John Piascik, the 2010 Kentucky PGA Section Assistant Professional of the Year, is a PGA Certified Professional in Golf Operations and is the PGA head professional at the University of Louisville Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky.
John Piascik on the importance of offering game analysis through complete game evaluations:
I believe the object of giving a lesson is to help the student shoot lower scores. I do not focus on trying to produce certain swings and golf shots, but rather help the student recognize their shortcomings. There is no substitute for practicing getting the ball in the hole. Often, students want to go to the range to work on full swings. In early evaluations of students, I often find that they are giving up shots due to the short game more so than the full swing. I also make an effort to play with all my students and keep statistics for them so that I can point out where they are making the most mistakes. Sometimes this is in the form of a playing lesson, but also in a casual round as well. Typically, it all comes back to their short games. When I teach, I try to identify the weakness and convince the student to focus their attention to that component of the game. I often have to use the interpersonal skills I have acquired to convince the student to do so. When struggling to convince the student, I will sometimes give a free lesson to the student in the area they are struggling. This strategy helps to show the student where they can improve. Once they see their struggles improving, they gain more trust with me as an instructor.
John Piascik on the business impact of offering game analysis through complete game evaluations:
With my approach to teaching, I have been able to give 15 more lessons per year. The real benefit has been in the lesson packages sold. About half of our additional students gained each year purchase lesson packages at $300 for a series of five lessons. I give lessons to members and non-members, who pay only $10 more than members. We have 10 non-members each year come out and take lessons. This exposes them to our facilities and the amenities we have and as a result, our club’s memberships have increased as well. In the past year alone, we have added four or five new members that came from the lesson tee. While four or five does not seem like many, the initiation fee plus monthly dues help to pay bills at the club. When a lesson package is purchased, I usually give the lessons on the range as well as the course. When I give a playing lesson, I charge $100 regardless of the number of holes we play. Lessons cost $70 per hour and $40 per half hour, so they are getting more time for their money when they receive a lesson on the course, as well as learning from a whole game approach.
If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email JohnPGA@ulgc.net