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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Sunshine Golf – A high profile golfing brand on Costa del Sol

Updated: Feb 26

Sunshine Golf has been an iconic name in Golf on the Costa del Sol for nearly 25 years. Their emblematic presence in La Cala de Mijas has been a landmark for a generation of golfers visiting the Costa del Sol.


We went to visit and find out exactly what they offer to enrich the golfing experience on the Costa del Sol.


History

Sunshine Golf first opened its doors in La Cala de Mijas in 1998 under the guidance of its founders Kenneth and Christine Hook. Jose Liñan (Pepe) started working with Sunshine Golf in 2002. Pepe brought his professional experience as an accountant to become the PA , accountant and store manager for Ken.

Ken and Christine deservingly retired and sold the business to Pepe Liñan in January 2019.


JL: “After all of these years in this shop it has become part of me. With my professional qualifications I have been able to keep a close eye on the numbers and with the knowledge specific to golf that I have acquired over the last 18 years, looking after Sunshine Golf is the right thing for me to do.”


Sunshine Golf

Golf tourists

SL: Who are your customers, local golfers or golfing tourists?


JL: 70% are golfing tourists and the rest local Spanish and others. They tend to come on to the shop to book a tee time with Mandy and Mike, while they are here they might buy a glove, a putter, a polo etc. Mike and Mandy have operated Sunshine Golf Reservations for the last 15 years, they are a separate business but have been part of the shop for all of that time. There is a great synergy between us, together we make a one stop shop for the Costa del Sols Golfers”.

 

“30% of our customers are local, from the Spanish, British, German, French, Norweigan, Scandinavien and Moroccan communities. In general these people are sophisticated golfers who understand the importance of buying good quality equipment and understand that to get maximum pleasure from the game a little self investment is required.”


“The big thing for our resident customers is to be properly fitted for their clubs. Over the last couple of years and especially during Covid this has become very popular. It makes sense, it is the easiest way to improve your golf without having to radically change your swing.”


We speak five languages in the shop, English, German, French, Swedish and of course Spanish and are very happy to have a strong customer base from all of these countries.


Sunshine Golf

Club fitting

SL: How did you get into club fitting?


JL: We always were very serious about the importance of golf club fitting, but we used to do it in co-operation with golf clubs. Now we can finally fit our clients in our shop. In 2018 we were celebrating our 20th Anniversary, Ken Hook wanted to do something special to mark the occasion. We settled upon the idea of making the considerable investment in the Foresight Sports Golf Fitting Lab that you see here. It has dramatically improved our fitting offer to our clients.


Alvaro de Laguno is our club fitter. He is a very knowledgeable young man and has been certified as a club fitter by Foresight Sports, Callaway, Ping, Taylormade and the other manufacturers. He has a talent for his job. It is through reputation and word of mouth that the club fitting aspect of the business has become such a success. On a daily basis friends of customers walk into the store to seek Alvaro’s guidance on buying their next set of clubs.


Sunshine Golf

Grips and repairs

Alvaro is also busy with club repairs, re-gripping and re-shafting. For all golfers it is a good idea to get fresh grips after each 100 rounds and after 200 rounds to come and get the loft and lie of the irons checked out.


The shop

SL: This is a big place. How much space do you have here?


JR: We have 400 square metres over two levels.  Upstairs in the reception area are the Sunshine Golf Tee time service, together with the upper part of the shop where we display drivers, wedges, irons, putters, GPS watches, laser rangefinders, push trolleys and electric trolleys. Whilst downstairs we have more clubs, a huge array of ladies and mens golf fashion, a large golf shoe department, the club fitting, the embroidery section and a section for kids. We feel strongly about getting kids involved in golf. It is a great sport that will last their entire life and will teach them so many positive virtues like integrity, grace and discipline”


Sunshine Golf

Clubs

SL: Which brands do you stock ?


JR: We are very careful always to stock the most appreciated brands to meet European tastes. Obviously the USA and Japanese tastes and brands are slightly different , we are very attuned to what’s happening in Europe.

In terms of clubs we have been Official stockists of Callaway for years, probably the first on the Costa. We make sure to cater for golfers of all levels at all price points. We stock all the other big name brands as Callaway, Taylormade and Ping, also the popular King Cobra, Srixon and Cleveland brands. Our range of Wilson products are mid range in price and make entry on to golf very affordable. Also available are Titleist and Mizuno, which are premium brands aimed at highly skilled golfers


Sunshine Golf

Clothing

JL: Clothing is very important for us, especially given that we are able to embroider and personalise the clothing for our clients. Our customers want the latest and highest quality in clothing. It’s important to be comfortable playing sports. Today’s clothing offers so much to make you comfortable from breathable fabric to SPF protection.


The brands we stock for men and ladies are Adidas, Under Armor, FootJoy, Ping, Puma. We have recently added for men the J Lindberg line of clothing made popular by the Norweigan Pro. Victor Hovland.

For ladies we also stock Green Lamb, Daily, Abacus, Brittigan.


Sunshine Golf

Golf Shoes

Footjoy, Adidas, Callaway, Nike, Ecco, Skechers…


Sunshine Golf

Embroidery

SL: How did you decide to invest in embroidery machines?


JL: When the shop opened in 1998, people would come to buy Polos and bag towels. Ninety percent of the time they wanted them customised with their society logo, corporate logo or  an emblem for their golf holiday, etc. So, Ken Hook knowing nothing about embroidery would drive down San Pedro to get the stitching done.  


