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October 31, 2014

David Roesch: Run an After School Program

david-roeschDavid Roesch, 2013 Wisconsin PGA Teacher of the Year and 2014 Wisconsin Player of the Year, is the PGA director of instruction at Storm’s Golf Range in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

David Roesch on the importance of running an after school program:
Four years ago, I started an after school program with kids from local parochial schools. Implemented through collaboration with contacts at the schools, the program originally started with 60 participants and has grown to over 100. The program is designed for students in grades 1-8, with a parent volunteer from the school serving as the lead coordinator for registration and payment collection. Parents drive their children to Storm’s Golf Range for each session at the end of the school day, with carpools coordinated by parent volunteers used to transport those whose parents aren’t available due to work constraints. I provide equipment (if needed), range balls and instruction, with typical sessions lasting one to two hours depending on parents’ preferences. I offer multiple day and start time options to fit the needs and schedules of the parents and kids. This program is important because it exposes children to golf at an early age and has become a valid after school activity, with families fitting it into their schedules in the same way they do for basketball, soccer and other sports. I emphasize a relaxed atmosphere with fun challenges and contests. Contests offer small prizes such as candy, golf balls, golf towels, tees and more. I focus on learning and skill building including full-swing fundamentals, putting, chipping, pitching and sand play.

David Roesch on the business impact of running an after school program:
The program fee costs $50-70 per participant depending on the number of registrations. Registration opens in January for a five-week session in April and May. The fee includes range balls, instruction, rental equipment and prizes as well as a light snack and a bottle of water for each student. It also covers the cost of additional PGA Professionals who assist me with instruction. I strive for a 1:6 or 1:7 teacher-to-student ratio for each session. Storm’s Driving Range appreciates the increased exposure and the additional revenue as some participants stay after the session ends to hit balls purchased at an additional cost or return on another occasion to practice with parents or friends. I have realized a 10-15 percent increase in lessons from school-aged children, with approximately 10 percent of participants taking private lessons from me during the summer. I have also received residual adult lesson business from parents of participants and referrals. The program assists with filling my schedule during the spring season when the lesson business in Wisconsin is weather-dependent and often inconsistent. So reach out to your local school districts, both public and private, and determine the level of interest that exists in your market. You may find receptive parents and youth in your own community.

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