April 11, 2012

Andy Weissinger: Create a Family Range Tee at Your Facility

Andy Weissinger, recipient of the 2011 Middle Atlantic PGA Section Junior Golf Leader Award, is the PGA general manager at The Pines Golf Course at Fort Eustis, Va.

Andy Weissinger on the importance of creating a family range tee at your facility:
Safety has always been the No. 1 concern and challenge for many golf professionals when it comes to offering programs for junior golfers. At The Pines Golf Course at Fort Eustis we have a separate area designated as a “Family Tee: Safe Zone for families with small children.” This area is set off to the side, away from the regular driving range tee. By creating a second location for practicing, a family can hit some range balls and not have to worry if little Johnny or Suzie steps out in front of the hitting line. This area is also far enough away that the family can hit balls and not have to worry about the kids being a distraction to the more serious golfers. This zone also protects the kids from overhearing adult conversation and any additional words that might slip out of someone’s mouth on the regular tee line. Located closer in proximity to the bathrooms and the golf shop, the “Family Tee” makes it much easier to control the flow of traffic around the facility and practice areas.

Andy Weissinger on the business impact of creating a family range at your facility:
We have seen a dramatic increase in family participation on the range. This family-friendly environment has also led to a greater use of the golf course. We have seen our family tee continually used by more and more families and we are excited to make our facility a positive place to learn and practice golf for players of all ages. Most weekends we see a range full of families. Allowing the juniors a safe place to practice with their parents is essential for keeping kids in the game of golf. Junior golf has increased by 20 percent over the last year. In addition, if the junior golf numbers continue to increase, we know that adult participation and involvement at our facility will continue to increase as well.