D.J. Limardi knows as well as anyone that the art of managing a prosperous and successful golf shop merchandise operation requires dedication, forward planning and attention to detail – along with a strong team effort.
“I learned a long time ago that a goal without a plan is a wish,” said Limardi, general manager and director of golf at Sandpiper Golf Club in Santa Barbara. “As a team at Sandpiper we set a goal to be a successful merchandise operation, [and] we developed a plan that was executed extremely well by our team.”
So it came as no surprise when Limardi was named the 2011 Southern California PGA Merchandiser of the Year for public courses, an award that is given out at the end of every year to the PGA professional whose merchandise concessions best display consistency and success through presentation, profitability and creativity.
“I am extremely proud that fellow PGA members recognized the dedication and hard work of the team at Sandpiper Golf Club,” said Limardi, who also manages and oversees nearby Rancho San Marcos. “Throughout my career I have been influenced by an extraordinary PGA golf professional, Greg Villeneuve, who challenged me to use creativity and a keen sense of detail throughout our merchandise concessions.”
Villeneuve, vice president of golf at Montage Hotels & Resorts and a longtime mentor to Limardi, won the merchandise award in 2003 while at Sandpiper, as well as being honored as the National Merchandiser of the Year (Public Courses) in 2004.
“Having won the section award myself, as well as at the national level, I think that his level of success is amazing. It’s hard to put in to words,” Villeneuve said. “I’m very proud of him. He has a passion and pride in merchandising and it shows. It’s very exciting.”
Limardi, 30, left the suburbs of Chicago at the age of 18 to pursue a career in golf in Santa Barbara, where he applied for an outside service position at Sandpiper. Ten years later, he was named general manager and director of golf at the very same club.
“Becoming a PGA golf professional allowed me to follow my passion for success in business with a sport that tests you physically, mentally and emotionally each time you play the game,” said Limardi. “Golf is the ultimate sporting challenge.”
Limardi believes that the most important value a golf instructor’s teaching philosophy can include is simplicity. He urges young players to seek out PGA professionals who can assist them in creating a personal game plan specifically for their games.
As for the future, Limardi plans to stay active and motivated.
“One of the most important things that anyone can do is to take the time to reflect and think about where they have been and where they are going,” he said. “I try and do this with regularity, making sure that my values remain intact and my passion for success is constantly challenged.”