Jonathan Mielke, the 2016 PGA Nebraska Section Youth Player Development Award Recipient, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Oak Hills Country Club, in Omaha, Nebraska.
Jonathan Mielke on the importance of creating an indoor teaching studio:
With a great staff and wonderful membership, I am fortunate to have spent the past five years at Oak Hills Country Club. Having come from the beautiful southwest, I am accustomed to teaching year-round, recognizing the benefits gained both to students who seek game improvement and to my lesson revenues for the year. One thing I found lacking up north was our opportunity to engage members during the winter months. So, soon after arriving I approached our Board with a plan to offer year-round golf instruction on site. After presenting my vision, I got the okay and transformed our 1000 square foot bag room into an indoor teaching studio for the winter. We have one hitting bay with FlightScope and JC Video Systems technology. In addition, we have a putting green with a Sam PuttLab putt analysis system and a separate chipping green, both constructed with Mirage turf that simulates a green speed of 12 on the stimpmeter. Within our teaching studio, we welcome private lessons, group clinics, youth golf groups, adult sessions, and even birthday parties. Our youth program runs every week from December to March from Tuesday to Friday and offers advanced youth players their own sessions on weekends. Additionally, our “Breakfast Club” meets twice per month at 8:00 am to improve their putting with today’s finest putting technology. Our “Wine & Woods” program promotes golf instruction for women beginners while encouraging a social environment. As a TPI-Certified coach, I have created various fitness programs that are implemented within my golf instruction, helping students increase mobility, flexibility, and strength. Members are booking their kids’ birthday parties in the studio, combining a nurturing, athletic environment with the camaraderie and fun that goes with a kid’s pizza party.
Jonathan Mielke on the business impact of creating an indoor teaching studio:
Through all this activity, our food & beverage service is seeing increasing revenues, and our golf shop also benefits from a boost in sales, as foot traffic doesn’t end in November anymore. Having had no winter program whatsoever, any additional business would have been a benefit to our facility. But over the five years that we’ve had this winter studio, we are exceeding expectations. By offering the array of programs, technology, and learning opportunities, we are serving well over 200 students per winter. In addition to the immediate increase in food, shop, and lesson revenues, we are able to use the winter studio as a selling point to prospective new members. In addition, engaging members of all ages in golf instruction during the winter motivates them to seek improvement during the rest of the year. In fact, our youth summer program has grown to over 300 kids, due in part to our working with them during the winter. Finally, members also have the opportunity to hit some balls and practice during the off season, another great benefit of membership at Oak Hill Country Club.
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