|Co-founders Joe Assell, president and CEO (left) and Mike Clinton, COO (right)|
World’s leader in golf improvement announces expansion into Asia, plans to hire 200 more coaches, and give hundreds of thousands more lessons
(Centennial, Colo.) - GolfTEC, the world leader in golf improvement, announced plans today to expand into Asia with as many as 140 new centers opening in Japan and Korea.
This incredible and unprecedented growth spurt comes on top of double-digit increases in same-store sales over the last two years, with 2012 already looking very good. Same-store sales growth was 13.4% in 2010 and 15% in 2011. January 2012 was GolfTEC’s 29th straight month of same-store sales rise, and after just five months of FY 2012, sales are up 8.1%—with the height of the season yet to come.
In Japan, master franchisee GDO (Golf Digest Online Inc.) anticipates opening its first GolfTEC improvement centers in the first half of this year. The long-range plan for Japan projects the opening of as many as 100 centers in the future. GDO, is the largest online golf portal with 1.9 million registered members. GDO operates the largest online golf shop, as well as the top online golf media and online tee time booking services. The company was founded in 2000 by Mike Ishizaka and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
“Most of the work comes in the first few years,” explains GolfTEC President and CEO Joe Assell. “We have to locate vendors and have all our software and manuals translated. But once that’s done we can scale up pretty quickly,” adds Assell, who with Mike Clinton, COO, founded the company in 1995.
In golf-mad South Korea—where it is estimated that 20% of the 50 million residents play golf—plans are to open as many as five new centers in the next three years, steadily adding locations until a minimum of 40 centers are in operation. The franchisee is GolfTEC Korea, run by a team of native Korean and Korean-American businesspeople, including local CEOs and former U.S. military officers who were also GolfTEC students.
In Canada, there are two GolfTEC sites opened, with plans of six more this year and the inauguration of 40 new centers steadily over the next decade.
Helping to fuel this remarkable rise, GolfTEC forecasts that it will hire at least 200 new coaches in 2012, many in the U.S. where the rest of the golf industry has been dealing with flat to negative growth.
“Most of those coaches will work in new centers opening around the United States this year plus others that are expanding,” Assell explains. “But some of them are for our new international locations. In fact, we are looking to hire American professionals interested in going to Japan or Korea. We employ PGA-certified instructors worldwide and are proud to be one of the few companies hiring more PGA professionals at a time when the golf industry is struggling.”
GolfTEC’s coaches new and old should expect to be busy. After setting a company record of nearly 580,000 lessons last year, Assell estimates GolfTEC will give more than 670,000 lessons in 2012, putting the grand total of lessons since 1995 at nearly 4 million.
“Our plans both immediately and over the long term are for significant growth,” Assell says. “We are committed to opening more centers as well as buying back select franchises to increase our corporate-owned presence. We love the business and want to own more of it."
“Furthermore, we want to add one new country each year. We are definitely going to grow internationally and are actively looking for overseas partners.”
For further information access the GolfTEC web site at www.GolfTEC.com or call (303) 779-9900.