April 19, 2017

Ryan Young: Combine Instruction and Discounted Practice Time in Your Monthly Clinics

Ryan Young is the PGA Director of Instruction at Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington. He was the recipient of the 2016 PGA Pacific Northwest Section Player Development Award.

Ryan Young on the importance of combining instruction with free practice facility time and discounted rounds to maximize student progress:
The PGA Coaching Club is a month-long group instruction program that meets every Saturday afternoon and combines a structured seminar teaching format with hands-on, individual attention. Each clinic session is between one and two hours in length and offers lessons on everything from putting and chipping to the full swing and drivers. Sessions may be taught by any of our PGA teaching staff members, including myself, PGA head professional, Brent Zepp or PGA first assistant professional, Jorge Diaz. Students who pay the $100 fee for these clinics also earn free unlimited practice range time on weekends. They are also entitled to an on-course discounted rate of $40 upon completion of the clinic session. This is 50% off our regular weekend sunset greens fee. These additional amenities provide plenty of opportunities for students to practice and work on the issues we discuss in the clinics. This program, in effect since 2014, attracts all demographic and market segments, including beginners, college and advanced golfers, couples and seniors. After the sessions we will send a recap of what we discussed as a group, as well as their individual issues to address. Most students are comfortable enough to reach out with additional questions, as we become their coaches for the month.

Ryan Young on the business impact of combining instruction with free practice facility time and discounted rounds to maximize student progress:
The success of the PGA Coaching Club is a reflection on the innovation of our professional staff, as well as a tribute to our stellar facilities at Chambers Bay. Students appreciate our knowledge and teaching skills, and realize what a great space we have on which to work. We average 10 students per monthly class, with occasional peaks of over 20 registrants at a time. A portion of these funds compensates the facility for the range balls, while the majority goes to the teaching staff. Proof of the program’s popularity is the high percentage of repeat students, upwards of 50%. Additional benefits of the PGA Coaching Club include an increase in private instruction attained by our staff. 25% of clinic students call on us for private lessons. Also, we can attribute over $1,000 in greens fees directly to this program in 2016. With the scheduled time of this program (early to mid-afternoon), many students will arrive early for a Saturday lunch or will stay afterward for dinner or drinks. They’ll also spend some money in our golf shop. For some of these individuals, the PGA Coaching Club is their only source of golf. Others use it as a catalyst to additional golf opportunities and lower scores. In this light, almost a dozen course memberships have resulted from these sessions.

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