February 2, 2017

Brandon Roby: Collaborate With Other Teaching Professionals on Instruction

Brandon Roby is the PGA director of instruction at Cascade Hills Country Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Brandon Roby on the importance of collaborating with other teaching professionals on instruction:
In 2015, we built an indoor training facility on the grounds of our club, Cascade Hills Country Club. With a simulator on hand and a fabulous climate-controlled environment, we are now able to provide instruction and practice opportunities to our members year-round. To get our initial winter program in motion, I collaborated with several teaching professionals from around the country to share multiple perspectives on instruction with my students. We welcomed teaching professionals Ryan Chaney of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and Dennis Sales of Dallas, Texas, as they brought their teaching expertise to Cascade Hills. Through group and private instruction, we evaluated students’ skills, helped them set goals for the winter, prepared practice regimens and provided follow-up feedback on their progress. These steps were taken with adult members, as well as youth golfing members. With supervised practice time, we ensured students were practicing the right way, reinforcing the aspects of the game they were taught and eliminating the bad habits they may have displayed in their initial assessment. The winter program we developed in 2015 helped many members lower their scores and handicaps during the summer of 2016. These lower scores and the vast progress made during the season has brought them back to our indoor facility this winter. In fact, they started inquiring about this year’s winter program as early as September. With the help of Jason Sutton of Charlotte, North Carolina, this year’s winter program is up and running, and our members are improving year-round.

Brandon Roby on the business impact of collaborating with other teaching professionals on instruction:
Collaboration with other golf professionals has gotten our winter program off the ground, and our members are loving it. The winter program runs from November 1 to May 1. Adult students get two hours of instruction per month, plus the supervised practice discussed earlier, for $1,100. Youth golfing students get 10 hours of instruction for $995. As important as the lessons themselves is the feedback we provide on practice and drills in between sessions. In 2015 we had 20 adults and 15 kids in our initial winter program. We have matched those adult numbers this year and increased the younger students by two, with some students returning from last year. The indoor practice facility is open to full golfing members and has become a vital marketing and selling tool to prospective new members. In the two years that we’ve had the indoor facility, our lesson revenues are up 18 percent. With members on site year-round, our golf shop and food & beverage services benefit as well. The collaborative effort has resulted in some highly successful student results, ranging from handicaps being halved in one year to one of our 15-year old students not only making the cut at the Michigan Open, but actually committing to Michigan State University.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email broby@cascadehillscc.com