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May 31, 2018

Crae Fields: Bring Your Community Together

Crae Fields, the 2017 PGA Sun Country Section Youth Player Development Award recipient, is the PGA Head Golf Professional at the New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course, in Roswell, New Mexico.

Crae Fields on the importance of bringing your community together:
The New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course has been one of the proud local hosts of over 10,000 First Tee of Southeastern New Mexico participants for the past 7 years. Through the First Tee National School Program, we are educating local physical education teachers, as they bring the First Tee curriculum to their elementary school students. Transitioning those school kids to green grass facilities such as ours is the next step. With year-round youth golf programs, such as 3-day summer camps, spring and fall after-school programs, and a winter activities from January to March, we are providing a plethora of golf opportunities to school kids from 28 local schools. It is important to me that people understand that kids are vital to growth of the game. The First Tee Program and our local youth golf programming are important cogs in that growth of the game process. In addition to the youth golfers themselves, the community at large benefits from this youth engagement, as life lessons and First Tee core values are taught and will ideally serve the community for years. Another aspect of our facility that is a vital asset to the community is the charity that takes place and dollars raised via the 25-30 golf tournaments and outings we host annually. One event, the “General’s Cup” raised over $80,000 for New Mexico Military Institute students last year. We hold fundraisers for Vets in spring and fall, and host various high school events as well. Through youth golf programing and by opening our doors to charitable groups, our course has truly become the core of the community. People count on us to improve lives, and through the game of golf we are achieving that goal.

Crae Fields on the business impact of of bringing your community together:
With youth golfers being the primary demographic to take the game into the next generation, it is important to stoke that interest now, and provide them with an array of opportunities to learn and play the game year-round. By teaching thousands of kids, we are growing the game and building relationships in the community as well. Those relationships turn into charitable golf outings, benefiting countless individuals and local groups. Our dedication to making our course the core of the community has positive impacts on our own business as well. When kids play, very often their parents and siblings play as well. We are increasing rounds played, range balls sold, snack bar and golf shop revenues, and private lessons as well. Also, through word of mouth, folks throughout our community are looking to NMMI Golf Course as a golf course to help them achieve their fundraising goals. Of our 30,000 annual rounds, 10% of them are directly attributable to outings, and those same charitable events render golf shop sales of $60,000. People are frequenting our course because of the good will we put forth in these various ways. And to me, we’re here for the right reasons.

 

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email crae@nmmi.edu