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Special Awards Feature

Colorado PGA Public Merchandiser of the Year, Stilwell, Believes Customer Education is the Key to Increased Sales G

olf courses on a military installation attract a diverse group of customers. From active-duty soldiers to senior military leadership and veterans alike, the course is a gathering place for many. Knowing this and being able to provide something for everyone is one of the reasons that Keith Stilwell, the PGA General Manager at Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course at Fort Carson, has been named the 2019 Colorado PGA Public Merchandiser of the Year. “It’s an honor to be recognized with the Public Merchandiser of the Year Award,” says Stilwell. “The true key to our merchandising program is the team. Without the great service that my team provides, we wouldn’t be able to have the success we’ve had, nor would we be accepting this award.”

Stilwell is proud to be a life-long Coloradoan having been born and raised in Northern Colorado. Being the only golfer in his family, had it not been for a few of his accomplished junior-golfer friends who dragged him to the course, his direction in life may have taken a different turn. But, like many in the business, once 10-year old Stilwell was introduced to the sport, he fell in love with it, and, as they say, the rest is history! “Because I was the only golfer in my family, my parents weren’t heavily involved but they did everything they could to keep me on the golf course,” recollects Stilwell. “We didn’t come from a whole lot, but they made some great sacrifices to keep me involved in golf and I will always be grateful to them for that. I probably haven’t said thank you to them nearly enough.” Stilwell attended the PGA Golf Management Program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. His second internship was at Cheyenne Shadows, which led to him accepting his first post-graduation position there. He then spent a couple years in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., before returning to Cheyenne Shadows as General Manager in April of 2015. To date, all of Stilwell’s time as a PGA Member has been serving at military instillations and he feels that

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Cheyenne Shadows is a great place for him to be. From the beginning, he knew he wanted to be more involved in the business of golf, like golf operations. With that path, merchandising led to a healthy part of what he does every day. “We have a very diverse golfing population, with players ranging from first-time golfer to very experienced life-long players,” notes Stilwell. “Army golf provides a unique opportunity to introduce soldiers to the game and our goal is to do it right.” One of the things that has set Stilwell and Cheyenne Shadows apart in recent years was the building of an indoor/outdoor fitting center. The club has been able to provide custom fitting to its customers, which has helped increase their hard-goods sales significantly over the last two years. Their merchandising operation is not without challenges. Like many facilities, Cheyenne Shadows competes with big box stores and online retailers. Stilwell and his team have taken this head on by focusing on building relationships with their customers. Through these relationships they have been able to build trust, which in turn has led to an increase in sales revenue of over $50,000 between 2017 and 2018.

The SUMMIT

Profile for Colorado PGA

The SUMMIT - Colorado PGA Magazine - October Issue  

This month we go in depth with some of our 2019 Colorado PGA Special Award winners with the following articles: • Living by The Golden Rule...

The SUMMIT - Colorado PGA Magazine - October Issue  

This month we go in depth with some of our 2019 Colorado PGA Special Award winners with the following articles: • Living by The Golden Rule...