Worldwide Golf Shops Success Story

Worldwide Golf Enterprises started as a small San Diego golf store and quickly grew to one of the largest multichannel golf retailers in the country.

The old adage “from mighty oaks, acorns grow” is certainly true for Worldwide Golf Enterprises. What began as one small store in San Diego in 1984 with less than a dozen employees is now an 87 retail store chain stretching from Hawaii to Florida, with over 1,000 employees. “In the early days, we all sensed the growth potential and it was ownership’s vision that put us where we are today,” said Rick Levy, vice president of operations for Van’s Golf Shops, one of the six brands of the Worldwide Golf Enterprises portfolio. “From day one, world class customer service has been our main goal, and we’ve kept that focus through all the expansion.”Worldwide Golf Shops began as Golf Mart, a small golf store on Morena Boulevard in San Diego just below the University of San Diego. The company expanded to nine Golf Marts in San Diego and Northern California before making its first large acquisition. In 1993, Worldwide Golf Enterprises acquired 23 Orange County and Los Angeles area golf stores known as Roger Dunn Golf Shops.

Worldwide Golf Shops incorporated its novel 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee in its new stores, an innovation it began in 1984. “We felt you couldn’t service a customer better than giving them a 90-day 100% satisfaction guarantee for anything they purchased,” said Levy, who has been with the company since 1984. “If someone Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 11.47.25 AMreturned with a golf shirt, golf club, bag or putter they didn’t like, there was no hesitation … the response was, ‘Let’s see what we can get you that you will like.’“

In 1997, Worldwide Golf purchased nine stores formerly owned by Arizona-based Van’s Golf. Like all its acquisitions, Worldwide Golf kept the original name and a big part of the team. “We look at the existing staff and management as tremendous assets,” Levy said. “They are people with a lot of experience and have immense customer loyalty, which has great value.” In 2009, Worldwide made its biggest geographical leap, acquiring New England-based Golfers’ Warehouse.

The final two acquisitions came in December 2013 with Uinta Golf, based in Utah, and Edwin Watts Golf, based in Florida, Worldwide Golf’s largest acquisition to date. “We were a family-run business with a lot of tenured employees and what is so smart about Worldwide Golf is that they kept as many of the managers and employees as they could,” said Kerry Kabase, who had worked for Edwin Watts Golf for 37 years and today is a consultant with Worldwide Golf. “They allowed us to keep our identity, which was great for our loyal customers. But now they could walk in and see a fully stocked golf shop with that 90-day guarantee. It was a smooth transition and we feel very lucky to be working under their umbrella. They were a lot like us, avid golfers who were all about customer service.”

Currently, Worldwide Golf Shops includes 48 Edwin Watts Golf stores in 12 states; 12 Roger Dunn Golf Shops in California and Hawaii; 10 Golf Marts in California; seven Van’s Golf Shops in Arizona; five Uinta Golf stores in Utah; and five Golfers’ Warehouses in the Northeast. As far as future expansion? “We want to keep every opportunity open, and if there’s a market and there’s a need we wouldn’t hold back” Levy said. “We feel very comfortable right now. We’re in several year-round markets and business is going well.” Even though Worldwide Golf Shops has several regional brands, it makes a concerted effort to make sure that all its customers feel at home at every one of its stores: its 90-day satisfaction guarantee extends to all its stores, as do all store policies. “That’s another smart thing,” Kabase said. “Each one of its brands has its own customer loyalty and now that loyalty extends to the umbrella operation. If you buy a new club in New England and then travel to Hawaii but don’t like it, you can walk into a store there and exchange it, or use a gift card you bought from a Florida store in Arizona. That really helps grow customer confidence.”

Worldwide Golf Shops, already a big player in the Western United States and the Northeast, is now one of the largest national golf retailers with its acquisition earlier this year of Florida-based Edwin Watts Golf, the largest golf retailer in the Southeast. As part of the purchase, Worldwide Golf will operate 48 Edwin Watts Golf stores in 12 states, each of which will keep the Edwin Watts name. “The acquisition of Edwin Watts Golf is a perfect ft into our portfolio of brands, for among many business attributes its main focus is the same as ours, which is outstanding customer service,” said Al Morris, Worldwide Golf Enterprises President.“Edwin Watts Golf rounds out our formidable stable of brands that now operate from coast to coast.”

