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June 7, 2021

Robert Singer: Introduce Programming that Encourages Members to be More Active

Robert Singer is a PGA Assistant Professional at Huntingdon Valley (Pennsylvania) Country Club.

Robert Singer on the importance of introducing programming that encourages members to be more active:

Player development is a key factor in retaining golfers for the long-term, and delivering programs that cater to the entire family is high on our agenda for 2021. As is the case at many private facilities, we have a group of women members who we’d like to see playing more golf, being active within our ladies’ groups and getting the most out of the club. To engage them and help them get acclimated to playing the game, we implemented a program called “Ladies 4-Hole Learn & Laugh”. The weekly sessions start with a complimentary glass of sangria (getting the laughing part going), as they make new friends and get reacquainted with others who they may not have seen in a while. Soon, we go to the range or putting green to spend a half hour learning a specific topic, introductory in nature, but vital to kick start their development as golfers. After the coaching session, we go out to the course for a four-hole scramble to put into practice what they just learned on the range. We’re not looking for an ultra-serious classroom setting – we want them to learn a little for sure, but we also want them to laugh a lot! We teach pace of play, etiquette, Rules and everything that comes with being on the course. We’ll pair friends together and integrate some new women into the mix. Many of our participants are young mothers, whose spouses and kids may already be active in the game. Again, we’re hoping to get everyone involved in some way. This is a long-term play for us, as we believe families that play together will stay together at the club. We’ve structured the program into spring, summer and fall seasons, with six classes held each season. They can attend a few or all of them. But if they pay for five classes in one season, the sixth one is free.

Robert Singer on the business impact of introducing programming that encourages members to be more active:

As a family-oriented country club, we want all members of the family to experience the great services, amenities and opportunities that we have to offer. The “Ladies 4-Hole Learn & Laugh” program is just one way that we strive to have something for everyone. At $40 per session or $200 for the entire six-week season, the program has already been successful during the early part of the 2021, as we have averaged 20 participants per event. It’s also a great opportunity for these women to meet our PGA Professional staff, and for us to potentially increase our lesson revenue through private coaching with them, their spouses or kids. In addition, most of the participants stay for dinner after the Wednesday classes, boosting F&B revenues, as well as member engagement. Presenting this program for all that it is – a fun occasion to mingle with other women members of the club and chat about the experience of learning to play golf, is a big reason for its early success. It’s NOT just about the golf.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email rsinger@hvccpa.org.