October 30, 2015

Andrew S. Miller: Conduct a Seasonal-Themed Junior Golf Program

andy-millerAndrew S. Miller is the PGA director of instruction at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pennsylvania.

Andrew S. Miller on the importance of conducting a seasonal-themed junior golf program:
This year we started the Fall Junior Golf Program, held on Saturdays at our club. We combined the team concept of the PGA Junior League with the skills-focused Drive, Chip and Putt, and the result seems to be a big hit. We have four teams, each with six juniors, boys and girls ages 6-13. Each team has an equal number of skilled players and beginners. For the fall session we chose a football theme, so each team had a college name and color. Ohio State was red, Penn State was white, Auburn was orange and UCLA was light blue. Each session lasts 1 ½ hour, during which one team plays another in putting and chipping skills contests in both team and individual formats. We use pool floating noodles for the players to hit through, just like a football field goal. The winning team gets a big trophy. The cost for each child is $100 for seven scheduled Saturday sessions, including a jersey, snacks, drinks and prizes. We will have a different theme each season. For example, for the summer session we might do an Olympics theme, each team would have a country name. Since we have a nice indoor learning center, we can conduct the sessions all year long. What I notice is that everyone is having fun. The kids enjoy coaching one another. Together, they read putts and decide what club to chip with. It is a low-pressure experience, creative and enjoyable, with no formal instruction. I do offer supplemental instruction on Monday evenings; 16 juniors currently are enrolled. The cost is $150 for five weeks.

Andrew S. Miller on the business impact of conducting a seasonal-themed junior golf program:
A large patio with a fire pit is within viewing distance, from which parents watch their children participate in the junior golf program. This provides incremental income, as the parents eat and drink while they observe, and often play golf with their kids afterwards. There also has been an increase in the demand for junior lessons. I plan to enlarge the program by making weekly videos of the juniors to include in the newsletter to the entire club membership, and I’ll post the videos on YouTube. I hope to have six or eight teams next fall. There has been approximately a 3-5% increase in club revenue as a result of the junior golf program, not only from enrollment fees, but also from the clothes and equipment the kids and their parents purchase, as well as the food and beverage.