July 1, 2014

A Wide Range of News

Volvik, the golf ball company that has a grow-golf theme to its business operation, recently announced a new partnership with Women’s League Golf, itself a “grow the game” initiative that uses “structured social league formats.” Volvik will serve as the presenting sponsor and official golf ball of Women’s League Golf, which launches nationwide this year. Women’s League Golf is operated by the same company that launched and runs PGA Junior League Golf, the successful junior league play program that saw nearly 9,000 participants on over 740 teams across North America in 2013.

The on-site branded golf academy at a country club has proven itself as a feeder for the club’s member-recruitment effort. That’s all the more so if the learning center brings particular energy to its own marketing. Of all the tools for doing just that, none has bang-for-the-effort like YouTube posted videos. The Mike Richards Golf Academy at Parkland Golf and Country Club in Florida, has been a YouTube user for the past six years. During that time period, academy owner Mike Richards has consistently been taping, posting and spreading the word about his YouTube video presentations. Among the notice Richards has received is his series of lessons for Golf Digest’s “Make Me Better” online program. Some of the students who didn’t know Richards or his academy or Parkland G&CC before seeing all three on YouTube have become academy clients, paid for range memberships at the club, and come to like the place.

“When they get continued exposure through coming for lessons,” says Richards, “they end up taking out full memberships.” The phrase people use for outcomes like this is win-win-win…. On a recent check of the innovative job-seeker’s website, there was a total of 131 positions open under the “Golf Instructor” category. These ranged from unpaid internships at community centers to bona fide employment with prestigious clubs and courses. Within the Golf Instructor category, a visitor to the site could click on “Salaries” to find that nine different employees or employers had current salary numbers posted— anonymously, of course—but tagged to specific facilities and job titles. The lowest-paying position, ranging from $23,000 to $29,000, was with the nationwide GolfTEC chain. The highest compensation levels were up in the mid-$40,000s to $50,000. These were at Nutters Crossing Golf Course in Salisbury, Md. and at the Las Vegas, Nev. gated community of Southern Highlands Golf Club. Rod Cook, whose prior postings include Four Seasons Las Colinas in Dallas, has accepted the position of Director of Instruction at the brand new Four Seasons resort and golf club to open soon at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Colleton River Golf Academy is part of a growing trend toward youth sports fitness activity wrapped in a golf package. This summer the junior program at this prestigious golf community in Bluffton, S.C. is running custom Kids Klinics and Kamps which are offered in one-, two- and three-hour programs, at the option of the participant. “This is not your typical Junior Golf Program, but one designed to teach the proper motor skills needed in daily life but also used to play golf,” says the Academy’s flyer. The stated goal is to “help with development, strength, coordination, motor skills and golf.” Among the activities for this camp are an obstacle course, soccer, football, tee ball, balance beams, jump rope, tug o’ war, climbing, bowling, jumping, SNAG golf, “and, of course, golf swings,” the flyer states.

With its national headquarters located in Conshohocken, Pa., outside of Philadelphia, it’s logical that FitGolf Performance Centers would do plenty of on-site work locally. In late June the company’s CEO was part of a team making its fourth visit to Cedarbrook Country Club in Conshohocken—this time at a club member-guest tournament. Pre-round stretches, supervised and with takeaway information for participants, is what FitGolf is all about. The company is now set up at 20-plus locations in a dozen states, from California to Florida to Massachusetts.