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August 2, 2019

Brian Hampson: Provide Equipment Analysis via Teaching

Brian Hampson, the 2009 and 2012 PGA NENY Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA Head Golf Professional at Normanside Country Club, in Delmar, New York.

Brian Hampson on the importance of providing equipment analysis via teaching:
Creating better golfers often goes beyond time spent on the practice range with a bucket of balls and a camera. Technology has added to the way we teach of course; and professionals are recognizing the benefits of on-course instruction as well. Yes, working on a student’s swing is vital, but once he or she is hitting the ball in the air and starts developing some confidence and understanding of your philosophies and concepts, it is very important to take that instruction on the course. The other side of improving our students’ abilities and scores is all about the equipment. Playing with improperly-fit golf clubs can hinder their progress and counteract the hard work you and your students put in together. To ensure my students are playing with properly-fit clubs, I provide a detailed analysis after each lesson. To show that I am fully committed to this endeavor, I do the same with each and every participant of our women’s clinics and our youth camps and programs. At the conclusion of the instruction, I provide an analysis of their clubs and offer recommendations for new equipment that might improve their game even further. Who needs a third wedge to fill the gap between pitching wedge and sand wedge? Who needs a slightly shorter putter that will allow them to get closer to the ball and really get their eyes situated over the putting line? Some need a complete overhaul and some need nothing at all. I am not shy about being specific and honest about their club needs. After all, as their instructor, it is my responsibility to consider all aspects of their game – from fitness to proper practice to on course play to equipment – demonstrating my expertise is what my students expect from their PGA Professional. I’m sure all students expect that validation and commitment from their pros and teachers.

Brian Hampson on the business impact of providing equipment analysis via teaching:
When you spend several sessions with a student, you get to know his or her tendencies and can prescribe equipment based on your analysis of their performance. Technology helps students in many ways, and with the influx of custom fittings that are derived from your interaction with students, both members and non-members, you could see an increase in hard goods sales. With a four-week youth program that sells out every time and weekly women’s sessions that have participants signing up a week in advance, we have many swings to analyze and many golf bags to fill with clubs that will boost the fun these golfers have playing the game. As we all know, increasing fun means increasing rounds, revenues, sales, and memberships. Proactively driving sales through club analysis and custom fitting exemplifies our commitment to student improvement and growing the game across our facility.

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