Golf News for Friday, December 3, 2010 | Business

New Golfsmith Xtreme golf playground opens in Naples, Florida

The competition among golf stores in Southwest Florida is about to heat up. The nation's largest golf retailer, Golfsmith, officially grand opens the company's most technologically advanced and interactive superstore, Golfsmith Xtreme, Friday, December 3, 2010. The new store will offer more products and more performance enhancing diagnostic equipment than any other Golfsmith location, and Friday and Saturday will feature more than $40,000 worth of prizes and giveaways.

"Naples is a hotbed for golf and tennis and we're proud to bring a whole new retail experience to the Southwest Florida area," said Golfsmith President and CEO Marty Hanaka. "This is the best store we've ever opened. Our purpose is to help Southwest Florida golfers and tennis players play better. This grand opening will showcase our custom fitting studios, our free indoor driving range, a huge putting green and exclusive deals that golfers won't find anywhere else this holiday season."

Some $40,000 worth of merchandise and other prizes will be given out during the Grand Opening weekend December 3 and 4, 2010 on a first come first served basis. On Friday starting at 8:00am the giveaways include free rounds of golf, $20 cash cards or golf balls to customers who come early. On Saturday beginning at 8:00am the first 40 people in line get their choice of $10,000 worth of giveaways including a $900 set of Callaway Diablo irons, a $700 set of TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons, free drivers, GPS devices and more. The next 250 people will get a free $20 cash card on Saturday.

Golfsmith's entry into the Naples market signifies a major shift in the way golfers and tennis players are outfitted and served. Instead of buying off-the-shelf, Golfsmith's focus is to custom-fit players with just the right equipment at guaranteed low prices. The store also offers products from two of the most popular brands in golf, Titleist and FootJoy, available only at select Naples retailers like Golfsmith.

The 35,000 square-foot Golfsmith Xtreme store is located on Airport Pulling Road north of Pine Ridge adjacent to the Regal Cinemas theater. The concept is a sports enthusiast's interactive playground. It features multiple 3-D golf simulators, a six-bay golf driving range that is free for anyone to use, a large putting green, and thousands of golf accessories in addition to the latest styles of men's and women's fashions. What sets this Golfsmith Xtreme Naples location apart from others in the Naples area is the store's focus on computerized golf analysis and custom fitting equipment. In-store, high tech lessons from PGA Pros are available from GolfTEC as well.

"This is a golfer's paradise. We have made the new Naples store the kind of place golfers do not want to leave, "said Hanaka. "What further differentiates Golfsmith is our associates who have a passion for the game, and the expertise to custom fit golfers for free with the most precise equipment to help them play better. We even guarantee our custom fitting process will improve performance and distance."

Custom fitting is the process where a certified fitting expert uses computerized swing analysis to analyze every aspect of a player's swing and then recommend the best types of clubs and the set-up of those clubs, including shaft, loft, lie and more. Golfers can be custom fit for any type of golf club and can even be fit to the right golf ball. The Naples store will also offer TaylorMade and Callaway Fitting Studios. Golfsmith's associates are also experts in custom fitting seniors and women as well as left-handed players. These three specific groups will no longer have to hunt around a store for their clubs anymore and will have dedicated shopping areas at Golfsmith. Custom fitting is one of the fastest growing sales categories for Golfsmith. The company traces its roots to making custom-fit clubs in 1967.

"Women and seniors have different hitting strengths and swing speeds," said Steve Shirk, Golfsmith's Naples general manager. "In order to play the best, each golfer needs clubs custom fit for their abilities. Golfers should never buy clubs solely based on just their height and weight. If you are a senior or a lefty, you generally have to hunt for your clubs in other retail outlets. Here at Golfsmith, we have dedicated Senior, Women and Lefty club areas and it is free to be custom fit," Shirk added.

Other Golfsmith Xtreme Naples facts:

• Location of new store: 6428 Hollywood Blvd., Naples, FL 34109, 239-254-0483 (Located off of Airport-Pulling Road in Promenade at Naples Center). Directions: http://www.golfsmith.com/retail_store.php?store_number=094

• $40,000 in Giveaways: on Saturday at 7:30am Golfsmith staff will walk down the line of waiting customers and each will choose a gift. A voucher will be presented to the customer for the specific item they requested. Once the stock of an item is depleted, it is no longer available. The process of handing out vouchers will continue until all items are gone.

• The new store features 3Trak 3-D golf simulators, 6 hitting bays, 1,000 square foot putting green, thousands of men's and women's pieces of apparel, largest selection in golf footwear, hundreds of demo clubs to try out free, Callaway Fitting Studio, TaylorMade Fitting Center.

• Jobs: More than 30 people have been hired as Golfsmith associates. All have a deep passion for the game of golf and tennis and are reflective of the demographics of Southwest Florida

• The new Golfsmith Xtreme store will also house GolfTEC®, the world's leader in golf instruction. GolfTEC offers one-on-one indoor instruction by PGA teaching professionals who provide coaching and advanced instruction using high-speed video, motion measurement, and biofeedback to improve swing as well as overall performance.

• The Naples store is part of a new growth strategy by the Texas-based retailer. Golfsmith plans to open up to twelve new stores throughout the country over the next two years. This is Golfsmith's seventh location in Florida. http://www.golfsmith.com/store_finder.php#florida

• Golfsmith offers a comprehensive online store at www.golfsmith.com. Customers can order online and pickup products in the new store. Anyone can receive in-store offers and discounts by signing up for "E-mail Offers" on the company's homepage.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Lynn Luczkowski, L2 Communications, (413) 478-1569 or Lynn@L2comm.biz
Aubrey Haznar, L2 Communications, (617) 549-8792 or Aubrey@L2comm.biz
Matt Corey, Golfsmith, (512) 821-4883 or matt.corey@golfsmith.com