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January 4, 2012

Tony Martinez: Feature a Short Game Practice Area

Tony Martinez, the 2005, 2007 and 2009 Northern Texas PGA Section Junior Golf Leader, is the PGA head professional at Keeton Park Golf Course in Dallas, Texas.

Tony Martinez on the importance of featuring a short game practice area:
A couple years ago we reached out to the city of Dallas and made the case for them to invest in renovations for our golf range. One of the concepts we sold was that a range and quality short game practice area can be the centerpiece of a golf facility. In this time-challenged society, people are hitting more balls at the range, and we can’t lump all of these people into new and beginner golfers. A lot of them are avid golfers who simply spend the majority of their time at Keeton Park to practice. A major part of our renovations was a designated short game area with target greens, not just the basic 100, 150 and 200 yard signs. This area has been so popular that we are adding two additional target greens. The goal is to create an on-course feel and experience for that 75-yard shot they’ll face on a par-5 or to practice with their wedges and sand play. Short game areas also allow us to generate dynamic instruction programs while freeing up the range. By having an area that can handle more people, especially on busier days, it’s easier to offer First Tee programs and fun junior clinics. Short game target greens have much more of a visual impact and are so much more appealing than hitting to a sign. We believe this is a stimulating practice environment that golfers of all skill levels can enjoy.

Tony Martinez on the business impact of featuring a short game practice area:
Since renovations in 2009, our range revenue has increased about 50 percent. When golfers are hitting range balls with shorter irons and wedges, they tend to go through a bucket of balls three times faster than practicing full swing. Oftentimes, this leads to them coming back to grab another small bucket. We’ve been putting up some record numbers and believe this momentum will continue as we build. When range revenue increases, that means there are more people on the property, which affects all areas of our facility.