January 25, 2021

Sean Kicker: Allow Independent Golf Instructors to Teach on Your Range

Sean Kicker, the 2018 PGA South Florida Section Southern Chapter Youth Player Development Award Recipient and the Chapter’s 2019 Horton Smith Award Recipient, is the PGA Director of Golf Operations at Grand Palms Hotel, Spa, and Golf Resort, in Pembroke Pines, Florida

Sean Kicker on the importance of authorizing independent instructors to teach on your range:

When I started working at Grand Palms Hotel, Spa, and Golf Resort in the summer of 2018, I evaluated the facility’s strengths and weaknesses, determining what aspects of the operation needed immediate attention, and what items were less of a priority. One big change I implemented was to authorize a roster of independent golf instructors to use our golf range, bring in their own students, and pay only for the range balls used. The instructors retain all lesson fees with no financial obligation to our facility (other than range ball purchases), and in exchange they commit to helping with our youth golf program and also lead one of our special programs, whether it is Get Golf Ready, programs for women, families, or veterans. This trade-off is understood as part of the arrangement, but their teaching time on the range is done on their own schedule. The lesson income of our on-staff professionals is not affected by the presence of the independent instructors, as our head professional teaches full time, and our two assistant professionals get ample teaching opportunities as well. No toes are stepped on and everyone makes a living.

Sean Kicker on the business impact of authorizing independent instructors to teach on your range:

After one year in place, this arrangement has proven highly successful already. Range ball sales have increased from $24,000 in 2018 to over $60,000 in 2019, that’s a 150 percent increase in range revenues. Additionally, with a full roster of instructors teaching our customers, as well as students of their own, we are bringing more golfers to the facility than ever. They are practicing here and playing, supporting our dining services, as well as our golf shop. When you have more traffic throughout your club, revenues tend to increase across the board. As mentioned earlier, private lessons and clinic participation are also thriving. We’re bringing many new golfers to the game, growing the sport across our area.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email