Jacob Lippold, PGA, Head Professional at Chambers Bay GC in Tacoma, WA was named Merchandiser of the Year for Public facilities. In his first full year of managing all merchandise operations, Jacob has put Chambers Bay on track to exceed both 2017 and 2018 numbers. He has especially grown headwear sales. Jacob is not afraid to take risks when it comes to merchandising and, to keep shoppers coming back, he employs creative new ideas such as co‐branding the Lone Fir logo with popular brands.

Hometown: ​Sequim, WA

PGA Professional Since: January, 2012

Tell us a little bit about your career. Who or what inspired you to become a Golf Professional? 

I first picked up a club at 15 years old, just a couple of weeks before high school tryouts.  I had played soccer since I was four years old and it was a massive part of my life.  Soccer and golf were both Spring sports in Sequim and I was experiencing a bit of teen rebellion so I chose to tryout for the golf team.  My high school soccer coach, whom I’d known well for several years, was not happy as he had me slated to start at center back.  I finished the season fifth on the golf team, lettered and enjoyed the improvement that came with consistent practice.  By my junior year, golf had lost priority and I had returned to soccer.  I hardly touched a golf club for the next several years until a car accident that left me unable to play soccer.  Golf was the first suggestion by my physio as an activity in recovery.  For reasons unbeknownst to me, my high school power slice had turned into a draw.  Golf was fun again and although my soccer career was cut short at the college level, I had regained interest in the game.

Graduation came two years later… I decided to give myself one year to pass my PAT as my good friend Garrett had offered me an assistant position if I could get into the program.  I lived on the course, worked at the course and played or practiced every day for seven months before my first attempt.  After completely losing my mind mid way through my first round (it returned somewhere around the fourth hole on my second round), I found myself one stroke over the number with five holes to play.  Two birdies and three pars from there gave me my answer.  From there, golf as a career has felt meant to be.

Between any brands in the world, what crossover merchandise would you personally like to see? 

I’ve always hoped Vans would come through with a small golf line – including a couple shoe options.  Their price point has been consistently affordable and their following spans generations.  I have often considered reaching out to a major outdoor equipment manufacturer – Arc’teryx or The North Face to open an account for all things outdoors.  Particularly destination courses and resorts could benefit from being one of the few accounts at a desirable location to carry high quality products for all outdoor activities.

What merchandising trends do you foresee in 2020?

The current trends from several companies including Jones Golf Co, Adidas Golf and more are offering lifestyle lines and I foresee that continuing in 2020.  I am most curious to see how the CBD revolution takes shape in our Section.

Do you have any tips on working with vendors to turn your ideas into products? 

I recommend vigilance in trying new ideas, small orders with several varieties to begin, be specific, work with graphic designers outside of your vendors for design ideas, and visiting golf shops all over the world.

 

Congratulations, Jacob!