David McQuade, Master PGA Professional, 1991 Connecticut Section Junior Golf Leader Award, 1992 Connecticut Section Teacher of the Year and PGA Ambassador since 2012, is the Director of Golf at Collier’s Reserve Country Club, in Naples, Florida.
David McQuade on the importance of creating a supervised practice program:
As many of the members at our club love to work on their games, in January we initiated a weekly, supervised one-hour practice session for men and women, to extend through mid-April. We call it the “Practice Club,” and it quickly became very popular. We expected perhaps a dozen members to sign up, but to my surprise 35 people enrolled in the program! The average age of member participants is mid-sixties. Each session begins with a mini-clinic on one specific aspect of the game; then we break out into stations: putting, chipping pitching, full swing, sand, etc. Lots of interactive conversation goes on, too. Since we average more than 20 people per session, we decided to expand Practice Club to two-hour sessions. And beginning in November, the program will be extended to 16 weeks. People are lining up to participate in the next version of Practice Club. It has become a social gathering, with many friendships being created. It was a grow-the-game initiative I didn’t even know I was doing. The result has been a source of pride to me as a PGA Professional: a sense of accomplishment with the knowledge that lives are being changed. There already have been two holes-in-one by women in the Practice Club.
David McQuade on the business impact of creating a supervised practice program:
The charge to each player to participate in the Practice Club was $200. We haven’t decided yet what the fee will be for the next group of sessions. The pleasant side effect of the Practice Club has been the camaraderie and friendships forged, along with the commitment of all participants to make the program successful. The game improvement, fellowship and friendships far outweigh financial gain.