Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
PGA Section Teacher of the Year, GRAA Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, Golf Digest Best in State, Other (Indicate specific awards in 3-a below)
Other awards won (if provided):
2016 Middle Atlantic PGA Horton Smith Award, GOLF Magazine Teachers to Watch, GRAA Growth of The Game Top 50 Teaching Professional Elite Member Status
Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Total number of individual clinics given per year:
Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
New Member Clinics: one hour golf instruction and “welcome to the club” time with the Head Golf Instructor and fellow PGA professionals on staff. We give a 30 minute complementary golf instruction certificate to every new golf member. They can redeem these certificates during their first lesson at the club. Pop-in Ladies Clinics: one hour ladies golf instruction for the active lady golfing members of the club, to cover all aspects of playing the game. High Performance Clinics: one hour golf professional demonstration clinic (free to all members of the club) performed during “happy hour” and within walking or stumbling distance from the bar; golf pro demonstrates techniques, shots to hit and is overly-insightful on course management. This is a smash hit at our club, with many interactive questions and answers, post-demonstration. A frequent “What’s in The Bag” column in our Club Columns monthly newsletter keeps our members interested in what our pros play. Since we have ten PGA pros on staff, there is plenty of golf equipment to showcase. Offering “Fitting Days” in the Golf Performance Center helps us further the initiative to update your equipment and play what the pros play. During fitting days, I make it a point to personally introduce our members to our golf equipment sales representatives and stay during their fittings to assure them and offer my coaching advice. The sales reps appreciate this and say that it is the reason for high volumes of sales for them during our CCV Fitting Days. They say most other pros are not involved. That’s a shame, because these fitting days are great opportunities to grow the game, increase equipment sales, foster relationships, hand out free goodies and do follow up golf lessons with students. We offer off season golf fitness programs at CCV, where we take our students into the Fitness Center and show them the best golf specific exercises to follow. I prefer focusing on 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of stretching and 20 minutes of light weight training. I have published a stretching manual to supplement my fitness initiative. I sell it as a value added supplement during fitness lessons. Other Growth of the Game initiatives at my facility include personally publishing golf instruction articles in golf magazines, framing them and hanging them in my office. Students who visit the office see my awards on the wall and understand that professional instruction can be gospel for a larger audience, when in a local or national golf publication. We also encourage travel with our members, to grow the game. We go to their other clubs with them, as guests, and we host our members, ourselves, at pro-am functions and other PGA Section tournaments. I like to grow the game by personally volunteering for golf events, like our annual PGA Tour Champions event here at the club called The Dominion Energy Charity Classic. I am the starter for all pro-am days and for each of the tournament days on the tenth tee. My afternoon responsibility is on the driving range with the players and their caddies. I attend my PGA Section and Chapter meetings regularly, am often asked to give the morning benediction and am usually called on to stand up and offer fellows advice on being active in the association by following my lead with PGA Best Practices initiatives, staying up with PGA Certifications, like the Specialized Program that I recently completed and influencing fellows to continue mentoring young PGM interns at the club. So, just being an all around hard working, happy PGA professional at work and at PGA meetings is a good initiative to grow the game at my well respected golf facility.
Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
Contributing PGA pro golf instruction tip videos in our club’s monthly email to the membership, using Vimeo, has increased the customer base and kept regular students engaged. Encouraging viewers to stay in touch with emails, texts and phone calls, gives these video tips a personal touch. Our members seem to really look forward to the monthly Club Columns information email. The videos entertain and educate with little golf nuggets that they crave. Also, hosting Winter-Indoor Golf Simulator clinics inside of our Golf Performance Center has kept our golfing members interested, during the off-season. Teaching what Trackman ball data, Foresight GC Quad simulator golf, Swing Catalyst foot pressure and balance as well as SAM PuttLab putting metrics gives our members technical insight during the off-season. We set up golf instruction stations in every hitting bay, using each launch monitor and electronic swing instrument to really jazz things up and showcase our Golf Performance Center features. These sold out programs are offered at the beginning of each month and yield almost 100% attendee return for private instruction. It is fun to see how different students respond to the different stations, like watching a lady get the wow factor on the SAM PuttLab or a senior man finally understanding weight shift, using the Swing Catalyst. After our first ever one of these clinics, our ladies golf organization then requested that we do a “ladies night” for them, in the GPC, so we do it annually with plenty of wine and food involved. Our monthly “High Performance Clinics,” offered for free, as stated above, are a big hit in our golf programming initiative; they yield a 75% customer return rate, for private lessons. One really simple program that I have instituted in my instruction campaign has be offering a free grip to any student who has a club with a worn grip. Just popping a new grip on, for free means a lot to them. They often bring their entire set in when the time is right, to get all new grips installed. The Junior Golf Operation 36 program is very popular in the summer months, so we extended it into the fall and early winter months (weather permitting). Our parent involvement, during Sunday afternoon on-course captain’s choice events, has made our family interaction program really pop. Parents and grandparents are invited to pair up with their children for this easy on course format of scramble. Prizes and pictures for the newsletter keep the energy flowing. OP 36 for beginning ladies became a spin off from the success of the Junior OP 36 program. Bringing brand new ladies golfers out onto the course, from 100 yards out, using the ladies demo clubs and riding in golf carts has made the idea of playing golf seem fun and easier than expected. And, after all, isn’t that what keeping students engaged is all about? After a beginner clinic, ladies are encouraged to sign up for Ladies OP 36, to play golf from a modified distance to the green. Its a huge hit, especially when the participants tell their friends how much fun they had.