Two successful sport-mad friends are the brains behind a new price comparison site for golf equipment aiming to help local golf club professionals.
Gary Hunter and Steven Presho, both low handicappers from East Durham, have secured significant investment to drive Compare Golf Prices (comparegolfprices.co.uk) forward.
The co-founders – who have combined their own fantastic business, technical and digital experience to create the new platform – believe golfers and club pros will benefit from the new site.
Gary said: “It is like the RightMove for local golf club pros. It is a central focal point nationwide where the aim will be to drive people to the point of intent of buying a club from the site.
“That will be achieved through our marketing and PR budget, site content and reviews all put out on channels such as Google, YouTube and on the Compare Golf prices’ socials.
“We are providing a portal for every golf selling site online, displaying the best prices for each bit of equipment. We want to give the consumers the best price and then help the club pro too.”
Where Compare Golf Prices is even more unique is that as well as displaying the best prices for each piece of equipment at the larger online stores, it then invites the local pros to bid for the sale via its Go Low Pro option.
Gary said: “We are giving local pros an opportunity to push for some of that business that they would normally not see – for the local people in that area who would go online and not straight to a pro shop.
“We have our own algorithm to do this. It is based on a multitude of factors: customer service, distance, location, if it is in stock, if it isn’t, custom fitting …
“From a pro’s perspective it provides an opportunity to get someone in the shop, to deliver a partial lesson while they are fitting and that could easily build a relationship where that customer might go back. It might provide a long-term relationship.”
The decision makers behind this website believe it will eliminate the fear some golfers have of a pro shop; those who don’t feel confident enough to talk about their swing speed or shaft and might feel embarrassed or under pressure to buy something.
Compare Golf Prices plans to have alerts, reviews and weekly competitions as it provides somewhere to examine the different prices for clubs, accessories, bags, balls and “anything else”.
The club pros will be charged a low monthly fee to be part of the Go Low Pro section, and the business has got an extremely successful business team behind it.
Gary created and then sold Lease Cars Direct to Vertu Motors PLC in 2011 and three years later he launched Redu. Redu, the specialist marketing company, helps online retailers record £35-40m in product sales for retailers such as John Lewis, Very, M&S.
He was also the co-owner of MBL Solutions, a gift card provider for the likes of Greggs, B&M and Caffé Nero, from October 2020 along with business partner Sam Morton until that was recently acquired by Appreciate Group in a deal worth £3.5m.
Steven has played a significant role in those companies from a digital, design and marketing perspective with a wide-ranging technical skillset, so Compare Golf Prices has the knowledge running through its core already to succeed.
Gary said: “This is led by us two, who have invested in it, and is backed by local angel investors. We also have Sam on board in a non-exec role who also likes his golf.
“Look at the history of what we have done before, we have proven we can go into a retail environment, sell millions of pounds worth of items for some huge companies and we are now replicating that in the golf industry.
“We are not touching the product, we are using the knowledge: how to drive traffic, the traffic with intent to buy products, into an industry we love, into an environment to help this industry out.
“We make our money from online sales by affiliate commission and media sales. We don’t touch the transactional product from the pros.
“It’s helping the fight back of the local pros – closing the gap to the big online retailers for those pros. This is still shopping online but it presents the pro with an opportunity to bid and then pull them into the pro shops.
“There are big online golf sites, you can buy online, but nowhere that compares sites. We have no competition for this, especially the Go Low Pro side of things. There is not one site that has ever tried to help the pro shops.”