February 25, 2013

Perry Green: Start Junior Clinics at a Younger Age

Chris-HansonPerry Green is the PGA director of instruction at The Golf Club at Wescott Plantation in Summerville, S.C.

Perry Green on the importance of starting junior clinics at a younger age:
When parents would come to drop their children off for lessons or clinics at our facility, I noticed that the younger siblings would be stuck hanging around with their parents. I started a Saturday morning junior clinic for children between the ages of 3-5 because there weren’t any activities scheduled for this age bracket. We provide a 45-minute class within our practice area to introduce golf and other activities to this very young group of kids. We hit beach balls through hula hoops, run obstacle courses and other fun games to get them excited. (See images below)

When you’re working with kids this young, it’s important to introduce golf slowly so you don’t discourage them from wanting to play. We use SNAG equipment for putting and even set up a miniature golf course with bridges and other obstacles that make the experience more inviting. We also use a tee ball base to hit tennis balls; we feel that getting these youngsters use to the rotary motion of a golf swing will help them fundamentally. There are often no actual golf balls used during the sessions. Once we start them off with bigger balls to play with, we eventually progress to small objects. This aids them with hand eye coordination and gives them some confidence as well.

Perry Green on the business impact of starting junior clinics at a younger age:
The junior group lessons have a maximum of five kids at one time. It costs $60 for five classes. This is a very fair deal and the program has been very popular thus far. These classes tend to draw large crowds, as many members think it’s adorable to see them out there playing around on the range. We tend to get lots of referral business as well due to the large amount of traffic this group class is exposed to each Saturday morning. This program is a strong step forward when considering Golf 2.0 and player development. It’s an added commodity to the membership because not many facilities can say they do something quite like this week in and week out for younger players.