Brian Dobbie, the 2005 New Jersey PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, a two-time Section Youth Player Development Award winner and the 2012 Section Teacher of the Year, is a PGA assistant professional at Montclair Golf Club in West Orange, New Jersey.
Brian Dobbie on the importance of incorporating athletic skills first:
In the middle of May each year we run a five-week after-school program for youth golfers ages 4-10 on Tuesday-Friday from 3:30-5 p.m. Golf is always the focus, but we have taken a unique approach rather just hitting balls on the range. What we have incorporated is an athletic concept and several different choices for the participants. In a series of stations, we offer everything from push-ups, to jump rope, battle rope and Frisbee toss. Additionally, we now use outdoor speakers and play music throughout the fitness segment. Our focus is creating engaging choices for youngsters who have quick, wondering minds. We are also developing athletic skills early that apply to strength and condition in golf, and using this program as a feeder for our advanced level youth programs, which are course-focused and player development-centered.
Brian Dobbie on the business impact of incorporating athletic skills first:
As mentioned, this program is for our youngest golfers aged 4-10 years old. We typically attract between 15-20 kids, of which we see 80 percent boys and 20 percent girls. We charge $150 per participant, which drives anywhere from $2,000-3,000 in total revenue; that isn’t a bad way to start our season here in New Jersey. Additionally, we are seeing about a 70-percent retention rate as a large percentage of the kids stay in our program and continue to our advanced level programs. By offering youngsters engaging choices in an athletic concept, their connection and dedication to golf will closely follow.
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