Club-fitting pioneer and leader PING announced today that John Lyberger and the staff at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland have been named the 2009 PING National Fitter of the Year.
The national award, first given in 1997, recognizes the authorized PING Fitter that has demonstrated the highest commitment to custom fitting and the promotion of its benefits to golfers of all abilities.
“John Lyberger and his staff of expert fitters continually demonstrate the performance and enjoyment benefits of custom fitting,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “They’ve used their fitting expertise to grow their business in challenging times. They enjoy a tremendous tradition as a major championship host and they’ve used custom fitting to elevate the service they provide to their members. Our long-time association with Congressional Country Club makes us proud to honor them as PING’s National Fitter of the Year.”
The 36-hole private club was established in 1924. It has hosted two U.S. Opens and is preparing for a third in 2011. They’ve been offering PING Custom Fitting to their membership since the early 1980s.
Lyberger employs a staff of nine professionals to meet the needs of the active membership of more than 1000. Led by Danny Shanz, the professional staff includes Bobbie Beattie, Mike Dickson, Sam Frost, Ryan Lagergren, Stacy Miller-Arndt, Brad Myers, Mark Nihill and Charlie Schuyler.
As a former PGA National Merchandiser of the Year (Private Clubs-2008) and the recipient of numerous awards in the Middle Atlantic Section, Lyberger’s expertise in all aspects of the golf business has translated to success in promoting custom fitting to the members of Congressional Country Club.
“Custom fitting is one of the ways we’re able to exceed the expectations of our members,” said Lyberger, the club’s director of golf since 1996 and a one-time college intern at the course. “PING’s products and processes fit perfectly into that approach. When you tell a member we can get them custom-built clubs in a matter of days, that’s a very compelling reason for them to place the order.”
Lyberger and his staff custom fit the entire PING product line to help ensure tee-to-green performance for the membership. With tools such as PING’s 40-club iron fitting cart and the Advanced Fitting System interchangeable driver bag, they’ve seen consistent growth in both the iron and metal wood businesses. Along with the expertise offered by his fitters, Lyberger credits PING’s product performance and the countless combinations of specs offered by the fitting systems as the primary reason for the continued success.
“Our professional staff cares greatly about the membership and their games. We want to provide them service that leads to improved performance on the course,” adds Lyberger. “The PING systems allow us to fit anyone. Nobody takes fitting as far as PING. The results our members realize in their games lead to more enjoyment on the course and greater loyalty.”
Nearly 2,000 authorized PING Club Fitters were eligible for the award. Among the criteria considered by the selection committee are length of time in the program, commitment to ongoing training, sustained sales growth and support of the entire PING product line.
Nominating Congressional Country Club for the honor was Peter Leggett, PING Field Representative for the Washington D.C. area.