Forest Akers Golf Course Wins 2018 AGM Platinum Retail Award

Published On: April 5, 2018

Spartan Hospitality Group (SHG) at Michigan State University (MSU) is pleased to announce that Forest Akers Golf Course won a 2018 AGM Platinum Award, presented by the Association of Golf Merchandisers (AGM). The Platinum Award recognizes the “best of the best” golf shops from around the world. AGM looks at criteria such as the shop’s physical size, performance measures and sales, photos of overall shop layouts, hard goods and visual displays, main counter, theme displays, and more. They also look at information supplied by retailers like customer service, retail and social media initiatives, promotional ideas, merchandising events, or innovative uses of fixtures or props. AGM chooses award recipients from applications submitted from golf courses around the country and the world.

Cody Wilson, Forest Akers pro shop manager, and Stephene Benkert, Spartan Spirit Shops retail manager, accepted the award on behalf of the university at the 2018 AGM annual conference.

Benkert shared her excitement about winning the award again after several years (they last won the award in 2005). The retail shops have improved their levels of service due to a recent change in operations and have combined all of the MSU-owned retail operations under one umbrella: Spartan Spirit Shops (SSS). Both Forest Akers East and West courses have a SSS location and with new point-of-sale systems in place, selling and inventorying merchandise collectively among all six SSS locations on campus is now possible.

Employees are able to check inventory stock from each store, making cross-selling and accepting returns seamless between all shops. This service creates a much-improved guest experience and a streamlined process for store managers. This also allows them to have a better working relationship with campus partners and vendors. This team effort allows them to continue not only supporting their business and divisional mission but also to foster an environment that helps them commit to delivering a distinctive, high-value impact experience in everything they do.

Forest Akers Golf Course Spartan Spirit Shops carry unique items that cannot be found anywhere else in East Lansing, along with MSU-branded merchandise, golf equipment and accessories. For information, directions for all campus locations or to purchase Spartan Sprit Shop merchandise online, visit

Forest Akers Golf Courses and Spartan Spirit Shops are business units of Spartan Hospitality Group, a part of the Residential and Hospitality Services division at Michigan State University. Visit for more information.