Golf and Ski Warehouse sold to California-based company

Jeff Jones, of Milton, Vt., tries a club while looking for a new set of irons at Golf and Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. The store was purchased on Wednesday by national golf retailer Worldwide Golf Shops. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Jeff Jones, of Milton, Vt., tries a club while looking for a new set of irons at Golf and Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. The store was purchased on Wednesday by national golf retailer Worldwide Golf Shops. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news — James M. Patterson

Tim Rockwood, of Hartland, checks out a club while waiting for his wife who was shopping for a new set at Golf and Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. Rockwood, a surveyor, said he surveyed the land that the store now sits on during the permitting process. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Tim Rockwood, of Hartland, checks out a club while waiting for his wife who was shopping for a new set at Golf and Ski Warehouse in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. Rockwood, a surveyor, said he surveyed the land that the store now sits on during the permitting process. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news photographs — James M. Patterson

Ben Peters, assistant manager at Golf and Ski Warehouse, second from left, talks with Anthony Casale, of Lebanon, left, as Jeff Jones, of Milton, Vt., back, browses the aisles the store in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. The store was sold Worldwide Golf Shops, and Peters said he expects continuity in the store's original name and offerings.

Ben Peters, assistant manager at Golf and Ski Warehouse, second from left, talks with Anthony Casale, of Lebanon, left, as Jeff Jones, of Milton, Vt., back, browses the aisles the store in West Lebanon, N.H., on Friday, June 23, 2023. The store was sold Worldwide Golf Shops, and Peters said he expects continuity in the store's original name and offerings. "We're lucky to have this in the Upper Valley," said Casale. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. James M. Patterson

By JUSTIN CAMPFIELD

Valley News Correspondent

Published: 06-23-2023 7:54 PM

WEST LEBANON — Golf and Ski Warehouse, the Route 12A retail fixture that has served Upper Valley golfers and skiers for nearly 35 years while growing to include four locations in New Hampshire and Maine, has been sold to one of the nation’s largest golf retail chains.

Santa Ana, Calif.-based Worldwide Golf Shops on Tuesday completed the purchase from Golf and Ski Warehouse’s local ownership group. Both parties declined to disclose the terms of the deal.

Golf and Ski Warehouse was founded by Scott Peters in 1989, along with partners Amy and Mike Peters, his wife and brother, respectively, and Brad Hastings. Ned Waters was added as a partner in 1994. The business opened additional locations in Greenland, N.H., in 1993; Hudson, N.H., in 1999; and Scarborough, Maine, in 2008, and currently employs about 95 full- and part-time employees across the four locations. Scott Peters declined to provide the company’s annual revenues.

“I’m 62 in August, and I came to realize that maybe this is the right time,” said Peters, a Hanover resident, adding that he had not been looking to sell when he was first approached by Worldwide Golf Shops.

“My employees are hugely important to me, so (the sale) needed to be good for me and my family,” he said. “But if I thought this wasn’t the right thing for my team and employees, it wouldn’t have made sense.”

Al Morris, Worldwide Golf Shops’ CEO, said the Golf and Ski Warehouse locations will retain their names and brands, and employees and customers will notice few differences.

“We love the business they built and are doing everything we can not to mess it up,” Morris said. “The stores are phenomenal, and the people are phenomenal, so we are excited.”

According to Morris the purchase brings the privately held Worldwide Golf Shops’ portfolio to 94 brick-and-mortar retail stores spread among nine regional sub brands, including Edwin Watts, Roger Dunn Golf Shops and The Golf Mart.

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“Because of how good the (Golf and Ski Warehouse) people are and how good the business has been, I think the goal is to leave it alone,” Peters speculated. “I think that there is going to be more products, better products and as good, if not better, pricing than we’ve always had.”

Peters; his wife, Amy; and his brother, Mike — who hasn’t been part of day-to-day operations for nearly a decade — will step away from the company, while Hastings and Waters will remain in their roles as director of winter sports and chief operating officer/chief financial officer, respectively.

While a dedicated golf equipment company buying a retail business that features snow sports equipment for roughly half of the year might signal changes in those stores’ product mix, the snow-ski side of Golf and Ski Warehouse’s business was an especially attractive part of the deal for Worldwide Golf Shops.

“We have a lot of avid skiers in the company, so we are excited about the ski business and possibly expanding (snow sports) into other stores in snow regions,” said Morris. “We have stores in Utah; Reno, Nev.; and northern Massachusetts, so we could expand into another six, eight, 10 stores and bring the ski business to us. We are looking to learn skiing from the experts at Golf and Ski (Warehouse).”

The now-former owners of Golf and Ski Warehouse will in some cases become landlords to Worldwide Golf Shops, with Scott Peters retaining ownership of the building housing the West Lebanon location and the full ownership group owning the Greenland location’s building and land. The other two stores, Scarborough and Hudson, were leased, and those leases have been transferred to the stores’ new owners.

As for what is next for the company founder, he isn’t sure yet, besides getting in a few more rounds at Lake Sunapee Country Club and Montcalm Golf Club.

“Because this wasn’t planned and I wasn’t looking to do this, I haven’t really thought about it,” Peters said. “I don’t have a plan, but I’ve been very lucky in my life in that one always reveals itself. While my wife and I are certainly excited about the flexibility to travel and do other things, we don’t have a plan.”

One person who has closely watched Golf and Ski Warehouse over the years and has an interest in the new direction of the stores is Peter Harris, director of golf and a PGA teaching professional at Fore-U Golf Center.

“Scott Peters, Brad Hastings and Ned Waters, all three of those guys have been instrumental in creating a great environment for both golfers and skiers, building trust that (customers) were getting the highest-performing product at the best price along with the best service,” Harris said. “But we are excited to see what Worldwide Golf will bring to the Upper Valley.”

While Scott Peters is no longer calling the shots at Golf and Ski Warehouse, he does have an optimistic view about the future of the stores and the people who he says built them.

“I’m handing the baton off to great people, and I have a great team already there,” Peters said. “The success of Golf and Ski Warehouse is directly correlated to so many other people and I’m excited for their future.”

Justin Campfield can be reached at jhcampfield@gmail.com.