Michael Boyd, the 2015 and 2016 recipient of the PGA South Central Section Player Development Award and the section’s Player of the Year for 2014, 2015, and 2016, is the PGA Director of Instruction at The Club at Indian Springs, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Michael Boyd on the importance of conferring with students on goals, drills, and overall performance progress:
Helping students improve at the game of golf goes well beyond the time we spend on the lesson tee. In developing students into golfers, much communication, goal-setting, and feedback is necessary. One method I found effective in gathering and recording information on my students is to keep a “performance binder”. Within this book we record student goals, achievements, and actions plans. Between lessons, we record practice round statistics, drills for continued improvement, and proper practice habits. As they apply these newly-implemented drills and practice techniques, they often reach out to me for feedback or to ask a question. Also, I will often give them additional time between lessons to conduct a quick check-up, keeping them on the right track. Tracking each student’s progress is vital to his or her advancement through the instruction process. As they practice and play, learn and achieve various goals, they are encouraged to record their achievements and thoughts in the journaling pages that are provided within the binder. Recently, I modernized the “performance binder” to take advantage of today’s technology. Much of the back and forth communication is now done via email and texting. Students may send a quick note, video, or question, and I can respond in a timely manner, but also as my schedule allows. Both processes are effective methods in keeping the students engaged and help solidify my position as coach rather than simply their golf pro. Students become accountable for their own progress as we create a development plan to which they can refer anytime they deem necessary. This also helps me stay abreast of each student’s status as my lesson book is pretty full. It helps me keep my ducks in a row and allows me to know where each student is in his or her lesson plan.
Michael Boyd on the business impact of conferring with students on goals, drills, and overall performance progress:
Communication and feedback, whether presented and recorded within a physical binder or streamlined online, are vital aspects of my students’ improvement. They also show them that I am on their side and committed for the long haul, to help them truly advance as golfers and increase their enjoyment of the game. Over the past two years, my lesson schedule has doubled and lesson revenues are 150%, as I have also been able to increase my rates during that period. In addition, as students see progress in their own golf game, they often play more golf, adding to total rounds, food & beverage revenue, and golf shop sales. We all strive to implement procedures and daily activities that benefit all areas of our facilities. This continued communication with students is just one method, but a very effective one at that.
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