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May 15, 2015

Kim Kleinle: Create a Targeted Practice Area

kim-kleinleKim Kleinle is a PGA Certified Professional who teaches at Caliente Springs Resort in Desert Hot Springs, California, in the winter and Pocono Farms Country Club in Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, in the summer.

Kim Kleinle on the importance of creating a targeted practice area:
When our golf director, Steve Miller, started teaching at Caliente Springs two years ago, he saw lots of potential in the little par-3 course’s rock-and-tire-strewn practice range. The range had a grass teeing area, but the landing area was desert with piled tires and debris serving as targets. Steve had a vision of creating nine target greens that corresponded to the distances of each of our nine holes. The goal was to create excitement in the community and encourage people to learn and practice, while increasing our income. In his second year at Caliente, Steve began implementing his plan, at minimal cost. With the help of our golf staff, we removed the tires, debris and larger rocks. We borrowed equipment from maintenance to help with the rock removal and to dig nine bunker-like greens, which we filled with green-dyed sand. Regulation flagsticks and flags completed the range. We worked on seeding and watering the teeing ground, and had a sign professionally made indicating the yardages and the holes they correspond to on the golf course. We also replaced the old, beat-up range balls with quality used Titleist range balls.

Kim Kleinle on the business impact of a targeted practice area:
In the year prior to the range renovation, it was rare to see anyone on the practice range – one or two people every other day would be a lot. Income from the range was negligible. After the renovation, we started promoting the range and offered seasonal and monthly range passes. Income for the season was nearly $4,000, well above projections. The response from golfers and the community in general was overwhelmingly positive. We went from a rarely used practice facility to one that had golfers on it every day. Our members could dial in their club selection before even setting foot on the golf course. The practice was positive for the golfers’ games, too, as we saw more balls in the center of the range and around targets than we did the perimeters.

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