Despite its success, the internet will never replace the high street for many punters ? especially those who either aren?t convinced by the security of the web or want the opportunity to have a good old fashioned look, touch and feel of what they?re after.

And why not? The customer is king and for those who like to buy this way, Nevada Bob’s, JJB Sports, and American Golf Discount (AGD), who recently announced a whopping £64 million annual turnover, are your options. But why should you use them?

“The major benefit we have over club pro shops is that we offer a lot more choice. Our stores are usually about 3,500 square feet so we have to stock plenty of equipment to fill the space,” says Tony Norton, Managing Director of AGD.

And, with this vast array of stock comes inevitably low prices. High street stores wield massive buying power so manufacturers are prepared to offer them good trade savings which, in turn, can be passed on to customers. All this means that price-wise you can?t really go wrong, but there is the issue that shop assistants lack the same depth of knowledge of the average professional and as sales staff work on commission, shoppers may be wary of an over-enthusiastic sell.

However, Tony Norton is quick to try to reassure potential customers that this isn’t an issue. ?We actively look for staff with a knowledge of the game so they can offer sound advice to suit the needs of each individual. If our staff were trying to rip people off we wouldn’t have been in the business for over 20 years.”
So it appears, if you have a good idea about what you want, the high street will offer the sort of availability and price you’ll find hard to ignore.