The Private Merchandiser of the Year Award recognizes a Colorado PGA member who has demonstrated superior skills as a merchandiser in the promotion of golf at a private facility. Congratulations to this year’s award recipient Jeff Seltz, PGA, Director of Golf at The Club at Rolling Hills!
Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, Seltz was introduced to golf by his dad at around the age of 8. His parents played at Meadow Hills Golf Course and then became members at The Pinery. Seltz played a little golf in junior high and played on the high school team for two years but was more interested in baseball at the time.
After high school he went to the University of Colorado for two years and then graduated from the University of Denver. After graduation, Seltz worked for Hilton Corporation then Le Peep. The hospitality industry prepared him for the golf industry. He got into the golf business to learn the business. Then he learned the instruction – understanding how to play and teach.
Seltz started working for PGA Professional Jim Johnson in 1987 as an Assistant Golf Professional until Johnson retired and he then became the Director of Golf – a position he has held since (now 18 years). He is only the fourth Head Golf Professional at Rolling Hills since its inception in 1955.
What does it mean to you to receive this award?
We look at service to our members as an opportunity not an obligation. They enjoy coming in the shop to shop and visit with us. By winning this award it means we have been successful in our goals as a TEAM and reaching one of our seasonal goals that we establish every season.
What is your merchandising strategy?
We build trust and friendships with our membership. When people trust and like you, they will buy from you. Our golf shop is very friendly. People want to come in and say “hi” to us. That leads you into “Have you seen this new shirt? Try out this driver. Here’s a sleeve of balls, tell me what you think.” – promoting the products to our best costumers. The 20/80 rule is true in that 20% buy 80% of the product.
There are a limited number of rounds per year that brings in revenue. To increase revenue, we went out and cultivated a corporate business that lands additional business. We have 100-150 members that own their own business so we go to them and tell them what we can offer.
With COVID, we are still on track to make budget this year because the rounds are at a 20-year-high at over 35,000 rounds of golf. Historically, we have been at 28,000-30,000 rounds.
What are the qualities you possess that you believe supported you receiving the Private Merchandiser of the Year Award?
As mentioned previously, we are a TEAM, but most importantly we are a FAMILY! We are constantly working together to make every customer feel special and treat every special order as if it were our own. Thirty percent of our business is special orders and club-fitting, so customer service is paramount to our success over the years.
What are two tools you use in your profession that help you with your success?
The tools or philosophies that we work at every day is “Effort not Perfection.” We can control two things every day – Attitude and Effort – and we believe our team thrives on these two goals. We are also constantly reminding each other that “Well done is better than well said.” We cannot allow egos or different personalities to keep us from giving the best customer service to our members and guests daily. We know that people buy from people they like and trust, and we have built the trust of our base customers and continue to give them reason to buy from us consistently. Our corporate business is a testimony to this philosophy due to the repeat business we have created from our members using us for their corporate needs, which represents $75,000-90,000 a year for the past five seasons.
As it relates to golf, what is the best piece of advice that you have received and what advice would you give to others?
The best advice I have received and passed on to my assistants is, “Stop looking at a clock, a calendar and your paycheck.” I have preached the importance of having passion for our jobs and the people we work for. This is a hospitality industry and we must continue to be passionate in everything we do: lessons, merchandising and all the little details that make an organization successful.
What is your proudest moment as a golf professional?
My proudest moment as a Golf Professional was when one of my Junior Golfers, who I worked with in high school and college, came back to join as a member and won the Club Championship.
Winning the Junior Golf Leader Award in 2001 was also one of the greatest accomplishments that we as a Club have received and now to have Rachel win our Club Championship has brought it back full circle. Winning the MOY is now a beautiful feather in our cap as well!
Share something about yourself that others may not know.
I have a hotel and restaurant degree from the University of Denver. I have also run in four Marathons (Las Vegas, Avenue of the Giants, New York and Marine Corp, Washington D.C.)