April 15, 2013

Bill Graham: Reach Casual Golfers by Hosting Golf Schools

Bill-GrahamBill Graham, the 2011 Wisconsin PGA Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA head professional at Chenequa Country Club in Hartland, Wis.

Bill Graham on the importance of hosting golf schools:
Over the past couple years, I’ve had a few members who have called me and asked about finding them a golf school that they can travel to before the start of the season. Despite doing the research for these members and finding nice opportunities for them in South Carolina and Florida, I finally decided that it was crazy for me not to host these golf schools myself. We have since hosted Bill Graham’s Golf Boot Camps in both the spring and the fall, including eight to 10 sessions in April and May. Each one features six students and two golf professionals to make sure each student gets the attention they deserve. I offer full camps, where we do a little bit of everything over the course of five hours with lunch in the middle, as well as three-hour, specialized camps for areas such as full swing and short game. I email the information to our membership, which includes the schedule and exact details about what will be offered and who it’s geared towards. This way each member can basically pick and choose what they want help with before the season, almost like ordering off a menu. I think the members have responded so well because the members have busy lives and families to worry about. Full lesson programs take a lot of commitment, and many of our members just want a few tips as a refresher that will give them the confidence to get on the course. The beauty of the program is that our members get to pick and choose the session they prefer based upon their own schedules.

Bill Graham on the business impact of hosting golf schools:
This year I emailed the information for our eight camps to the membership, and the camps were filled within an hour. With a $150-$200 charge per camp, this is a significant boost in revenue to start the season. In our first year, we ran six camps with four people in each camp, and this year, we ran eight camps with six people per camp. There are other benefits that follow the camps as well. For our members who are beginners, the camps have acted as a great stepping stone for our Wednesday evening women’s league and our men’s Thirsty Thursday league. I’ve also been able to convert some of the students who want to build off what they learned in the boot camps to individual lessons.