December 18, 2019

Stacey Christensen: Use Course Renovations to Drive Clinic Participation

Stacey Christensen, the 2012 Minnesota PGA Section Teacher of the Year and one of the 2013-2018 Golf Digest Top Teachers in Minnesota, is the PGA Director of Instruction at Minnesota Valley Country Club, Bloomington, Minnesota.

Stacey Christensen on the importance of using course renovations to drive clinic participation:

In the fall of 2017, our course completed a full bunker renovation, installing Ohio’s Best Tour Signature white sand to make every bunker play the same. We also took that opportunity to make alternations to several of our holes, modifying greens and moving some bunkers. Previously all of our bunkers were on the sides of greens, with the front of the green open. We wanted to add some variety and moved some bunkers to the front of green. Some of the areas that were bunkers or rough became tightly mown areas. So this resulted in two things: 1) the “hit a high pitch from rough over a bunker” was no longer your only option (as was putting from 35 yards away in the middle of the fairway), and 2) various types of chips off of tight lies either in front of greens or on the sides in the newly formed collection areas was in. This presented new challenges for our members and guests. So in May of 2018, I created a Wedge and Bunker Clinic to cover these shots. Included with this clinic was a free Callaway MD4 wedge of their choice. I would cover the differences of each grind and bounce and explain which would fit the best for each student. Based upon the knowledge and instruction they received, our members walked away from these clinics with a wedge fit for them to help them take on our renovated course.

Stacey Christensen on the business impact of using course renovations to drive clinic participation:

It was a huge success! I started with offering a single, 60-minute clinic with eight slots available. It sold out in within an hour, so I added two more, which also sold out. So in total 24 members got these personalized clinics. I ordered over 70 wedges to have on hand to make sure all lofts and bounces were available and ended up selling 33 wedges during these three clinics. I am always looking to add new programs for my members and guests. These were well received and added more clinic revenue to my bottom line while creating some buzz within the membership on how well these went. This helped to create 14 lesson packages sold, totaling 48 lessons for me, as students wanted to continue learning past the clinics.