Monique Thoresz

Monique Thoresz

Quaker Ridge Golf Club

146 Griffen Ave

146 Griffen Ave, Scarsdale, New York 10583, US

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Please indicate past awards won/recognitions:
GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, Other (Indicate specific awards below in 3-a)

Other awards won:
Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers to Watch, US Kids Top 50 (multiple years) GRAA Top 100 Growth of the Game (2021, 2022)

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 300
Female: 300
Junior: 600

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):
After 12 years at my prior facility, and as a direct result of the success of the programs that I built there, I am extremely humbled and proud to have been named as the first-ever Director of Instruction in the 107-year history of Quaker Ridge Golf Club.

With this new opportunity comes a limitless number of new programs that I am introducing (little by little) to my new membership. This first year has been about getting to know members and introducing them to new programs. In particular, I have found a hunger by our women’s demographic for a more structured clinic program, as well as some men and women who are looking for more individual improvement programs to help them achieve their playing goals.

Our existing junior program at Quaker Ridge was fairly small, and I am very excited to be building a comprehensive, structured program to set up a decades-long trajectory of excellence! Based on what I built at my prior facility, I have the knowledge and experience to fast-track the progress that was made and streamline the process as much as possible.

As Director of Instruction, it is my mission to craft programs that provide as much opportunity as possible for our members to practice and improve. In order to do that, I spend the last few weeks of the year reflecting on what programs were successful and what we may need more of in order to service our membership. By January 1, I have our entire clinic and group instruction program ready to be rolled out, and our website is updated and our program booklet detailing our offerings is mailed out to the membership. Obviously this year, I was working “from scratch” at this new facility, and here are some of the programs that I introduced for the 2023 season:

• April Tune-Up clinics (mixed) – individual 90-minute clinics covering full swing and short game principles as an entry into the season;
• Women’s Unlimited Clinics – 8-session series with specific topics set in advance (full swing, chipping/pitching, putting, speed/distance, bunkers, uneven lies and Q&A/open forum);
• Weekend Women’s clinics (8-session series targeting women who either work or otherwise cannot make it during the week). Specific topics are set in advance (full swing, chipping/pitching, putting, speed/distance, bunkers, uneven lies and Q&A/open forum);
• Women’s Get Golf Ready program (based on Operation 36 principles) – four 2-hour sessions with a short clinic on a fixed topic and then get on the course to learn to score from shorter distances;
• Numerous single-session clinics for men and women targeting various areas of the game (putting, chipping, bunkers, etc.) – individual 1-hour clinics;
• Speed clinics to help members gain distance – individual 90-minute sessions;
• Basic and Advanced Short Game Schools – these were tremendously popular at my prior club, so I introduced them at Quaker Ridge to great success as well. Single 3-hour sessions focused on technique and scoring principles on chipping, pitching, putting and bunker play.
• Individual Training Programs to break scoring goals (80/90/100);
• Practice Club – an informal group of novice women players who agree to get together at fixed times (set up by group text) for practice, once they let me know a day and time, I create a practice plan for them to follow for that session;
• AimPoint clinic – I brought in an AimPoint certified instructor to give in-depth instruction on the AimPoint system – we held three 2-hour sessions throughout the day to great success;
• Mach 3 Speed Training Clinics – I brought in the Mach 3 team from San Antonio to give two 3-hour clinics to the members to train them in the system and have followed up with participants to measure their gains;
• Flow Code Clinic with Dr. Rick Sessinghaus;
• Junior Demo and Fitting Day – the first time we have ever had a junior demo day, giving us a chance to introduce parents to the process of junior clubfitting and establishing relationships for our new junior program;
• Spring After School and Weekend Junior Golf Clinics;
• PGA Junior League – clinics and matches;
• Junior Early Summer Golf and Tennis clinics – two week-long clinics leveraging the relationship with the tennis program to bring juniors into our program;
• Junior Late Summer Golf and Tennis clinics – two week-long clinics leveraging the relationship with the tennis program to bring juniors into our program (given that our juniors typically attend 7-week sleepaway camps, we do not have a summer program during that time);
• Fall PGA Junior League team (this is the first time this has been offered at our facility);
• Junior Fall Ball program – clinics followed by on-course play for our juniors – this is an important expansion of our previous junior program and will allow us to continue to build excitement and competence among our juniors;
• Winter Junior Clinic and Tournament Program (Simulator tournaments) – a further expansion of our program and an opportunity to make golf a year-round sport for our juniors, which should significantly increase participation in years to come;
• Introduction of US Kids Player Pathway for measurement and skills testing of our juniors so we can evaluate our teaching methods and make sure that we are tracking towards success.

