Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson

Sankaty Head Golf Club/ LifeLong Golf

100 Sankaty Road

100 Sankaty Road, Siasconset, Massachusetts 02564, US

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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 awards won (if provided):
2021-2022 and 2023-2024 Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, 2017 US Kids Top 50 Teacher, Honorable Mention, 2013 Tennessee PGA Richard Eller Growth of The Game Award Winner

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 2023 Sankaty Head Season (4 months): 434 male individual lessons
Female: 2023 Sankaty Head Season (4 months): 260 female individual lessons
Junior: 2023 Sankaty Head Season (4 months): 78 individual junior lessons

Total number of individual clinics given per year:
At Sankaty Head, I host 42 adult clinics, 3 adult golf schools, 60 junior clinics and 2 junior camps each season. I host an additional 9 destination golf school and clinic experiences through LifeLong Golf each 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 to 2023 we provided “LifeLong Movement” classes. The goal of this class was to offer dynamic stretches, balance exercises and light-weight strength training that any golfer of any physical condition could do. Offered as an additional option to our TPI Golf Fitness classes, these sessions took place on the range, focusing on mobility, flexibility, coordination/pattern training and balance improvement. Participants learned specific pre-round routines, pre-practice routines and at-home routines. Each participant received a video recap of all exercises and drills to continue progress at home.

These classes became a highlight of the season for our seniors, golfers with disabilities, new golfers and even elite players seeking to add pre-round and post-round workouts. In fact, a highlight of this class was bringing a diverse group of golfers together. The new golfers and those with physical challenges became less intimidated to participate in our club events while the more advanced players were able to improve their basic functionality in a relaxed and supportive (versus competitive) environment. Significantly, 4 of our participants with Parkinson’s disease, were able to begin enjoying golf again by building the stamina to practice and even start playing 9 holes.

This season we also continued to grow our featured guest golf school program. This season we hosted these three invited instructors:

• Ladies LifeLong Golf School featuring LPGA Tour Legend Michelle McGann. Sessions included the scoring game, putting school, full swing fundamentals and a rare opportunity to play with Michelle while talking about course management and human skills. This school was sponsored by Titleist and FootJoy who provided a ball fitting and footwear shopping experience to help our ladies kick-off the season with great equipment. 30 women participated with skill levels ranging from recreational to advanced.

• Putting School featuring specialist Preston Combs. This was open to men and women and included two-days of putting technique, aim point green reading and distance drills. 26 golfers participated—57% men, 43% women of all skill levels.

• The Mike Bender Golf School open to men and women. Sessions included the scoring game, bunker game, ball striking fundamentals and dynamics of driving. 30 golfers participated— 75% men, 25% women of all skill levels.

In addition to our members benefiting from diverse styles of teaching, our staff also benefited from these schools. This year we included a coach training session with each guest teacher in order to continue to the education and inspiration of our own professional staff. We incorporated training aids (such as the Bender wall and Preston’s putting mat) into our private lesson instruction meeting bi-weekly to discuss how we’ve incorporated coaching skills and drills from each guest professional. There was a noticeable improved level of teaching from our professionals as the season progressed and we shared our experiences, ideas and challenges.

As well as being the Director of Instruction at Sankaty Head Golf Club, I own LifeLong Golf. LifeLong Golf creates learning and playing experiences at destinations across the USA, Caribbean and Europe. In our second year, we hosted 9 destination golf school and clinic experiences. We expanded our destinations to include two international sites, Aurora Resort (Anguilla) and Casa De Campo (Dominican Republic). Throughout these schools, we coached 79 golfers ranging from recreational level to single digit handicap players.

