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With 25 years experience, Worldwide Golf Shops shoe buyer LaDawn Zitur offers tips for finding the perfect pair
As an avid golfer and shoe aficionado, LaDawn Zitur has found the perfect meld of all her talents at Worldwide Golf Shops. After graduating from the University of New Mexico on a golf scholarship, she set out to play professionally.
To earn a little extra money, she applied for a job as a cashier at Roger Dunn Golf Shops and was quickly promoted to Sales Floor Associate, helping customers and becoming an expert on all things shoes and bags. Now the Shoe and Bag Buyer for Worldwide Golf Shops, Zitur has found her place in the industry. We recently got her take on the latest and greatest in shoes, her advice for buying shoes for someone during the holidays, and why a golfer needs more than one pair of shoes.
How long have you been working at Worldwide Golf, and how has the industry changed in that time?
I’ve been working here for 25 years, and I’ve seen the golf industry go through a lot of changes. You have to be a lot smarter to be a player in the golf industry today. There are more large manufacturers making products for the golf world, the technology is so much more advanced, and the Internet has made consumers more knowledgeable. All of this means that as a golf merchandiser we really have to step up our game. I appreciate that at Worldwide Golf Shops, amid all these changes, we’ve remained a store where we know our customers and we create relationships with them over the years. There’s nothing like helping young kids get started in golf and then seeing them head off to play golf in college.
Technology-wise, every product is better now. The materials are better, the waterproofing systems are better, the quality is better. Multi-billion dollar companies are pulling from their athletic expertise to make golf gear, and it’s making better golf products.
How do you see the golf shoe and bag industry evolving in the next five years?
I think we’re going to see a lot more brands and shoes geared toward specific athletes and events. More of the “Rory Shoe,” the “Ryder Cup Shoe,” etc – and more people that try to get the event shoe even if they didn’t go to the event. Since athletic shoe companies are also bringing their new technology to the golf industry, we’ll be seeing better and better shoes in the future, too.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love that my job is constantly changing. I spend some days on the floor merchandising, some days on the golf course working with vendors and testing the products, and some days working with customers. Plus, I get to see the latest and greatest products before they hit the shelves, which is really fun.
What is something about your job that most people don’t know?
One surprising thing is that we continue to remain very obligated to the customer, always. There are lots of times we listen to customers more than our direct bosses. What should golfers look for if they’re in the market for new shoes? Try on everything until you find something that’s completely comfortable. Also, you absolutely need multiple pairs of shoes. I recommend a casual pair to hit balls in, a performance shoe that’s waterproof for the tougher days on the course, and then a fashion shoe – something just for fun. I like having a few pairs of shoes I can rotate between.
What should someone look for if they’re buying shoes as a gift?
Find out what brand they like, but don’t worry too much about specific shoes or sizes. We have a 90-day satisfaction guarantee, so people can bring back shoes – even if they’ve been worn – for full store credit.