In a crafty move, the PGA Tour Superstore in Natick welcomed those who golf or are golf-curious to its grand opening at 1398 Worcester St. (Rte. 9 east), in the former Michaels art supply store. We dropped by to visit the 34,000 sq. ft. retailer to see what they’ve done with the place after a gut remodel achieved in a sub-part time of about four months. Hey, it’s not their first swing at this kind of thing. The Natick location marks PGA Tour Superstore’s third Boston-area location (Braintree and Peabody are its other area outposts), and 45th store overall.
“We’re definitely rolling and so excited to be here. It’s been a lot of effort to get everything together to get to this point, and a lot of fun,” assistant general manager Tyler Clerverdon said.
The PGA store, short for Professional Golfers’ Association, offers what you would expect in a store of its massive size—all the golf gear and apparel you could ever want, on a grand scale. An entire wall of just golf balls. An entire wall of just shoes. Aisles of just clubs. You get the idea. The store’s emphasis is on golf, but it also offers tennis equipment and apparel.
When we stopped by, a bunch of families were having fun puttering about the 1,500 sq. ft. putting green area, while the virtual golf center’s bays were filled with those trying to find the perfect club or improve their swings. There are four bays for club fitting, and four practice bays, with practice bay rentals available at a rate of $10 by the half-hour. You can bring your own clubs, but not your own bag. And if you’re wondering why you must wait a few minutes when there’s an empty bay right over there, that would be due to physical distancing requirements. The virtual golf center offers lessons in two additional bays, and is staffed with certified instructors.
The 10 bays have different purposes but use the same technology. Data-driven improvement metrics are very big here. To make every swing count, each practice bay is outfitted with ball flight launch monitor technology, as well as video swing capture and playback capabilities. The idea is to give golfers concrete feedback about how to improve their overall game.
With winter looming long, golf courses frozen solid, and a dearth of things to do that seem safe during a time of pandemic, it’s likely that PGA Superstore will see a steady stream of the activity-starved. If those improved or newfound golf skills transfer over to the outdoor links come spring, so much the better for Natick’s newest addition to the route 9 retail landscape.
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