After two years Ken thought “This is crazy! Embroidery is a good business.” So he bought our first two head machines. Within a short while we became experts in designing and helping our customers create their logos, word spread fast and now the embroidery business is a great business in its own right. We work with visiting golf groups, golf societies, golf clubs, restaurants, and many local businesses that have branded attire for their employees. It was a great idea from Ken! Now we have several machines of different types constantly working with customers old and new. We deliver to hotels, golf courses and even ship internationally!


Sunshine Golf

Club Rental

SL: Club rental for visiting golfers is an important part of your business. Why do visitors elect to rent clubs when they visit the Costa del Sols golf courses?


JL: There are a number of very good reasons. Firstly many airlines now charge golfers an extra fee for loading their golf clubs. Travelling is already stressful enough, in some smaller airports having to detour to the large luggage drop off point is no fun, also it is heartbreaking to watch the baggage handlers heave your precious clubs around! In fact many of the repairs that we are asked to carry out by visitors is as a result of damage done in transit! Driver shafts can break easily if they are thrown around by the luggage handlers.


Another interesting benefit to visiting golfers is that it allows them to try out the latest irons and drivers for a week and figure out if they really like them. We sell a lot of drivers and woods to visitors that have used a rental set for a week.


SL: What are the logistics of renting cubs from Sunshine Golf?


JL: Firstly we have a fleet of 170 rental sets, graphite and steel shafts, for right handed, left handed, mens, ladies, all premium brands and price points to suit everyone. You can rent a basic set of golf clubs for only 35€ a week making Sunshine Golf  the most affordable rental service in the area. 


Our Club Rental booking system is on the front page of our website sunshinegolfonline.com, and is very simple to use. Other than during the recent pandemic club hire is an element of our business that is growing very quickly. It just makes so much sense for casual golf tourists to rent top quality sets of clubs rather than go through the inconvenience of lugging their own clubs around! 


Sunshine Golf

Trophies and engraving

SL: We recently had our annual prize giving for the Sandgrown’uns Golf Society at Mijas Golf. Sunshine Golf provided the trophies.


JL: Yes that’s right. We are a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need for golf. That’s what makes us unique on the Costa del Sol. The extent of the services and products offered to the Golfer in the same place, has been the foundation of our success.


A group of golfers visiting the Costa del Sol, can arrange the whole package in our store. From the discounted green fee, to the golf clubs, balls and all the accessories. They also can make Polo Shirts, Caps or Towels with logos for the occasion and why not a few trophies with plaques for the winners.


Trophies is only one of the many services available at Sunshine Golf. Many groups of visitors like to arrange a week of competition between themselves when they come to play on the Costa de Sol. They come and choose from a wide range of trophies, large and small to reflect 1st , 2nd and 3rd etc and a wide range of themes. Once the customer has chosen the trophies we can engrave them while they wait.


It’s not just golf trophies that we cater for, equestrian events, corporate events, all kinds of things. Again another extremely important string to our bow.


Sunshine Golf

My experience of Sunshine Golf

I visit Sunshine Golf frequently. It is a great place to keep up with new clubs on the market and to try out those clubs on the golf simulator.


On this visit I set Alvaro a challenge. “Find me the clubs that give me 10m extra and I will buy them!” I came armed with my trusted old Taylormadw M2 driver and Mizuno MP4 seven iron to establish the benchmark.

I got quite a shock!


Firstly my irons are now 5 years old. I love them and cannot imagine anything feeling better. They are Mizuno MP4 blades, KBS C Taper 130g X flex shafts 1 degree upright and half an inch longer than standard.


My usual missed shot goes to the left.


After a warm up session Alvaro had me hitting my 7 iron. The dispersion was as biased to the left of the target, average length 161m. After watching me hit balls and interpreting the data from the launch monitor Alvaro quickly told me that my impact had the toe down which was causing the miss to the left, that my current shafts flex point was not good for me, that my clubs needed to be a more upright and that they were a little too long.


We tried a number of different heads and shafts. The heads that looked good to me were the Callaway Apex. A forged iron that is a players club but with mis-hit forgiveness.


Sunshine Golf has a vast array of different shafts to try out. With Alvaros’s experience and guidance we soon discovered that the Nippon 125g shaft, of standard length 2 degrees upright, was the optimum for me.


The difference was incredible. My dispersion pattern moved centrally around the target line, no more big misses to the left. The distance went up to 173m as an average for the shots hit. I would never have believed it possible if I had not experienced it for myself!


Alvaro is extremely knowledgeable and will explain each step of the process to you showing you the difference that each shaft or head combination makes. It is utterly fascinating and there is no arguing with the numbers, the numbers cannot lie!


With Alvaros help you will arrive at the optimum set up for you, heads, shafts, grips, lofts and lies. When you find that optimum you are going to be as staggered as I was by the difference in your performance!


I now know what my next set of clubs are going to be. I hope my wife reads this, my birthday is coming up!


Summary


I pop into Sunshine frequently to waggle the new wedges or touch a putter, book a tee time and have a chat with the guys about golf. I love the place.


Sunshine Golf has that kind of feel. You are amongst friends and fellow golf enthusiasts here. The depth of knowledge accumulated by the whole team gives a feeling of assuredness. The shop feels like your favorite Pro Shop from days of yore yet is completely digital and operates using the cutting edge in technology and resources.


Sunshine Golf is an important part of the fabric of golf on the Costa del Sol. As they approach their 25th birthday with Pepe at the helm I feel very comfortable with the thought that Sunshine Golf will be serving the golfing community for many years to come.


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Dislaimer: Please note this article has been written in collaboration with Sunshine Golf.

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