April 1, 2015

The Haney Formula for Clinics

Hank Haney is in a fraternity all his own. It’s pretty safe to say that he’s the only golf instructor to have taught both the best player in the world (Tiger Woods) and the worst player in the world (Sir Charles). For now Haney has redirected his career and is focusing on everyone in between – everyday amateur golfers. Last year alone, Haney conducted clinics for more than 15,000 golfers across the globe. In the video below he details some of his strategies for hosting a successful clinic, which he says are applicable to all golf professionals regardless of how large or small their audience is.


Filling Seats

Anything you can do to build your brand one student at a time, one follower at a time is beneficial in the long run. People have a hard time turning down free so anything you can do to reach out to people. Whether it’s a free clinic, a free five-minute lesson or a tip on Twitter, it all helps.


Twitter is a perfect example of growing your fan base and followers one person at a time and giving people something for free. I can’t tell you how many people message me to say “Thank you” and tell me how impressed they are that I spend the time answering people’s questions. I have sent out more than 20,000 tweets to my 110,000 followers and everyone one of those tweets I have done myself.

Determine What Your Audience Needs

Your audience’s needs are pretty simple. They want to have an enjoyable experience, and they want to learn something that can help them play better golf. I make sure that my clinics are entertaining with stories and examples and I never talk above the audience’s level of expertise.

Story Telling

Story telling is a critical part of good clinics. The audience wants to be entertained as much as they want to be educated. You should always have a story or two in your back pocket that you can pull out at the drop of a dime. One story I tell a lot is about when I met Mark O’Meara in 1982 on the practice range at Pinehurst. It was his second year on tour, and he had been the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 1981. But when I met him he was 124th on the money list. Mark asked me to watch him after missing the cut at the tournament. I stood behind him for what probably seemed like a long time without saying anything and he finally turned and asked: “Are you going to say anything?” I said that I was thinking about what his plan should be, and that we should go sit down and talk about it to see if he wanted to do it. Mark said to me “I don’t have time to do that, there are three more tournaments this year and if I don’t make the cuts, I’m going to lose my tour card.” We ended up talking about what I thought Mark’s plan should be and started working that weekend. Mark kept his card that year and two years later he finished second on the PGA Tour money list and all of a sudden people knew who Hank Haney was. If it wasn’t for my meeting Mark O’Meara no one may have ever heard of Hank Haney. Everything that has happened to me in golf is because I met Mark at Pinehurst in 1982, but I was prepared for the opportunity when it came.

Making a plan for students

The most important thing you can have to improve is a plan. Everyone has a goal to play better golf, but a goal without a plan is nothing but a dream – so most people are just dreaming about playing better golf. To make a plan you need an accurate diagnosis of a player’s game at the present time. Golf is what the ball does so any plan has to involve fixing a players particular ball flight and you do it one step at a time. Fix the players big miss, then fix the next biggest miss and so on and so on all through the game from full swing to short game to putting.