This year I am especially proud of a pilot program (Committed Athlete Program) I created for some of my advanced juniors who are pursuing a dream of college golf. Because I changed facilities in January, the students in my program are all from my previous club who followed me over to my new facility. However, I have already recruited one student from my new facility into the program and hope to grow it even more in the future. The CAP program allows me to provide greater support for these athletes, including things like preparing detailed written practice plans, observing two of their tournaments (an invaluable benefit to both me and the students), tournament preparation (how to make the most of practice rounds, nutrition, yardage book preparation, etc.) and other topics. I’m incredibly proud of the successes of these students this season – they all significantly improved their stroke average and fired personal bests, and they moved closer to their dream of playing college golf. I am so excited for what is to come with these students next season!

Given my experience at my prior facility, I am more prepared than ever to scale up our golf programs here at Quaker Ridge. I am keeping detailed records of what current participation levels are and what programs we are introducing. I have a whole host of programs that I have used previously, and I can add those programs little by little as time goes on to keep our content fresh and current. One of the most exciting things to me is that our club has never had a Director of Instruction before, so we have never had a comprehensive program that considers all of our constituents with an eye towards expansion. My intention is to grow our programming and keep our professional staff busy with continued outreach to all corners of our membership.

At my prior facility, through our programs I was able to grow our overall lesson revenue over 730% and our junior golf revenue over 520% over 12 years – an unprecedented growth that speaks volumes. Through those programs, we energized our core membership and attracted new golfers and re-engaged non-core and lapsed golfers. I am confident we will do the same at Quaker Ridge.

I am perhaps most excited about the opportunity that is presented with our junior golf program. Quaker Ridge has always had a small junior program, and there is a strong culture of our juniors attending 7-week sleepaway camps during the summer. This is one reason that I was warned that it would be difficult to build a junior program here. However – I view it as an opportunity to build a year-round golf program! Taking advantage of existing structure with pre- and post-camp clinics and adding on weekend programming in spring, fall and winter gives us the opportunity to make golf a year-round sport at our club. Which is not the same things as early specialization, it simply means that our juniors will be connected to golf throughout the year instead of thinking of golf as simply a summer sport.

Much of our success will come from creating an intentional culture with our members and juniors alike. In past years, golf has been treated as an “add on” by many of our members – just one of many activities they can choose on a given day or weekend. My mission is to have golf be at the forefront of their minds so they choose it more often – and if we are offering the right mix of programming and providing solid instruction to back it up, we should be well on our way.

To get a sense of what kind of instructor I am and how we conduct our programs, I invite you to look at my Instagram page, where I have a very active account that gives some in-depth insight into me as a teacher and how our programs work. My Instagram handle is @MoniqueThoresz_Golf.

Growing the game of golf is extremely important to me, and I spend a great deal of time, effort and money studying with some of the best instructors in the country so that I can continue to improve my teaching skills for my membership. I regularly attend conferences all over the country (Top 100 Teaching Summit, PGA Magazine Teacher of the Year Planning Conferences, Coach Camp, Flatstick Academy, US Kids Instructor Programs, to name a few) and I have a vast network of some of the best and brightest instructors in the country that I regularly connect with on issues such as teaching and programming. I am a member of the Education Committee, Communication Committee and Junior Committee in the Met Section, and I have presented to the Section on Program Development and other topics. This year I began a four-year term on the PGA’s National Committee for Junior Golf Development, which will set the national agenda for the PGA on these issues. Thanks in large part to the programs I’ve created and the success I have had, I was recently named a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher to Watch. I am constantly striving to become a better professional and provide more value to my membership and fellow professionals.

