Spotlight on our Retail Manager

Kevin Liddle is Retail Manager here at St Andrews Links. He’s been working with the Links for over 19 years having started working on reception and then in several other areas of the organisation before eventually joining the retail team.

“Luckily enough for me I was approached back in 2000 to assist at The Open Championship. I had no retail experience at that time, but I helped the retail team run The Open from an operational point of view.”

When Kevin started his career within the retail operation here at the Home of Golf he was dealing with stock control, he then went on to become the Merchandise Assistant, Merchandise Manager, and from there to his current position of Retail Manager which he has now been in for five years.

A key role in Kevin’s job is hands-on involvement in the buying process for the vast product range on sale across our five retail stores and online shop. Working closely with his assistant Biba, they work with a core group of suppliers that are positioned at the top end of the golf market.

“Our philosophy is that we have the best golf course in the world so we need to have the best product in the world. We also have good relationships with other retail outlets, one being Pebble Beach, who we frequently bounce ideas off.”

OCS  18 shop  LCH shop  Castle shop  TM shop

St Andrews Links has grown significantly during Kevin’s time here.

“To go from two stores to five has been a big increase and there’s no doubt that with the Old Course Shop opening in 2006, this has reflected in a large increase in our turnover. The biggest positive is that, because we’re a charitable trust, all profits go back into the preservation of the golf courses and facilities here at the Home of Golf.”

The changes and developments within the golf industry have also been significant over the years.

“The biggest change I have noticed has been the change in demand from customers.”

With a big increase in customers it’s really important to react to changes within the market to keep up with current trends and consumer demand. From a product point of view, in the early years it was predominantly traditional fabrics like lamb’s wool, merino, cashmere and mercerised cotton.

“We have changed in line with market demand and I would say we are now up to about 65% performance wear against 35% of your more classic fabrics.”


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Within the role, Kevin finds huge enjoyment in the buying process.

“My favourite part of the job is most definitely the buying of the product. I love going out to see all the collections and working with the different suppliers.”

Kevin is hugely passionate about what he does and the process of initially viewing the products and eventually seeing them in-store, fully merchandised is extremely rewarding. Another source of enjoyment in his job are his colleagues.

“I am always the first one to say it; I love coming into my work and there’s no doubt that a major part of that is the people that I work with. It’s a close knit team and we all work extremely well together. We take great pride in working as a team and sharing information where possible. The drive and determination from everyone over the past few years has contributed to our success.”


In terms of products, the future will be shaped by customer demand, however it’s evident that the market place is looking much more at brands.

“We’ve created special collections with Bobby Jones: ‘1927’ which is based on his Open win and ’10th Hole’ (the 10th hole of the Old Course was named in his honour). Customers love the story behind the products. They’re not just buying a polo shirt; they’re buying into the history.”

Our most successful collection is based around the St Andrews Links Tartan, which is registered with the Tartan society and covers all category of products.

Another firm favourite, the Swilcan Bridge collection was launched in spring of this year and we are currently working on new collections for 2017, namely the Road Hole collection, one of the most renowned holes in golf.

The future of retail at St Andrews Links looks very exciting and the team are proud to be part of this journey and delivering a world class retail experience at the Home of Golf.

Words by Cat Singer, Merchandise Administrator

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