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February 15, 2012

Kerry Green: Set Up a Junior Course on the Range

Kerry Green is a PGA assistant professional and merchandiser at Crystal Tree Golf & Country Club in Orland Park, Ill.

Kerry Green on the importance of setting up a junior course on the range:
We have junior golfers at our club as young as three years old, but a lot of them can’t handle the golf course just yet. So we like to set up a miniature three-hole course out on our range, when the range is closed for our junior golf program, so our youngest golfers can learn to enjoy the game in a controlled setting. In the first few weeks of our junior program we teach the basics of Rules, etiquette, the short game and full swing before we open up the mini-course we created. Juniors are separated into groups, and someone on our staff will act as a guide and walk the course with each group. The first tee start at the mats, with juniors hitting toward the closest green we have on the range. We set up two other holes out in the range that are each approximately 60 yards, and the players can complete the course within an hour. The parents love it because their children get to experience a golf course that is appropriate for their development level.

Kerry Green on the business impact of setting up a junior course on the range:
We can have up to 25 kids on the range during each junior session. We charge approximately $125 for a six-week junior instruction series that includes a junior championship and banquet for all players and their parents. Our club members have grown accustomed to the fact that our range is closed for junior golf lessons on Thursday mornings for a few hours. The real impact this program has is on family golf. By giving new juniors a true golf experience, they develop a passion for the game that will stay with them until they can finally transition to the actual golf course. The mini-course promotes recreation and fun on the range for our junior golfers and gives the parents another activity that can be done as a family.