Joe Murphy is general manager of the St. George’s Golf and Country Club, the host site of the 2010 RBC Canadian Open in Toronto. Murphy will contribute a guest blog each week about operations at the host club leading up to the national championship.
One of the benefits to hosting the RBC Canadian Open is that St. George’s Golf and Country Club will handle all merchandise sold on the property during the week. It’s big business, considering we’ll put through approximately 85,000 to 90,000 people during the week.
We’ll be using a third party company that has more experience in event retailing than we do and we think that will work out well for us. At some places, they have the merchandising tents and then, they also allow the pro shop to stay open, similar to what they’ve done at Glen Abbey over the years.
Our pro shop is closed and will be used for scoring. There will be a merchandising area near the main entrance in an area of about 2,000 square feet. That will be the main area where the majority of the products will be – mostly apparel, but other mementos as well.
We have some satellite locations on the golf course, as well. One will be one as you come through admissions as your start down the path from the main gate and we have another location around the middle of the golf course for grab-and-go items.
The only area in which we won’t handle the merchandising is in the corporate hospitality tents where tournament merchandise is part of a pre-sold package.
The merchandise will feature a hybrid logo, “RBC Canadian Open, St. George’s Golf and Country Club 2010.” That will be on the vast majority of merchandise that you’ll see on the premises during Open Week.
The other logo that you will see is Golf Canada. It’s owned, of course, by Golf Canada, but we have the rights to sell it for that week on premises. We’ll also be selling that in their Golf Canada village that is right on Islington Avenue, outside the clubhouse.
We’ll also have our own club logo from St. George’s Golf and Country Club on merchandise. A lot of people will be interested in having that because, historically, the club logos from places such as Hamilton or Shaughnessy, particularly private clubs, have sold very well.
There will be a wide selection of merchandise and not just the standard plain, old white t-shirt. We’ve got some really cool stuff and it’s predominately high-quality merchandise in nice colours and the price points are quite reasonable.
It’s one aspect of tournament preparation that is coming together along with other aspects of a club’s operations such as food and beverage, golf course, etc. Years of preparation are over and it’s almost showtime at St. George’s.
I’ll check in next week for an update from tournament week.