Tim Garvin on the importance of collaborating with guest PGA Professionals:
As we all know, our business is one of collaboration and relationships. We serve our members to the best of our abilities, and strive to provide them with memorable experiences that build on their love of the game of golf. One idea that I had been considering, and decided to implement in 2018 was to invite a guest instructor to South Fork Country Club to share his thoughts and ideas with our members. Our inaugural guest instructor was John Hobbins of Greenside Golf Academy in New York City. John was the PGA Metropolitan Section Teacher of the Year in 2015 and is a Senior Level Certified AimPoint Instructor, offering concepts not often discussed at many local clubs. I had considered welcoming a guest instructor a year or two ago, but finally found John Hobbins to be an interesting and worthwhile initial guest instructor. With a great reputation and resume, John’s five scheduled two-hour sessions sold out in a mere four hours after I emailed our membership about the opportunity. The sessions were great educational opportunities not just for our members attending, but for my three assistant professionals. Our golf staff learned about the AimPoint concepts directly from an expert. They will be able to further educate our South Fork members going forward. The sessions were facilitated by John teaching the process and my staff and I working with our members, helping them to not only understand the concepts, but to apply them in their own game. This collaboration between me, my staff, and our guest instructor was attention paid to our members that they will appreciate for a long time, and an experience they won’t soon forget.
Tim Garvin on the business impact of collaborating with guest PGA Professionals:
Excitement around the club was such that more than three-dozen members signed up for John’s sessions, each paying $250 to attend. As host club, we received a portion of those revenues of course. But the primary impact to our business is the good will it created with our members. My staff and I do a robust lesson business and our members are supportive of our teaching, but they were also excited to welcome a past section Teacher of the Year, and were very interested in hearing how the AimPoint concepts could help their own putting. With my staff also learning from John during his sessions at South Fork, we are now better able to continue the discussions that our members want to have. This idea alone will increase our putting lessons. What this best practice comes down to is that members like when you do things that benefit them. This helps form relationships based on trust, and any PGA professional reading this can attest to the importance of those connections. Introducing members to new ideas should not be viewed as an undermining of your own business or abilities as a golf professional. On the contrary, it is an expansion of your own connections in the business and a shining example that keeping your members happy creates reliable customers in all aspects of your business long into the future.
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