“We really doubled down when we saw how much our customers valued having that information and having that experience within our stores,” he said. “We’re using the same technology in our stores that the best golfers in the world on the PGA Tour use when they get fit for their equipment.”
It is important for any retail business to carve out something that makes it a “must-go-to” sort of location “and that’s what those launch monitors are for us,” Fryia said.
“It’s been pivotal to our success,” he said.
Fryia, a former collegiate player, who remains an active and competitive amateur player, said Golf Exchange hires the most experienced club fitters it can find and provides all the resources that they need to do “essentially the most advanced fitting that’s available.”
Appointments for club fittings can be made at the store, over the phone or online at golfexchange.com.
While competitors charge $100 or more per fitting, Golf Exchange fittings are free with the purchase of a club, Fryia said.
In addition to custom fitting new equipment, each of its stores offers club repair and building services, a used club trade-in program, shoes, apparel, electronics and accessories.
Fryia said Golf Exchange worked with a market research company to look at surrounding markets of Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis to expand. It chose the Dayton area because research showed the area “void of a really strong custom fitter,” he said. Exploring the Dayton area, it opted to sign a lease for a 3,200-square-foot Austin Landing storefront even though other locations offered more space for less rent.
“I have a smaller footprint in order for us to be in a better shopping center,” Fryia said. “At the end of the day, we want to be conveniently located and we know that when we say ‘Austin Landing’ everybody in Dayton knows where that is.”