Blake Isakson

Blake Isakson

Perfect Circle Golf

151 W. Moon Valley Drive

Moon Valley Country Club

151 W. Moon Valley Drive Moon Valley Country Club, Phoenix, Arizona 85023, US

Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
Other (Indicate specific awards below in 3-a)

Other awards won:
Top 50 US Kids Coach – 2020 & 2021

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 200
Female: 75
Junior: 200

Total number of individual clinics given per year:
Little Chippers (4-6 yrs) – 54; Juniors – 108; Summer Camp – 28; Women – 84; Men (new) – 3

Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
Women’s Play Days – We are fortunate to have a par 3 course at our facility, which is a great location for players to practice the skills they learn in our women’s group classes. We schedule at times when the course is more open, so the players don’t feel rushed, removing one of the biggest stressors for new players as they are learning to play.

Men’s Clinics – We recently added these clinics after several men at the club showed interest in instructional clinics like the classes we have been holding for the women. Each clinic focuses on a single topic, such as driver distance, green reading, or bunker shots. Our registrants have ranged from novice players looking to learn the skills to boost their confidence to advanced level players looking to improve their game.

Skills & Practice Program – We created this program as a step between our junior group classes and our elite level Tournament Program. The students attend 2x per week with one of those classes each week dedicated to teaching the kids how to practice.

PGA Family Cup – A family tournament where teams of 2-6 players compete in a modified alternate shot format. We styled the format in a way that was welcoming to players of all skills levels so that the event provides the opportunity for all family members to play together without feeling intimidated.

Summer PGA Jr League – We added a summer league option to our schedule to provide a new playing option for kids who may have had conflicts due to other sports seasons during our Spring or Fall leagues.

These are only the programs that launched in the last year; they are in addition to our other programs that have been in place for several years.

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
I am particularly focused on group instruction because it allows for the best combination of information and experimentation for the students. Students receive the initial information, then they practice using the associated drill/game. During that practice, not only is specific guidance provided on an individual basis, but students are able to experiment with the shots to find what works best for them and also learn by observing the shots their classmates are hitting. I believe the latter is an underutilized teaching tool and have found it to be very beneficial for students.

One of the things we do in our junior programming is try to create a “next” for the kids. We have a series of classes that progress as the kids move up in age and skill. We also use tournament golf as a goal, including PGA Jr League, US Kids tournaments, PING Junior Interclub, and the tournaments we run at the club. Tournaments help create a “next” for many kids and also helps them understand the “why” behind the different skills we are learning in class. We start with our regular group classes, then once the players pass Level 2 of the US Kids Player Pathway, they are eligible to join our Skills & Drills group. Once they pass Level 4 of the Pathway, they are eligible for our Tournament Program group. Each group represents a different stage in the players’ growth and commitment level to the game, so this progression meets their different needs and also allows the kids who are more committed to spend more time together working on their games. We also use this path to help parents understand where their child is at and when it would be appropriate to join PGA Jr League on the par 3 course or the full course.

To keep individual students engaged between lessons, I have created specific practice plans using Ikonik, which was purchased last year by Sportsbox AI, and then transitioned to using private YouTube links and Google Sheets to deliver personalized practice plans. The drills help the student create their own feedback loop, allowing them to improve not just when I am present but also when they are practicing on their own. The goal is always that of improving understanding, movement, shot dispersion, and scoring. My philosophy is that not all information is good and not all good information is helpful. By providing specific feedback through drills and activities, I can help my students to improve in a reliable, measurable, consistent manner while helping them to become their own best coach.