May 30, 2012

Andy Barbin: Have Instructors on the Range Prior to Events

Andy Barbin, the 2010 PGA President’s Plaque recipient and 2010 Philadelphia PGA Section Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA general manager at Chesapeake Bay Golf Club in Rising Sun, Md.

Andy Barbin on the importance of having instructors on the range prior to events:
With more than 8,000 rounds of golf coming directly from outings at our facility, we have a huge opportunity to impact many clients with our golf instruction. Over the past couple of years, we decided to have our professionals walk the practice range and putting green to offer complimentary tips to players prior to the start of an outing. This practice has been very well-received. “Warming up the outing,” as we like to call it, is an added bonus that offers the player an opportunity to experience our instruction program. As a surprise to the outing, we begin interacting with the players an hour or two prior to the start. We also have demo clubs and putter displays available to promote shop merchandise. Our goal is to be known around the area as the place to be for instruction. By being visible and available to 40, 60 or 80 outing participants at a time, our staff is creating even more excitement about our programs and growing the game of golf at the same time.

Andy Barbin on the business impact of having instructors on the range prior to events:
We have seen this practice positively impact three specific areas of our operation: shop sales, repeat outings and future clinics. By having hard good products available on our range and putting green, outing participants are getting their hands on new products instead of having to seek them out by visiting the golf shop. Second, going the extra distance to offer a value-added service secures repeat outing business. Players and organizations are more likely to come back and seek our services if they are happy with their initial experience. Finally, we have seen an increase in our group clinic business. Outing sponsors, who have had an opportunity to receive or to learn about pre-outing instruction, have come back to us for group instruction. Finding creative ways to set our facility apart from the competition is an ongoing challenge. Impacting an outing in as many ways as possible goes a long way in bringing players back to our facility.