to instill and preserve the spirit of the game in each golfer by providing quality golf programs and service that resonate excellence.

It’s also the type of dedication to the sport that has earned Kerr-Taylor the PGA of Ontario Retailer of the Year for 2013 after only his second year as Head Professional at Bayview.

“I have always been passionate about merchandising. It was instilled in me by the head professionals I worked for previously, Warren Crosbie at Bayview, John Porter at Rosedale Golf & Country Club and Brad Johnston at The Briars Golf & Country Club,” Kerr-Taylor says of the club owned shop. “We aim for perfection when it comes to the golf shop experience. There is always a wow factor when members walk into the golf shop. We want them to feel that this is a special place for them, where they can be comfortable and also know they’re getting the best pricing possible.”

No one person is in charge of maintaining the look of the shop and changing the displays. All staff members are involved with merchandising and creating an inviting golf shop experience. The nesting tables are located right at the front of the golf shop and changed every two-to-three weeks to showcase new product and reflect the time of year or holidays. The main sales counter has been relocated to the center of the shop allowing staff to greet everyone that walks by or comes in. “This is totally a team award; there are so many people at the club, from the back shop to accounting, who help create an atmosphere where members enjoy coming into the golf shops simply to chat or to make their purchases.”

Kerr-Taylor estimates that he spends half of his time on golf shop merchandising, but the key to success has been connecting with members.

“I am the starter on the weekend and this is a great way to promote new items in the shop and for me to see what everybody is wearing and the equipment they’re using,” says Kerr-Taylor who also produces a personal weekly video posted to the club’s web site with upcoming events, congratulating winners from the week and promoting the golf shop.

The father of two, Hudson and Addison, who has been married to his wife Monique for 16 years, is also quick to note that printed posters, member newsletters, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, bathrooms and the first tee message boards is where golf shop sales are promoted to the 700 members.

Kerr-Taylor started playing golf with his father as a youngster at the nine-holer in Dryden, Ont. A few years later he saw an advertisement in Golf Digest magazine for the Golf Academy of America Professional Golf Management Program and enrolled in 1992. Since graduating, he’s been having a ball, playing and selling the game he loves.

Another key to delivering a profitable golf shop at Bayview has been offering member pricing for members and their guests. Every item is priced in the shop with a retail price from a local golf store and a lower member price.

“We are always lower than their pricing. We don’t have a formula, it all depends on each product. Weekly internet checks on websites are needed to make sure we are always competitive,” Kerr-Taylor says. “At first members were skeptical on member pricing. I think they thought we were just making up retail pricing but it only took a few months for them to realize that Bayview is there one stop shop for shopping. “I really notice more and more new members shopping here than maybe they did in the past which is great to see”.