September 5, 2014

Grayson Zacker: Offer Golf Schools at Your Facility

grayson-zackerGrayson Zacker is the PGA director of instruction at the Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Doral in Miami, Florida. Grayson joined the Golf School in 2008 after graduating from the PGM Program at Penn State University, and since has recorded thousands of hours teaching players of all abilities.

Grayson Zacker on the importance of offering golf schools at your facility:
Lessons are a great way to increase revenue for any PGA Professional, but at the Jim McLean Golf School we take it a step further and offer a variety of multi-day golf schools. Our most popular is a three-day golf school for groups that usually run Friday-Sunday. We keep the group size limited to a 3:1 student to instructor ratio and cover all aspects of the game. We spend the first day entirely on the range, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a break for lunch. This allows us to get to know the students and identify what each needs to work on. On the second day, we work from 8 a.m. to noon on the range, then after lunch play 9 or 18 holes. We spend Sunday on the range again, practicing for another five hours before wrapping things up. In total, it adds up to approximately 20 hours of instruction in a three-day period. We also offer private schools for clients that wish to have a custom experience. We are able to guarantee improvement because of our proven teaching system, the extensive supervised practice and the emersion in the process from the student. There are many other benefits from group style learning and the synergy that is created amongst the students. They tend to learn not only from instructors but also from observing each other. We typically see a 4-5 stroke improvement from a school, and every student leaves with a game plan to continue their progress. This includes detailed notes and a video with their instructor’s analysis of their total game and drills that they can do on their own.

Grayson Zacker on the business impact of offering golf schools at your facility:
The idea of a golf school allows an instructor to provide so much more than just a one-on-one lesson with a student. For a true beginner, it often takes more than one hour just to teach the grip, let alone how to play all the shots necessary to be a consistent golfer. Our location and reputation allow us to market the school as a golf vacation and charge $2,995 for a three-day school; but even if you charge $600-$700 at a private or public club you could do very well. We receive unbelievable response from our students and as word spreads more people are interested. Roughly 50 percent of students that participate enroll again, often with friends. Offer a golf school at your facility, even if it is just once per month, and you will see the classes fill up more than individual lessons. PGA Professionals can also bring their students/members down to the Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Doral and teach alongside our teachers. That really makes for a great experience and additional revenue in the winter months.

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