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Introducing the Future of Golf Retail Let’s be real here, the traditional method of purchasing a golf club at a local retail golf shop is at best broken, and in reality, dying a slow and painful death. Every golfer has visited their local big box golf retailer to demo clubs into a net or golf simulator with a launch monitor, only to later find out that the club doesn’t perform the same on the golf course. This creates a feeling of buyer’s remorse and adds to the bag of unused clubs gathering dust in your garage. The experience purchasing online is even worse because you don’t get to hit the club at all before making the purchase decision. An online purchase is simply gambling on a high-priced item. These experiences bring to mind two questions: 1) What can be done to improve the club-purchase process? and 2) How can golfers test clubs on the course before making a purchase? I may have stumbled on the answer to both these questions on a recent visit to The Legends at Orange Lake Golf Resort in Kissimmee, FL, where I experienced a new futuristic retail platform called “Cadi”. Meet Tyler Gottstein, Co-founder and CEO of Cadi - an innovative patent pending smart kiosk that allows golfers to conveniently demo, compare


Tyler Gottstein, Co-founder and CEO of Cadi and purchase golf clubs at competitive prices in the ideal location, RIGHT ON THE GOLF COURSE! For the first time, golfers can take clubs onto the driving range and/or golf course without the constraints of a big box golf retail store or an infrequent demo day. This is done without a salesman or anyone else looming over you. Golfers can experience improved performance, in real time, before making a purchase decision. Gottstein, a passionate golfer, not only felt pigeonholed in how consumers were forced to purchase clubs, but also recognized the shift to online club purchasing was making things worse, not better. “We are in the midst of a retail evolution. The world is quickly moving from traditional brick and mortar stores to online retail and this is no secret,” said Gottstein, a serial entrepreneur and innovator in unattended retail. “Ready or not, change is coming. The ease of online shopping does not work with every product and for every industry. The evolution has caused problems for

many department stores, especially in the golf industry. This has led to the bankruptcy of some of the biggest golf retailers in the world like Sports Authority, Golfsmith and Sports Chalet. And there will be more to come.” These alarming trends coupled with an unpleasant driver purchase experience ultimately inspired Gottstein to start Cadi. “I recognized an opportunity within the golf industry. Introducing unattended, automated retail could provide the ultimate demo and purchase experience for the golfer while connecting golfers to the golf club manufacturers like never before. There was a chance to greatly improve the customer’s golf equipment purchase experience,” said Gottstein. Gottstein assembled a management team that consists of former executives from Redbox and Callaway along with some of his closest friends who happen to also be entrepreneurs. And thus, Cadi was born. Cadi’s initial goal was to better understand and connect with golfers. Gottstein and his team began testing Golf Central • Volume 19, Issue 7

Profile for Shannon Coates

Golf Central Magazine-Vol 19 Issue 7  

Golf Central Magazine-Vol 19 Issue 7