Nick Kumpis

Nick Kumpis

Santa Ana Country Club

20382 Newport Blvd.

20382 Newport Blvd., Santa Ana, California 92707, 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:
2020 Southern California PGA Metro Chapter Teacher of the year, 2016-17 Golf Digest Best Young Teacher, 2008, 2009, 2010 U.S. Kids Top 50 Kids Teacher, 2011 U.S. Kids Master Kids Teacher

Total number of individual lessons given per year:
Male: 500
Female: 450
Junior: 550

Total number of individual clinics given per year:
95 – these include the Ladies beginner class, Sunday junior swing class, Sunday junior intermediate class, Ladies mini class, Short game on course clinic and Driver school clinic

Please indicate any Growth of the Game initiatives your facility/academy has launched over the past year (please give specifics on such programs):
In 2021 our Beginners Ladies clinic were a huge success with many of the clinics having 20 ladies attend. As they were getting more into the game they needed more programs to help improve their games and get them out on the course. From this I started the Ladies mini classes. These classes have a max of 4 ladies per class and are an hour in length. Each class would have pre-determined topics such as chipping, putting, bunker, and full swing. So if there was a certain area they were looking to improve they could come to that class. The first month I offered 5 classes and they all filled up. I increased the number of classes offered to 8 each month. Then I added a two-hour class on the course with ladies to help them improve their scoring, course management, rules, etiquette, and any other questions they had on the course. These were very popular as the ladies could see how valuable it was to get more course time. These classes have helped many ladies improve and get comfortable being out on the course and are now playing regularly.

As our junior program has grown every year we have had a good amount that continue to high school golf. Some of them have not played much tournament golf and are a little nervous about playing so many matches for the season. So this summer I got the incoming freshman together and setup times for them to play matches against each other. We would have it once a week with the goal when the season started they were ready for the high school matches. The matches helped them get comfortable playing with other junior golfers, better understanding of the rules, and understanding how every shot counts. Sometimes parents can make it easier on their kids by allowing them to hit an extra shot when playing to get some practice but in a match you don’t get that. Here in California the girls season is in the fall when school starts. The girls were ready when the season started and two of them made varsity. They were comfortable in the matches and it helped them play well. They were prepared for the season and from this had a successful freshman year.

Please share any programming you have made to keep your customers & students engaged:
As Director of Instruction at Santa Ana Country Club one of my main roles is running the junior golf program. This includes junior lessons, camps, clinics, tournaments at the club and juniors playing in tournaments.

The Beginner Ladies Clinic continued to stay strong and kept the ladies engaged in 2022. We had lots of new/ beginner ladies starting to take up the game but not sure how to get started and needed a way to start. The clinics were offered every other week and were an hour and a half long. It started off with about 7 ladies but within a two months it grew to over 24 per clinic. We had to add additional dates to accommodate the demand. The main goals of the clinics were to help them understand how to play the game and to get on the course and enjoy the game. During the clinics we showed them what clubs to use, what is the difference between the clubs, and teaching them the fundamentals on how to hit different shots – driver, fairway wood, irons, chipping, putting. Every other clinic we would take the ladies on the course and play 3 holes with the them. Since they were new we would also had to teach them rules, etiquette, how to make a tee time, when is best to play, how to come to the course and practice and everything you need to know to get started. After a few months some of the ladies starting playing 9 holes on their own, it was great. Over the year we had 25 new ladies playing on the course regularly with more new ladies coming to the clinics. Many of them have brought their friends to the clinics and out to play.

The junior program continues to offer yearlong programs In the summer we had 1 weeklong camps for 3 different levels from ages 4 -18 years old. We had about 200 kids participate this last summer. I have worked hard on getting younger kids involved in clinics and camps to start to learn the game and enjoy being at the course. We allow them to start at the age of 4 just like the other sports kids play such as soccer and baseball. They can start with lessons, camps, or clinics. At this age we work on golf skills, overall athletic skills, rules, etiquette and having fun. Some of the best parts of the camp are the poof drill (some baby powder on the grass to hit), hitting water balloons with driver or the final camp day putting contest. We have a ton of kids that repeat the camp many times.

One of the programs that is part of the yearlong junior program is the Sunday junior clinics throughout the year for beginner juniors and intermediate juniors. These clinics are an hour and a half every Sunday afternoon. The last class of the month we have a big putting contest with prizes for the kids. The intermediate juniors do the putting contest and also go on the course for their last class. The kids love getting on the course and teaching them to play is a huge part of our program.

One of our biggest events for our junior program is our 9 hole parent junior shoutout and BBQ. Kids and parents/ grandparents play 9 holes alternate shot then we have a BBQ and awards after golf. We have about 50 players for each event and have had as many as 80 players. Its a great way for the kids to get out on the course and play.

Another way to get the juniors on the course to learn how to play and give them some competition is our 4 tournaments we have during the year. We have the Junior Club Championship, the Summer Championship, the Santa Ana Junior Masters, and the Fall Championship. We have 4 age groups – 10 and under(divots), 11-12, 13-15, and 16-18. Each age group plays a different set of tees and play 5 holes, 9 holes, 9 holes and 18 holes respectively.

On Course Short Game School – To get a better feel for the short game shots that come up on the course I would take a group of students out on the course and do a short game school. We would start at the first green going over different aspects of the green and the shots that could come up and how best to play them. Then we would hit a few shots from the most common spots. We would go through the front nine doing this at all the greens. It was great for them to practice the actual shots on the course and ask about specific spots they had been in and how the shot could be played. We would do the front nine in one school and the back nine for another school. The students loved being able to hit shots on the course and have me there to see the shots.

Play with the Pro – Getting on the golf course with my students is such a great way to understand their game, what they need to improve and how to help them play better golf. I would play 9 holes with 3 – 4 students while keeping stats and notes of how they played from fairways hit, to distance from the green and what club was used, average length of first putt, etc. After the round I would send them 3 -4 areas that they should focus on to help improve their game. Some of them could be improving their tee shots, need to have better speed control from 30-40 feet on the putting green, work on shots from 100-125 yards. I would try to very specific based off the stats I kept so they know a specific part to work on versus just saying they need to improve their putting.

I have a good amount of group lessons of 2-3 kids or 2-3 ladies and always work to make sure lesson is fun and provide them with challenges during the lesson. For most newer golfers that are learning the game getting on the course to hit some shots is really exciting and I try to get them out on the course as much as I can. It helps them understand the shots they are working on at the range will be applied on the golf course. It helps them build confidence that they can do it and play on the course. Its also great when they make their first par or birdie and being able to see them do it is great.