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
In answering the previous question, I have listed all of our 2023 programming, but I’d like to share with the Committee some of the initiatives we’ve had in prior years. As previously mentioned, every year around this time, I re-evaluate our programming for the season and determine what works and what needs improvement. It’s my job as the Director of Instruction to create an atmosphere where all levels of golfers can find something that appeals to them so that our membership remains engaged.

The following are initiatives that we have offered previously to our membership and which could potentially be improved upon or brought out again at another time if the circumstances warrant:

• Ladies Rookie League – a clinic series for newer golfers, using scoring principles similar to Operation 36 to get students acclimated to game-like situations.

• Newbie Tuesday – a twice-monthly program where brand new golfers come out for 2-3 holes and learn the etiquette and basics of how to play. We cover everything from how to get your bag out of storage, to how to tip the locker room attendant to where to drive the golf carts. ** This program is going to be reinstated for 2023 as we prepare for an additional instructor to join our team**

• Majors of Golf Clinics – a series of clinics where we focused on the venues for each PGA Tour major and selected a golf skill that would be necessary for the PGA Tour players to perform well (i.e. driving it straight to hit more fairways at a US Open, for example).

• Ladies Golf Team – a program targeting intermediate players who wish to learn more about match play scoring to get ready for interclub competition. We held clinics and simulated matches and reviewed rules that are necessary to know for competitive situations.

• Ladies Score Better Clinics – clinics designed for intermediate golfers looking to focus on scoring principles and breaking 100. ** This program is going to be reinstated for 2023 as we prepare for an additional instructor to join our team**

• Men’s and Women’s Spring Boot Camp – we’ve offered these mixed clinics as the perfect tune-up and to get the spring season going.

• Mixed On-Course Clinics – on course clinics focused on strategy, shot selection, and other specific on-course skills such as uneven lies, etc.

• Afternoon With the Pros – 45-minute clinics followed by 6-9 holes with professional staff.

• Happy Hour Clinics – mixed (men and women) clinics on single topics targeting the after-work crowd. ** This program is going to be reinstated for 2023 as we prepare for an additional instructor to join our team**

• Drive, Chip and Putt Clinics – these clinics focused on teaching juniors the essential skills necessary for success in this national competition.

• Parent-Child Clinics – these clinics invited parents and grandparents of our juniors to participate and offer a chance for us to educate them about how to help their children with golf, give instruction and let parents watch and understand principles of golf instruction.

• Golf With Your Girlfriends (girls’ on-course clinics) – a complement to our Saturday Girls’ clinic, but focusing on the on-course component to get middle school-aged girls out on the course more often.

We are bring in guest instructors on various topics (Mach 3 Speed Training, AimPoint and Flow Code with Dr. Rick Sessinghaus, which provides some depth to our programming and exposes our members to some high-level national teachers that they would not otherwise be exposed to.

Hopefully you can see that our programming uses a wide variety of clinics targeting all levels of golfers in an effort to engage our core golfers as well as our new golfers and upcoming junior golfers. Although we are technically a seasonal club, we are extremely fortunate to have a teaching facility with six TrackMan bays that keeps our membership coming to the club in the off-season to continue working on their games.

In addition, for several years I have been working with a graphic designer on creating and updating a drill library, which is a collection of many of the ideas that I’ve been working on over the years in a usable and accessible format. This year I added a substantial amount of material to the library, which I have shared with students to help improve their games. I am also working with the club’s administrative team to update the club’s website with our programs, including outlining a Roadmap for Junior Golf, a College Golf 2030 Master Plan, as well as other useful items for my teaching practice.

In short, I’m extremely proud of the strides we’ve made in the development of our instructional program and how it has benefitted the club as a whole, and I am extremely excited about the future at Quaker Ridge. When golfers play better, they come back more often and support the club more, so our goal from an instructional standpoint is to keep giving the members more of what they want and need to help them with their game and keep them coming back.

Thank you very much for your consideration of my application.