 

Vapor Family

Nike’s new line of Vapor irons get a big boost with input from Tiger and Rory

Few major golf manufacturers had such an interesting route to prominence than Nike Golf. For 30 years, Nike was known for one thing: it made shoes, focusing heavily on high performance athletic footwear. It began producing golf shoes in 1986, but didn’t leap into the golf equipment market until 2000, helped in no small part by signing Tiger Woods to an exclusive deal. Since that time, the company’s balls and clubs have helped it become a major player in the golf industry and its latest line of Vapor irons is the most recent example of the company’s dedication to high performance and technological innovation. With blessings from both Woods and the world’s current No. 1 player, Rory Mcilroy, the Vapor iron’s replace Nike’s Covert line. Lighter in weight, with a center of gravity moved to the center of the club face, Vapor has a much thinner face than its predecessor, resulting in Nike’s most precise, longest and most forgiving iron to date.

“The lightweight design helps golfers generate more club speed, the ultra-thin, ultra-fast face creates faster ball speeds, and moving the center of gravity to the center of the face makes the club more stable,” said Rowdy Bank, General Manager of The Golf Mart in San Diego. The three models — Vapor Speed, Vapor Pro Combo, and Vapor Pro are each built for golfers at different stages of their game. Both McIlroy and Woods had input in the design process, but it was the research and development team at Nike Golf that figured how to implement the ideas. “My favorite feature of these clubs is the Vapor’s clean aesthetics, which is a departure from the Covert line,” Bank said. “They feel great, as well.”

LATE-NIGHT TEE TIME

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy recently appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to tout Nike’s new Vapor irons and that’s when the fun began.

The Waste Management Phoenix Open, “The Greatest Show on Grass”

Waste Management 2The biggest names in golf will take the stage this weekend in TPC Scottsdale Arizona for the second stop of the West Coast swing. Even Tiger Woods will be competing after a “not so good” season last year with back surgery and a complete remake of his game. With the announcement of Tiger playing this year, the crowd expectancy is due to triple or quadruple over last year’s turn out. Rory and Tiger will be in full swing with their new complete Nike Vapor series of golf equipment that has officially launched in-stores this weekend. Find a store near you.

Here are a few of the new products you will see in play at the Waste Management event:

+ FJ Hyperflex – Eric Compton was spotted wearing this FootJoy Hyperflex shoe during practice rounds. Check out more on these innovative shoes here: http://www.worldwidegolfshops.com/hyperfelx/Search

FJ, Footjoy, Hyperflex, Eric Compton

Footjoy Hyperflex Shoe

wmpo

 

Tiger Woods was seen lacing up his new Nike Golf TW15 shoes during a practice round  (Available soon at www.worldwidegolfshops.com)

Tiger Woods, TW15

Callaway Chrome soft – Phil Mickelson recently announced that he has changed his golf ball. Phil has never been afraid of making equipment changes and says the new Callaway Chrome Soft is the ball for him.Callaway, Chrome Soft,

Click here to view the new Callaway Chrome Soft Balls

 

 

ENTER OUR VAPOR TWITTER CONTEST::

Go to THE Edwin Watts Golf’s Twitter and Favorite/Share the picture of a Nike Golf Tall Tour Visor and a green Performance Polo and you can WIN!!!  Twitter —> https://twitter.com/edwinwattsgolf <— Waste Management

Nike Vapor Contest - Enter Now

Nike Vapor Contest – Enter Now

 

Bill Haas Wins Humana Challenge

Bill Haas Wins 2015 Human Challenge

Bill Haas Wins 2015 Human Challenge

“It felt like a train wreck all coming together,” Haas said.

