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Monique Thoresz

Monique Thoresz

Monique Thoresz, PGA

89 County Center Rd

89 County Center Rd, White Plains, New York 10607, US

mthoresz69@gmail.com

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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:
Metropolitan Section Player Development Award, US Kids Top 50 Coach

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 350
Female: 350
Junior: 650

Total number of individual clinics given per year:
120

Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
The 2022 season continued the incredible upward trajectory of the golf industry in general and at Apawamis specifically. As of November, our rounds of golf are up 28% over historical averages (not including the Covid years of 2020 and 2021). We have a robust player development program at Apawamis, where we are extremely fortunate to have a very active membership and a two-plus-year wait list for golf membership. Like many clubs, we experienced an unprecedented number of rounds in 2020 and 2021 and our tournament and instructional programs continue to be at or over capacity.

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.

Our total lesson revenue has grown over 730% since 2010 through our introduction of exciting programs that have energized our core membership and attracted new golfers and re-engaged non-core and lapsed golfers.

Though we have grown in all demographics (men, women, juniors, new golfers, lapsed and non-core golfers), the single biggest area of improvement has been our junior golf operations. Our junior golf revenue has increased over 520% since 2013.

Our instructional program has grown so much that we need to add another full-time instructor to our team! And we are not a club that is short-staffed; we have seven full PGA members and 2-3 interns on our golf staff – but we still need more professionals. When I first began working at the club in 2011, we had 5 PGA professionals and no interns. Getting to the point where we need to add another instructor is an incredibly good problem to have, and shows that we are doing everything we can to grow the game.

Some of the offerings that we prepared for the 2022 season included:
• Unlimited Clinic/Supervised Practice subscription-based program (this was added in 2021 and was so successful that we added more sessions)
• Ladies Play Golf in 6 weeks program based on Operation 36 principles;
• Practice Like the Pros evening clinic series targeting working members;
• Numerous single-session clinics targeting various areas of the game (putting, chipping, bunkers, etc);
• Mach 3 speed clinics to help members gain distance;
• Wedge Clinics for scoring zone improvement
• Basic and Advanced Short Game Schools – in 2022, we brought back these popular clinics for men and women focused on technique and scoring principles on chipping, pitching, putting and bunker play.
• Individual Training Programs to break scoring goals (80/90/100)
• “6 at 6:30” monthly events/playing opportunities
• Twilight golf tournaments (member-member and member-guest)
• Junior Spring Break Clinics
• Junior Demo Day/Drive Chip and Putt (club-only)
• Host a local qualifier for the national Drive, Chip and Putt competition
• After School and Weekend Junior Golf Clinics
• Junior Summer Tune-Up Clinics
• Junior Girls’ Saturday Clinics
• Junior Summer Programs – continuation of our two advanced summer programs: Advanced Junior Golf Academy and Elite Academy, in addition to the Club’s multi-sport, full-day summer camp
• Fall PGA Junior League team
• Junior Fall Ball and Junior Play with the Pro programs

For specific details on the programming we had prepared for the 2022 season, including specifics of days/hours offered, please see the pdf attached to my email to Julie Yuen on November 23, 2022.

As mentioned above, our junior golf programming is a huge source of pride for us at Apawamis. Beginning in 2020, we tripled the number of hours of junior programming that we offered for the summer (from 2 hours per day to 6 hours per day and expanded from 6 weeks to 8 weeks) and more than doubled the number of participants.

In our summer programs we now offer 192 hours of instruction to over 100 kids in our advanced programs (AJGA and Elite), which is in addition to the club’s general sports camp, during which we teach golf 3 hours a day to rotating groups of over 150 juniors between the ages of 5 and 12. In all, for an 8-week period in the summer, we teach 9.5 hours per day of junior golf programming, which is in addition to any other individual lessons, clubfittings, and tournament work. We now are in the unfortunate position of having to turn away participants for our advanced summer programs, as we have essentially run out of space on the Club’s property to teach any more junior programs, which is both astonishing and sobering.

We have made a priority over the past few years to keep our junior programming going strong during the fall so that we don’t lose kids until the next summer. Our fall junior golf programs are now bursting at the seams. We offer both playing and instruction opportunities, including after school clinics, weekend junior clinics, a Fall Ball series and junior Play with the Pro series. We continue our clinic series throughout the winter not that we have two assistant professionals staying on year-round.

New for 2022, we added a testing component to our junior golf program as a way to evaluate how well our juniors are progressing and how well we are teaching. Because I am a US Kids Top 50 instructor and we also have 3 other US Kids certified instructors on staff, we decided to use the US Kids Player Pathway Program as our evaluation system. The program comes with an app that allows us to evaluate various skills of our juniors (full swing, around the green, putting, on-course/scoring, and “knowledge” – rules, etiquette and equipment knowledge) to determine whether we are doing a good job with our instruction and the kids are ready to move on to more advanced topics. Our staff enjoyed using objective criteria to evaluate our kids and our kids enjoyed progressing through the system, knowing that they were learning and improving.

Looking towards 2023, I am adding a small pilot program for some of my advanced juniors who are pursuing a dream of college golf. The program will allow me to provide greater support for these athletes such as detailed practice plans, tournament play observation by me, tournament preparation (how to make the most of practice rounds, nutrition, yardage book preparation, etc.) and other topics.

Simply getting to the point where this program is necessary is astonishing and extremely gratifying. When I first began working at Apawamis, there were no kids who even considered college golf as an option – it simply wasn’t in the consciousness of our members or their kids. Over the years, as we have steadily built our junior program, our kids are now believing that this path is possible and are working hard towards making it a reality. This year, we sent our first college golfer off to her freshman year at Bowdoin College! And we have two more juniors being actively recruited by college programs and more than a dozen others who are a bit younger who are a part of our “college golf dream community”. What this means is that we have created a culture in our junior program where kids can see themselves playing college golf and are working hard to position themselves to get recruited. I could not be more proud of how far we have come in just over a decade!

Like many clubs, we are still sorting through the effects of the Covid years and trying to assess how it will continue to affect our programming going forward. We are extremely fortunate to have a very active membership that supports our programming in addition to taking a great number of individual lessons. The atmosphere and culture at the club has allowed us to significantly grow the game of golf over the past decade – we have added newer golfers to our already strong contingent of experienced and active golfers, and our junior program has never been stronger.

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 have applied to be on the PGA’s National Committee for Junior Golf and Programming, which will set the national agenda for the PGA on these issues. 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 2022 programming, but I’d like to share with the Committee some of the initiatives we’ve had in past 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 also considering bringing one or more guest instructors to the club in 2023, which will provide some depth to our programming and expose 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. We are fortunate to have a very busy, very active membership that keeps our teaching staff incredibly busy all year round. As noted above, for 2023, we are adding another full-time teaching position in order to be able to accommodate the growing demands of our membership.

In addition, for my own personal teaching practice, I have been working with a graphic designer on updating the drill library that I created last year, which is a collection of many of the ideas that I’ve been working on over the years in a usable and accessible format. I am also reviewing the club’s website to keep it updated with our program, including outlining a Roadmap for Junior Golf, a College Golf 2030 Master Plan, as well as other useful items for my teaching practice. I’ve included some examples of those items in my email to Julie Yuen in support of my application.

These ideas and more are what has contributed to an overall growth in lesson revenue of 730% in the past 12 years. In short, we’re extremely proud of the development of our instructional program and how it has benefitted the club as a whole. 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.