What Is a Green Grass Pro Shop?

Interior view of the green grass pro shop at East Sussex National Golf Course in Lewes, England
A green-grass pro shop is one that is at a golf course. This one is at East Sussex National Golf Course in England. Jan Kruger/Getty Images

In golf, the term "green grass," surprisingly, has nothing to do with actual grass (or golf course turfs). Rather, it's an adjective that describes a specific type of golf pro shop.

A "green grass pro shop" or "green grass shop" is a golf pro shop that is located on the grounds of a golf course. A green grass shop might be located in a separate building adjacent to the clubhouse; more often is it located inside a course's clubhouse. It might even be the place arriving golfers go to check in and pay for their round of golf. Even Augusta National has a green grass shop.

("Pro shop" and "golf shop" are the more general terms that applie to any retail outlet that primarily sells golf equipment and supplies.)

Distinguishing Between Green Grass Shops and Other Pro Shops

You're most likely to encounter the term "green grass" when taking in news about shopping trends or statistics. Some usage examples:

  • "Driver sales rose by 5-percent in green-grass pro shops ...";
  • or "Super Brand X apparel is available only in green-grass pro shops ...";
  • or "Green-grass retail sales declined in January ..."

So "green grass" is used to distinguish between pro shops that are stand-alone retail outlets (those in a shopping center, for example, or a Golf Galaxy or PGA Superstore type of golf retail shop) and those that are located on the grounds of golf courses.

Are There Any Differences in Merchandise at Green Grass Shops?

In terms of the pricing, yes: Green grass shops are likely to have higher prices than off-site pro shops, typically across-the-board. You pay for the convenience of shopping at the same place you play golf.

As far as the merchandise offered: Not necessarily, but you might encounter some different brands at green grass shops. Private clubs, in particular, might offer fewer value brands than are found in off-course pro shops, and are more likely to have luxury brands stocked.

Also, there are a handful of golf brands that are sold only in green grass pro shops. These are typically luxury brands with luxury prices, and limiting their sales to high-end private clubs or high-priced daily fee courses is one way they build brand cachet.

We're not aware of any golf clubs or balls that are exclusively sold in green grass shops, but there definitely are golf shoes and apparel in that category.

Golf courses handle their green grass shops in different ways. At some, the golf pros on staff are responsible for running the shop - stocking it, selling it. Many golf professionals, as part of their education, undergo merchandising and business training in preparation for handling a green grass pro shop.

Some clubs outsource management of their green grass shop to a third party; and some private clubs may have a separate merchandising staff that handles the shop.

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