Heather Angell

Heather Angell

Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club

10420 Washingtonia Palm Way

10420 Washingtonia Palm Way, Fort Myers, Florida 33966, US

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Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional

Other awards won:
2022, 2023 PGA National Player Development Award Nominee 2021, 2022 GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional 2021 South Florida PGA Southwest Chapter Teacher of the Year 2021 South Florida PGA Section Player Development Award 2019 South Florida PGA Southwest Chapter Player Development Award 2020-2021PGA Lead Cohort V 2020, 2021, 2022 US Kids Top 50 Honorable Mention 2023 – South Florida PGA Education Committee 2021-2023 – South Florida PGA Tournament Committee

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 618
Female: 585
Junior: 98

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):
As Director of Instruction at Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club, my growth of the game focus with individual lessons and eight clinics a week on average is also enhanced by several national growth of the game initiatives that I implement for students. My mission is to offer something for everyone. Students learn in different ways, so I try to offer a variety of ways for every student to learn so they can improve their game and enjoy golf more.

I have started several specialty clinics that focus on specific aspects of the golf game. I run a Speed Bootcamp using SuperSpeed Technology to help students increase their swing speed. Being certified in Level 2 of Aimpoint, I offer Aimpoint Bootcamps to help students read the greens faster and more confidently to make more putts. Another fun specialty clinic I offer is a Happy Hour Clinic to offer a more social aspect to golf with a different topic each week in addition to social time afterwards to discuss the topic and allow students to get to know each other. My short game bootcamp covers all things short game and is an intense three session bootcamp where the students get a wedge fitted for them to incorporate into their bag and golf game. My Mental Game Bootcamp tackles the mental aspects of golf and really gets the students thinking about how their mind can impact their performance on the golf course. This year, I added a Couples Golf School that was popular for a focused three-day session, covering all the basics, as well as time on the course. Another program I added was the Beginner Bootcamp, a four week session for beginners that covered the basics of golf. Being in a bundled golf community, all members are golf members and many do not take advantage of the golf opportunities available. I created Player Development Programs to encourage these members to try the sport out and see the health benefits, as well as the social benefits golf has to offer.

PGA HOPE – The PGA HOPE program is a program created by the PGA of America and helps veterans learn golf skills and network with each other. I became interested in helping this meaningful program and earned certification to teach the program. Fort Myers did not have a PGA HOPE Program, so I started one in the Spring of 2023. I hosted two sessions this year, a Spring session and a Fall session. It was very rewarding to help these veterans learn more about golf, while also helping them through their physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. It was a great experience to participate with several of my PGA HOPE graduates at the PGA HOPE Cup and the Heritage Palms Golf and Country Club Veterans Association Memorial Benefit Golf Tournament, which raised over $10,000 for the PGA HOPE Program.

As a thank you for their service, I regularly host complimentary clinics for veterans at my own club to help them with their golf games, but also to connect them with other veterans. Many did not know each other prior to the clinics and it has helped them create a bond with each other.

Tee It Forward – Creating a Forward Tee to encourage members to play up a tee to enjoy the game more. I play with all levels of golfers, so I recommend tee boxes for them to play to improve their skills and enjoy the game more. My club recently added a forward tee for juniors and beginners in golf to be able to experience the course at a distance that maximizes enjoyment early in the game.

Get Golf Ready – Introduce beginners to the game in a structured environment. I created a Beginner Bootcamp, a program for those just getting into golf to advance their skills and get onto the course after just 4 lessons. This program has been highly successful for beginners and includes aspects of the game like golf etiquette that help the beginners feel more comfortable out on the course.

Operation 36 – Getting people excited about the game and seeing success, like their first par on a hole or shooting par golf. I love incorporating this program into my programs and enjoy seeing the success of teaching golfers how to shoot par and advance back on the course. It also does wonders for their short games, honing them at each level.

Unfortunately, since Covid, the Board at the club decided to close the club to the public in the summer. Therefore, with our older clientele and few junior golfers, the Board decided against holding a Junior Camp option. I did not let that stop me from organizing a weekly program for my juniors who were interested. I worked with parents of my juniors to start a weekly program with them for instruction once a week after school to continue their progress. I found that several of them thrived in this environment, where the group setting was not as good a fit. These students were able to focus more one-on-one and found they enjoy the sport so much that they want to take it to the next level and start competing.

