Cincinnati golf retailer expanding footprint into Dayton area

Jason Fryia, owner of Golf Exchange, stands at his new location at 3647 Rigby Road,  Austin Landing. The business is set to open in November. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Caption
Jason Fryia, owner of Golf Exchange, stands at his new location at 3647 Rigby Road, Austin Landing. The business is set to open in November. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Golf Exchange founder said investment in technology ‘pivotal’ to company’s growth

The largest specialty golf retailer in Cincinnati is expanding to the Dayton area and its founder says innovation and a willingness to invest are what has helped the company survive and thrive.

Golf Exchange will open at 3647 Rigby Road in Miami Twp.’s Austin Landing shopping center Nov. 13 with three Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitors and a radar-based Trackman 4.

The state-of-the-art-technology provides Golf Exchange with dozens of data points as customers try equipment, according to owner and president Jason Fryia, who has worked in the specialty golf retail industry for 20 years.

“We measure how far you’re hitting with your clubs, whether they’re going left or right, whether they’re going high or low,” Fryia said. “They tell us everything we need to know as you’re trying the thousands of combinations we have available within the store, and then we essentially narrow all of those options down to the one that’s best for you.”

Each device represents an approximately $20,000 investment, allowing that location to handle three simultaneous club fittings, he said. Golf Exchange was the first Cincinnati-based business to purchase similar monitors in 2010, and will have 18 of them in use once the new location opens, Fryia said.

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“We really doubled down when we saw how much our customers valued having that information and having that experience within our stores,” he said. “We’re using the same technology in our stores that the best golfers in the world on the PGA Tour use when they get fit for their equipment.”

It is important for any retail business to carve out something that makes it a “must-go-to” sort of location “and that’s what those launch monitors are for us,” Fryia said.

“It’s been pivotal to our success,” he said.

Fryia, a former collegiate player, who remains an active and competitive amateur player, said Golf Exchange hires the most experienced club fitters it can find and provides all the resources that they need to do “essentially the most advanced fitting that’s available.”

Appointments for club fittings can be made at the store, over the phone or online at golfexchange.com.

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While competitors charge $100 or more per fitting, Golf Exchange fittings are free with the purchase of a club, Fryia said.

In addition to custom fitting new equipment, each of its stores offers club repair and building services, a used club trade-in program, shoes, apparel, electronics and accessories.

Fryia said Golf Exchange worked with a market research company to look at surrounding markets of Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis to expand. It chose the Dayton area because research showed the area “void of a really strong custom fitter,” he said. Exploring the Dayton area, it opted to sign a lease for a 3,200-square-foot Austin Landing storefront even though other locations offered more space for less rent.

“I have a smaller footprint in order for us to be in a better shopping center,” Fryia said. “At the end of the day, we want to be conveniently located and we know that when we say ‘Austin Landing’ everybody in Dayton knows where that is.”

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