New to 2023, LifeLong Golf began a “LifeLong Learning Series” with the goal to cultivate creativity, success and continuing education among established and aspiring teachers and coaches alike. This year’s learning series included five speaking engagements:

• Titleist Instructors Forum at the PGA Show: “Best Practices For Engaging Women Golfers”
• New England PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit: “Build The Pathway To Success—What Is In Your Toolbox?”
• Penn State PGM Presentation: “From Here To Where? The Path To Teaching, Coaching & Owning My Own Business”
• Oklahoma Girls 5A State Championship Dinner (featured speaker): “Golf After Graduation: How You Can Shape The Future Of Golf”
• Essex County Club Professional Staff Seminar: “The Coaching Eye”

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
Each year at Sankaty Head, we strive to create clear pathways of improvement from beginner to elite level. Whether you are an adult or junior golfer, there is a progression of clinics, golf schools, camps, private lessons and events for you to enjoy as you strive to reach your goals.

For our adult group instruction, this includes the following weekly group classes (classes were open to men and women unless specified otherwise):

• LifeLong Movement Classes
• Golf Fitness Classes (TPI & Mach 3 Speed Training)
• Ladies Essential Skills Clinics
• Ladies Operation 36 Play Days
• Ladies On-Course Skills Clinics (Course Management, Special Scenarios & Vision54 training)
• Men’s Essential Skills Clinics

Our group instructional offerings significantly impact the continued growth of our private lesson program. Even a full year after a return to normal post COVID, we saw a rise in new golfers attending our group classes and then progressing to private sessions. Over 45 new adult golfers participated in our instructional program and overall our already robust adult group classes and golf schools increased by 23%. Despite an unusually wet second half to our 4-month season, we held at 919 hours of private lesson instruction across all our professionals. This is a 57% increase over instructional hours taught since beginning our instructional program in 2017.

Our junior golf instructional program experienced another great season of clinics and camps. We hosted 60 hours of junior group programming including junior play days and beginner, intermediate and elite level clinics. We saw our largest participation in intermediate and elite level clinics as we had a number of juniors graduate up a level this season. Additionally, we hosted 2 sold-out three-day junior camps. In total we had 177 juniors participate in our clinics and camps. Instructional income rose 17% for our junior golf coaches.

LifeLong Golf

This year marked our second year in partnership with Titleist and FootJoy, Our Men’s and Women’s Golf Ambassador Schools and Clinic Series were hosted at 7 domestic and 2 international destinations including Aurora Resort (Anguilla), Innisbrook Resort (FL), PGA Golf Club (FL), Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic), Lake Murray Golf Course (OK), Dornick Hills Golf Club (OK), Essex County Club (MA), Sankaty Head Golf Club (MA) and The Broadmoor (CO).

The mission of these schools and clinics is to give recreational and dedicated golfers alike the support they need to enjoy the game for life. Each LifeLong Golf school is a curated experience customizing the curriculum, destination and events to participant goals and skill levels.

LifeLong Golf provides a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio that includes myself and other Top 100 teachers or LPGA Tour players at each LifeLong Golf event. This format allows participants to experience different coaching styles while learning both on the practice facility and golf course each day. School themes included: game management, speed training, how to be a better player including human skill training, the scoring game, stat tracking & competitive play, and TPI fitness and swing fundamentals.

In addition to improving playing skills, golfers are provided with the equipment and footwear that support their skill level through Titleist ball fittings and FootJoy shopping experiences. Significantly, women focused schools are able to directly impact the future of equipment, footwear and apparel by meeting industry leaders and decision makers within the Acushnet family. During these sessions, women are able to voice how the golf industry can make golf a more approachable sport, catering to the specific needs of women players.

After completing our second year of hosting destination learning experiences, we are already seeing return participants. In 2023, 12% of school participants were returnees and 95% of participants were referred by a golfer who had attended a school or clinic in 2021-2022. This trend is continuing into 2024 where our first school on Anguilla consists of 100% returnees and our next three schools include at least one returnee with the remaining participants seeking LifeLong Golf through referrals.

The best testament to our mission is that participants continue onward with new golf friendships that are taking them across the country to play in member-guests, invitationals and even on vacations with golfers they would have never met without LIfeLong Golf. Equally rewarding, participants continue to report in with career round scores, tournament wins and, maybe the biggest win of all, the ability to join in ladies day, men’s games and club events with new found confidence. LifeLong Golf remains supportive of students throughout the year with remote coaching through Coach Now, Zoom lessons and practice plan management.