Leading by a stroke on the final hole Sunday in the Humana Challenge, Haas flew the right bunker with his drive and the ball trickled left and stopped on the ledge of the front lip.

“I could see from the tee where it ended up and I was shocked,” Haas said.

Haas came up with an imaginative escape, conjuring memories of the shot he splashed out of the water to 3 feet in his playoff victory in the 2011 Tour Championship,

“Royal Rory” – McIlroy Wins 3rd Major at Hoylake

Rory McIlroy wins 2014 Open Championship (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy wins 2014 Open Championship (Getty Images)

The last time something this hot came out of Liverpool was 50 years ago when John, Paul, George and Ringo left town for the states and 3 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Hmmm, 3 appearances on Ed Sullivan for the Beatles, 3 major championships for Rory.  That transitions nicely into our own “Fab Four” thoughts that can be taken away from this week at Hoylake.

Thought #1 – The professional firm of “Garcia, Fowler and McIlroy” – Who says you have to be 6’3”/220 to physically dominate a golf course? Shorter and lighter than most in stature, these three guys flat moved it out at Royal Liverpool. And although they did not win, Fowler and Garcia were most gracious in defeat. Rickie said, “to see him (Rory) win was pretty cool,” while Garcia’s best qutoes were probably non-verbal, when he blew kisses and touched his heart while pointing to the fans on #18. In just a few years, he’s gone from the major villain in the movie to one that most of us are pulling for to get the girl, that being HIS first major.

Thought #2 – No Thrill from Phil – Although a repeat wasn’t in the cards for Lefty, he battled back from an opening 74, with rounds of 70, 71 & 68. Watching Phil putt can drive you crazy. He’ll miss a few in the throw up zone and then, when you’ve written him off, drop in a bomb to make you think he’s on. A renowned expert said that going to the SuperStroke grip would help him eliminate his signature forward press, but it looks at times that he’s forward pressing past his right knee. In any case, a mighty “thank you” from Phil to Rory for taking the “Win the Next Major to Achieve a Career Grand Slam” out of his yard and placing it directly on McIlroy’s front porch.

Rickie Fowler lines up putt (Getty Images)

Rickie Fowler lines up his putt at Royal Liverpool  (Getty Images)

Thought #3 – Tiger’s Back, or is he? – After an opening round of 3 under and getting more ESPN airtime than LeBron James, Woods followed with 77-73-75 to finish 23 shots behind McIlory. Only 3 players making the cut had a worse score than el Tigre’, and with only 2 tournaments on his schedule (WGC Firestone and the PGA Championship) before Ryder Cup qualifying ends, Tiger puts some interesting decision making in the lap of Captain Tom Watson. When told during interviews that Tiger was +4 and still in the course, the Captain replied, “That’s not very good.” Watson wasn’t chosen for an encore as the U.S. Captain to just compete, but to bring the Cup home. At age 64, he closed with a final round 68 to clip Woods’ total by 5 shots; +1 for the Captain to +6 for possible Captain’s Pick who boasts a career Ryder Cup record of 13-14-2.

Thought #4 – A Club and Apparel Manufacturers’ Dream – NIKE/TaylorMade-Adidas/Cobra-Puma – These guys couldn’t be happier with the top three representing their brands going “head to toe, bag to ball” in the final 2 groups at Hoylake. Look for sales of Nike Covert 2, Cobra Bio Cell and TaylorMade SLDR drivers, along with apparel sales, to take a jump this week.

Rickie and Rory, then and now

Rickie and Rory, then and now (Twitter)

Ahhh, but back to Rory. The boy champion of Congressional and Kiawah has lost the baby fat and has morphed into a three-time major winner. He didn’t dodge the questions about pressure, and went out and took care of business on Sunday. He even handled a heckler professionally. And he’s the 3rd youngest player in history to capture 3 different majors.

The Beatles were approaching 25 years old when they left for a tour of the states in 1964 and BeatleMania got even bigger when Liverpool was in their rear view mirror.

Rory is 25 years old.

One more major win next April, and RoryMania will officially be in full swing.