Locally-Owned Golf Exchange Opens New Store, Headquarters in Taylor Mill
Tue, 06/16/2015 - 18:33 RCN Newsdesk
Golf Exchange has moved its corporate headquarters and store support office along with an adjacent retail outlet on the second floor, joining the new Trifecta development above LaRosa's, Greater's Ice Cream and Skyline Chili in the Districts of Taylor Mill.
It opened its doors on Tuesday which happens to coincide with the company's biggest sale week of the year: Father's Day.
"This is pretty much our most important week of the year with our week-long father's day sale. We've been doing it now for eight years and customers can save up to $100 off their purchase, so it's obviously good timing with the opening of our Taylor Mill store as well," said owner Jason Fryia. "Those customers that are excited to come in and see what we're all about are going to come in to a new location and see the new store while we have our biggest sale going on so it's good savings for them too."
The new store in Taylor Mill is the sixth opened by Golf Exchange, which has added a new store every year since 2011. The company was founded by Fryia in 2006 when the first Golf Exchange was opened in Florence. Since then, the business has expanded with locations in Lexington, Eastgate, Kenwood, and Tri-County. The corporate office was formerly on Houston Road in Florence but the new building in Taylor Mill was perfect to house their front office working needs, Fryia said.
"Obviously it's a unique situation with this building in Taylor Mill. Three big stories here, something you may not typically see but I think a high-traffic area conveniently located above a couple of popular restaurants," Fryia said. "We're the first tenant on the second floor, but I know that they are talking to a few others and they're in the process of building up a couple of others that will also build traffic on the second floor, including some other retail, so we're excited for those to get in here and join us. I think the second floor will become a little bit more of a familiar place for people."
Small golf equipment specialty stores are not as prevalent as they once were, so a locally-owed company that has been able to grow to six locations in three metropolitan area makes Golf Exchange a bit of an outlier compared to its competition.
"I think locally-owned golf stores are really something that has gone by the wayside over the last 10 years or so. We like to think that we are a little bit of an exception to that. Those loyal customers that we do have really appreciate familiar faces and people that have the authority and ability to really take care of them on each and every transaction that they make with us," Fryia said.
Earlier this year, Golf Exchange launched its Champions Club Rewards Program for new and existing customers. For each $300 spent, Golf Exchange gives its customers $10 off on their next purchase.
What also separates Golf Exchange from the others is its ability to provide free custom fitting with the purchase of a club. Golf Exchange uses high-end Doppler radar technology to match the perfect club with any golfer that shops there. The custom fitting typically takes about an hour and is usually up to $100 an hour at other stores with similar technology.
"We have a Doppler radar device called Flight Scope, and it tracks what the golf ball is doing through the air and it gives us 28 different measurements of what the golf ball is doing from how fast it's going, to how high it's launched, how much back spin there is on the golf ball, obviously how left or right it's going and also what's going on with the person's swing like how fast the person is swinging, their approach to the golf ball and so on," Fryia said. "From that, it predicts what the golf ball does beyond the 15 feet of ball flight that we have here and extrapolates that out to the entire flight of the golf ball. We will use it to specifically quantify the difference between one golf club and another. So whether that's comparing a current golf club to a new one, or if they're taking a couple of new ones into consideration, we'll be able to quantify specifically which one is better for them."
Golf Exchange has been named to the top-100 custom fitters of America, and the company has won awards for its custom fitting from nationally recognized golf brands like Mizuno, Ping, Taylor Made and Calloway.
Inside the stores, Golf Exchange has a 15-foot net set up where golfers can hit balls to allow Flight Scope to track their swing with a particular club.
"When you look at a PGA player like Tiger Woods, he is going to have his swing coach, fitness trainer and someone to help him with his equipment and that's kind of the piece of the puzzle that we fit into," Fryia said. "A device like this is something that we have in all of our stores. It's not very common out there in the marketplace, but we think it's absolutely necessary to fit. So we project the images onto the television here and then eventually onto a projector screen that will be on the back of the net.
"So while we're lacking the ball flight that somebody might see outside, we feel like the Doppler radar with Flight Scope takes us another step beyond even what outdoors would do because it quantifies specifically what could happen. It's the exact same device the PGA players would use on tour to determine which clubs would be best for them and then the options within that model."
In addition to its custom fitting, Golf Exchange provides industry-leading trade-in programs.
"We offer guaranteed highest trade in value for older equipment so somebody can upgrade to something new without as much out of the pocket. It's something we've been doing since we started in 2006."
Fryia says that the company typically trades for clubs under 10 years old.
It was explained that while Golf Exchange may recommend swing coaches for customers who feel they would like to improve their swing, their primary business is the fitting of the right club and they are determined to focus on that aspect only. That being said, Golf Exchange will occasionally host swing seminars put on by outside swing experts.
"We believe that we're club experts and fitting experts, and likewise we think that there are swing experts out there. So if you look at a golfer as a whole they probably need somebody to help them with their swing from time to time and then we're here to help them with their clubs whether it be their existing clubs or help them recommend some clubs that are brand new for them."
The new Taylor Mill location is the smallest of the stores but still provides a wide selection of both new and used clubs, accessories, golf balls and range finders in addition to the custom fitting. All Golf Exchange locations are open seven days a week.
Written by Bryan Burke, associate editor