Drive, Chip, and Putt – I encourage all of my young students to participate in DCP. I have several students who advanced through each level and one who qualified for the Final Stage at Augusta in 2021. This year, I had an 8 year-old enter the competition for the first time and he was excited to see how he compared to other juniors his age. He advanced to the Regional Stage and found that he enjoys the competition. This event is a great opportunity for juniors to hone-in on their golf skills, while meeting other like-minded juniors.

As an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University for the past five years, I taught a class in the Professional Golf Management Program called Golf For Business and Life. It was a class for non-golf majors and taught students how to utilize golf in their non-golf careers. I found that most of my students had little to no golf experience. Teaching them how to play the game, as well as network, led them to be their company’s go-to for all things golf. I wanted their boss to think of them when he or she thought of golf, as it can lead to further business deals and connections that their fellow coworkers would not have access to. This class allowed me to reach a demographic that is not normally targeted in the golf industry. Giving them the access, the knowledge, and the opportunity to learn the sport and learn how to use it to make business connections allowed me to help this age bracket grow in the sport. My experience with my college class inspired me to write a golf book. Final edits are taking place and a publisher is secured.

This year, I was asked to reimagine, restructure, and instruct the Senior Level 3 Golf Practicum in the Professional Golf Management Program at FGCU. This gave me an opportunity to share my golf knowledge and shape the school’s instructional program for future PGA Professionals. I have really enjoyed mentoring these upcoming PGA Professionals and as the teacher’s teacher, affecting the future of the PGA.

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
I utilize several national programs, but the bulk of my focus on growing the game comes from offering a variety of options for all of my students. People have different learning styles and preferences, therefore, I offer multiple ways for them to learn more about the game and enjoy it more. I offer individual private lessons for those students who like the focused one-on-one attention where they can really hone their skills for improvement. Individual lessons can be in 30 minute or hour increments and I recommend that the first lesson a student takes with me be an hour so we have plenty of time to discuss his or her game, create a plan for improvement, and work on the changes so he or she leaves feeling good with them. I also offer playing lessons to help students who need help with strategy and transferring their game onto the golf course. One of my strengths when I played on tour was course management. Helping my students navigate the course in the smartest way possible helps them shoot lower scores.

I also offer on average eight clinics and bootcamps a week to give my students options other than private lessons. Not everyone wants a private lesson or can afford a private lesson. The small group lessons and clinics allow those who want a feel similar to a private lesson to obtain great instruction, but also learn with others. The clinics are broken down into Men’s Clinics, Women’s Clinics, and Couples Clinics so that students can learn in an environment that makes them feel most comfortable.

My specialty bootcamps focus on a specific golf topic and allow us to really narrow down that skill for maximum improvement. My Speed Clinic, Short Game Bootcamp, Mental Game Bootcamp, Beginner Bootcamp, and Aimpoint Bootcamp are some of my most popular options for students. Each of these takes an aspect of the game and brings that intensity for improvement over several weeks. Each student has the ability to work on the skills in between sessions to see maximum benefit and also return the next session to get any questions they may have answered.

For those students who like the social environment and want to learn with friends and also meet new friends in the process, I offer a weekly Happy Hour Clinic where we work on a specific skill and then gather for social time afterwards. I find that I have regular attendees who use the clinic as an opportunity to improve their game, but also enjoy time with friends. Many new people to the community attend as well to meet other members in a fun environment. I find that many of the participants end up staying for dinner and drinks after the clinic, which helps boost sales in the Food and Beverage Department on a day that is typically slower for dinner.

The year prior to becoming Director of Instruction at Heritage Palms in 2018, the club had 5 staff members who gave lessons and had a total of just under 300 lessons. The first full year post-Covid 2021 (club was closed for over a month in 2020), I was the only instructor at the club who gave lessons and had a total of 1086 lessons. The members appreciated having a full-time instructor. In 2022, I gave over 1200 lessons and over 150 clinics. Currently in 2023, I am on track to surpass that number. I am always learning new techniques and technologies to help my students play better golf and enjoy the game more.