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August 24, 2018

Jim McCann: Host High School Gym Classes

Jim McCann is the PGA Director of Golf at Spook Rock Golf Course, in Suffern, New York.

Jim McCann on the importance of hosting high school gym classes:
Spook Rock Golf Course is a very busy public course just north of New York City. My assistant and I are busy with lessons, outings, and operation of our golf shop every day. We continue to strive to pursue additional revenue streams and use our complete facility to its fullest. One way in which we satisfy those endeavors, while introducing the game of golf to hundreds of local high school students each spring and fall is by welcoming their physical education classes to our course each day. Suffern High School buses those students who have opted in to our gym class/golf range partnership. Under the close eye of their physical education teachers, they receive a bucket of balls and a club upon arrival. As time allows, I visit with the kids on the range, and see everything from potential golfers displaying their raw skills to multiple interpretations of the Happy Gilmore approach. Some of the kids have a general interest in the game, and others in getting out of school for 45 minutes. But regardless, we enjoy welcoming local kids to their local public course. You just never know where the introduction may take them. In that light, we also host the school’s golf teams for their practices and matches. With enough student athletes to fill JV and Varsity teams for both boys and girls, being a facility where kids are welcome and comfortable at any level of play, has proven beneficial for many years. And as a local municipal golf course, we are one of those places the community can convene, and families can share in great fun and exercise. It’s an honor to keep up this long-standing Spook Rock tradition.

Jim McCann on the business impact of hosting high school gym classes:
Spook Rock’s history of hosting these local students dates back at least 25 years. And I feel the relationship we have with our local schools is an asset to everyone involved. Giving kids the chance to play golf, many of whom are simply not from golfing families, can only be a positive thing. Kids are exposed to a new activity and we have hundreds of potential future customers. The overall numbers are staggering. During the spring and fall months, we host 3-7 classes per day with 15-30 students per class…5 days per week. At $3 per student per day, prepaid through the school when students sign up for the program, we are taking in about $6,000 annually. In addition, we earn additional revenue of $2 per bucket from the school’s girls and boys JV and Varsity golf teams. The long-term business impact of hosting the gym classes is proven by the fact that the school can support boys and girls golf teams at both the JV and Varsity levels. Also, my assistant and I each have several students from the Suffern High School teams on our private lesson roster, an added benefit of welcoming kids of all skill levels, experience, and interest to the game.

 

To contact the author of this best practice, please email jimm@spookrockgolfcourse.com