Home Team apparel Michael Tuohy, PGA, talks golf fashion

Michael Tuohy, PGA, talks golf fashion

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PGA Professional Michael Tuohy is a five-time North Florida PGA Chapter and Section Merchandiser of the Year award winner. He is the Chief Golf Professional at Esplanade d’Azario in Lakewood Ranch, Florida in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. Michael has over ten years of experience in the golf industry and a proven ability to thrive in the business marketing arena.

We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Michael to get his thoughts on golf fashion trends, what he and his team are doing merchandising in their store, and what he sees as important factors in marketing golf apparel to the masses.

What are some of the trends you see in men’s and women’s golf apparel in your store?

Michael Tuohy (MT): Sunday Swagger is a leading shirt brand in our store along with Waggle and William Murray. We still carry classics like FootJoy, Travis Mathews, Cutter and Buck and Straight Down. All of our outside service staff and food and beverage staff wear 4 different Sunday Swagger designs.

As we enter fall and winter, hoodies from FootJoy and other companies are definitely the trend in outerwear. For men’s bottoms we do, women have great success with IBKUL, JoFit and Kate Lord.

When it comes to shoes, 95% off the company is now spikeless. Casual shoes you can wear during and for the rest of the day. Finally, headgear is a major factor in our shop. We carry several different hat companies. Travis Mathew, Black Clover, AHead, O’Connor, Sunday Swagger, Waggle, and more. Style trends include rope hats and Flexfit.

What are some of the trends you see in youth golf apparel?

MT: When it comes to young boys and girls, everything we do is PUMA. We have a Junior section in the store, but its category is slowly growing. We hope to participate in the PGA Jr. League this year and hope this will boost our junior category.

What are the most important purchasing factors for adults (price, quality, brand, etc.)?

MT: We try to be different. Find businesses on Instagram and other places you don’t typically see when going to a golf store. This is where we have been most successful and where we have tried to follow this trend. The price plays a role; people would rather pay $69 for a polo than $98, but we’ve got a good mix.

What are some of the most important purchasing factors for young people (price, quality, brand, etc.)?

MT: Again, we are always trying to grow this category, but our primary focus is PUMA and the growth of this category over time.

Given that you are a Chapter and Section Merchant of the Year in the Public category, what do you consider to be important factors in marketing apparel to golfers?

MT: There are a few key factors:

As a company, we strive to step outside the brick and mortar walls of a traditional store. Currently, I’m working with our developer and retail consultant to launch an e-commerce site for Esplanade Communities. Esplanade communities can be found across the country, from California to Florida. We will soon be offering all Esplanade members consistent, quality merchandise in a convenient online setting. No matter where members are located, they can purchase quality Esplanade merchandise.

As we grow as a company, I personally develop my “Think Out Of The Box” philosophy and expand it to “Shock & Awe!” I am continually on the lookout for new trends, keeping the store exciting and fresh. Not only keep the products interesting, but also the displays. I strive to create loyal customers through a unique shopping experience. My goal is for all customers to walk into the store and say “wow”, “what is this?” and “I’ve never seen this before!” As I expand my strategy, our store’s merchandise should add $100,000 to the bottom line this year, turning merchandising into tangible profit and a successful career.

Merchandising is definitely my passion. I use my knowledge to teach our assistants so they can grow in the golf and merchandising industry. My staff receive daily hands-on training, place orders, organize displays and sell products. Recently I had the honor of hosting a PGA Wizard Tournament. After the tournament, I spent time talking to the group to share tips, techniques and resources to help them deepen their knowledge and develop their career path. I am also working hard to further my education as secretary of our chapter board. I believe education is critical to the success of PGA professionals and the golf industry.