October 6, 2017

John Lynch: Include Instruction in Your PGA Junior League Program

John Lynch is the PGA Head Golf Professional at New Mexico State University Golf Course, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

John Lynch on the importance of including instruction in your PGA Junior League program:
I discovered that not all of our PGA Junior League participants have had instruction, so I decided to treat the program like a training academy. Ours is a two-month program, beginning in early May. We have 23 boys and girls, ages eight through 13, some of whom are beginners. We meet about five hours per week; half is instruction and half is play. We teach participants the full swing, the short game and putting. My assistant and I teach the kids in one big group, in two instructional sessions per week, on our 2-acre practice area. We focus on distance control and center of contact – in essence, the physics of the golf swing. With training, our juniors learn to hit the ball far enough. We make sure the instruction is fun. We set the stage for them to become more advanced players, perhaps even elite, high school or collegiate players – presenting a good opportunity for our instruction business. We now are the only golf course in town offing a year-round junior golf program.

John Lynch on the business impact of including instruction in your PGA Junior League program:
We increased the fee for each participant in our PGA Junior League program from $175 last year to $200 this year. Of this amount, $75 is retained by the PGA of America. Each child receives a jersey, a t-shirt, a bag tag and access to the website, www.pgajlg.com. This year we have 23 players, whereas last year we had 17, so the rate increase did not affect participation negatively. This year, we will generate $3,000 from the program, a 30% increase over last year. When three teams are playing, with a total of over 40 players, parents often come out to watch their children play. They may caddy for their players, or they may take a cart, paying the $11 cart fee – bringing revenue to our university-owned golf course. There’s also the opportunity for food and beverage sales. All the revenue from our PGA Junior League program goes back into our golf course.