Killara now fully equipped with Fairweather - PGA of Australia

Killara now fully equipped with Fairweather

A slight adjustment to the lie angle. An impromptu lesson on the practice fairway. Free club-fitting for members with no obligation to buy.

These are the intangibles that Patrick Fairweather and other PGA Professionals provide that take the anxiety out of purchasing new golf equipment.

A club rich in teaching history given the influence of David Mercer and Greg Hohnen over many years, Killara had been limited in the club-fitting capabilities it could offer its members until only very recently.

The club has never had a dedicated driving range and it was only in 2020 that Head Professional Patrick Fairweather had a fitting studio built, a service that members can utilise free of charge.

But it was Fairweather’s decision to also provide an online portal at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic through his website ( that gave Killara members the full equipment experience.

Established as something of a ‘click and collect’ service when the COVID-19 restrictions prevented members from entering the pro shop or even coming to the club at all, Fairweather has seen a dramatic increase in sales based on the combination of customer service and convenience.

“Since I’ve put the fitting room in, we’ve seen a significant increase in hardware sales,” Fairweather explains.

“As soon as COVID hit, I had two staff sitting around doing nothing, so I said, ‘Right, let’s build a website.’

“We just jumped on Shopify, I bought a domain and then we just started watching YouTube tutorials on how to build a website.

“We just put everything we had in stock in the shop, put it together and off we went.

“It kept everybody engaged, staff wise. And it also made me relevant to the members.”

Given the teaching focus that has been predominant first under Mercer and then continued with Hohnen, Fairweather recognised that equipment sales and service was the area of the business most open to growth.

The construction of the fitting studio significantly increased the capacity of the self-proclaimed “tiniest shop in the whole of Australia” yet Fairweather believes it is the trust between the pro shop staff and its members that is the greatest sales tool of all.

“That’s the competitive advantage we have, is that we’ve got the ability to be able to take the members inside the studio and say, “OK, if you’re looking at that, let’s go and see if it works,’” says Fairweather, who began his PGA training under Mercer and Hohnen in 1997.

“We start the process off by asking the member to bring in what they’ve currently got and then we’ll look at every brand we have and see which performs best.

“Then we’ll send the member out onto the golf course with one of our demos that we think is exactly the right club for them.

“If we need, we can refit. That provides the confidence of knowing that they’re not having to commit to $1,000 on a driver that might not be right for them. And even if they did walk out and pay for it, they can always come back and we’ll always find a way of helping them.”

In terms of hardware Fairweather stocks major brands such as Callaway, TaylorMade, Ping and Titleist and has a full range of buggies, shoes, clothing, balls, bags and accessories, the majority of which have the prices clearly shown on the online store.

“You have to be competitive price-wise,” Fairweather says of being in the market with online and off-course retail giants.

“I can fit anyone for set of TaylorMade irons and within three or four minutes of walking out the door they’ll know what the best price on the market is. If I supply a bad price to start with, then I’m way off the mark.

“With the fitting room, we found a huge increase in volume so all of a sudden you can support the margins that might be a little lower than what they used to be.”

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