Golfsmith, a national equipment and apparel retailer that bills itself as a golf superstore, will open its first Colorado Springs location next month in the Market at Chapel Hills West on the city's north side.
Based in Austin, Texas, Golfsmith also has locations in Denver, Golden and Westminster. The Springs store, southwest of Academy and Briargate boulevards, will take space previously occupied by Stein Mart. It's scheduled to open April 16, with a grand opening April 24.
"Colorado has been a great state for us," said Lisa Zoellner, Golfsmith's chief marketing officer. "It's a great state for golf."
Golfsmith carries multiple brands and styles of clubs, clothing, shoes, bags, balls, accessories and high-tech GPS devices and rangefinders used to measure yardage and driving distances.
In addition, Golfsmith offers custom club fitting, lessons and indoor simulators and putting greens to test equipment.
"We really do care deeply about the best possible (golf) experience," she said.
The store, which is approximately 25,000 square feet, will employ about 20 people.
At the Market at Chapel Hills West, Golfsmith will be a few doors down from Sports Authority, which also sells golf apparel and equipment. Zoellner, however, said Sports Authority is more of a general sporting goods store and isn't necessarily a direct competitor.
In any case, she said, being near Sports Authority and a 24-Hour Fitness - also a tenant in the shopping center - will help generate traffic for Golfsmith.
Golfsmith will keep its options open for additional stores in the Springs area, Zoellner said. The retailer opened 10 stores last year and plans seven more in 2014, she said.
Other area local, regional and national retailers that sell either equipment, apparel or both include Colorado Ski & Golf, Dick's Sporting Goods and Pappy's Golf, Ski and Hockey Shop.
Whether competition from another national chain puts pressure on those stores - especially mom-and-pops - remains to be seen. But at least one seems prepared for the challenge.
Pappy's owner Pappy Pappadakis, whose family-run Colorado Springs store at 4030 N. Sinton Road marks its 30th anniversary this year, said his business might be smaller, but offers much more than a big-box retailer.
Pappy's doesn't just offer custom-fit clubs; Pappadakis makes all of his own clubs, and sells them under the trademarked brand "Colorado Classic." His clubs have been certified by the Professional Club Makers Society, which also selected Pappy's as one of the nation's top five club makers. And while a retailer such as Golfsmith guarantees clubs for 30 days, Pappadakis said his guarantee runs for two years.
Pappy's also has indoor leagues for golfers that want to play on the store's simulators, and offers them a bar and grill. Pappy's also has additional services, such as hockey stick repairs and ski and snowboard tuning.
"We've been in business for 30 years," Pappadakis said. "We must be doing something right."
Golfsmith is operated by Golfsmith International, which also operates Golf Town in Canada. The two brands have more than 160 stores between them after Golf Town bought Golfsmith in 2012.
Golf is big business nationwide, not just in Colorado. One of the most recent reports by Golf 20/20 - an industry trade organization - estimated the sport's annual economic impact nationwide at $68.8 billion, according to Golf 20/20's website.
Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228
Facebook Rich Laden