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December 6, 2013

Mike Warobick: Run a Free “Tips on the Tee” Program

mike-warobick-2Mike Warobick, a past North Florida PGA Section Teacher of the Year and Hall of Fame member, is the PGA head professional of the Mike Warobick Golf Academy at U.S. 1 Golf Center in Rockledge, Fla.

Mike Warobick on the importance of running a free “Tips on the Tee” program:
Every Tuesday we offer a free “Tips on the Tee” program. It’s a free 10-minute private lesson with video analysis that’s available with the purchase of any size bucket of balls. The only other cost involved is if the player would like the video of their swing to be burned to a CD they can take with them; We charge $10 per CD. People sign in when they buy their bucket and are given a time slot between 4-6 p.m. The program was designed around the idea that we wanted to add value to our customers’ practice sessions with us. Many of the ranges at the courses in our area are using the range as a loss leader, but as a standalone facility the range is our primary revenue. One of the comments our staff had heard was that it was hard to catch the professionals for quick questions, since we are fortunate to stay booked in appointments much of the time. Tuesday Tips on the Tee gives the customer uninterrupted time with the professionals and offers a “sample” of the way we teach, which increases the instructor’s accessibility and provides more interaction between our teaching staff and customers. We’ve observed that many people are reluctant to take a “lesson” but they love a “Tip from the Pro.” The format also supports our students who have private individual lesson packages, as they can have a 10-minute spot check between lessons.

Mike Warobick on the business impact of running a free “Tips on the Tee” program:
Tuesday Tips on the Tee has increased our range activity on what was once one of our slower days. I offer the program for two hours a week, and have averaged five lessons a week in that two-hour period, totaling approximately 250 free lessons a year. As a result, range income has gone up, 10 percent of the students have become full-time lesson takers, a separate five percent have enrolled in group lessons or programs like Get Golf Ready, five percent have purchased clubs, and our bottom line has gone up by five percent. Another benefit is that because of the tight timeframe, I believe our teaching staff, including myself, have all become better instructors. That’s because we are forced to find and diagnose the exact issue quicker than ever before in order to have the customer walk away in 10 minutes with results they are happy with. Most importantly, arguably, has been that we’ve brought new players to the sport and to our facility who would have never otherwise been drawn to us.

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