Every Course in the Country Needs to Start This Now
If you care about the future of golf do your part. Circulated this article throughout the golf course business.
Every Golf Course owner, manager, and management company needs to schedule a meeting with their PGA staff. It's a meeting where the professional staff's job description needs an update. It's implementing a simple strategy to get golf back to a seller's market.
Every golf course professional staff needs to be committed to starting a minimum of 100 brand new golfers every year. Brand new golfers from ordinary people. But the teaching method needs to change dramatically.
START BY SHOWING NEW GOLFERS HOW TO PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF
I speak from experience because my new-golfer teaching method created a seller's market very quickly. My method was aimed at making ordinary people into golfers almost immediately. I didn't care about their skill levels. I cared about three things:
- Pace of Play
- Taking care of the golf course
Of course, I needed golf playing customers. That's what the 15,000 golf courses in the USA need right now!
MY NEW GOLFER CLASSES
I demonstrated how to play a golf course to classes of ordinary people who had never played golf before. I created several different types of group classes - women, men, couples, senior couples, and juniors.
So, lesson number one was "How to Play Around of Golf." With an emphasis on various procedures and safety. However, I began by explaining a set of golf clubs describing the 'wood' clubs, 'iron' clubs, and the putter. I described the golf ball, the reason for the dimples, the wooden tee, etc. I outlined the various parts of a golf course - teeing ground, fairways, sand traps, hazards, putting green, the flagstick, and the putting cup.
I emphasized the importance of playing around an 18-hole golf course in four hours. I recommended a few benchmark rules for them to follow such as how many strokes they should allow themselves on the fairway until they pick up and place on the green to start putting. Of course, while demonstrating ways to play, I acquainted them with basic rules of play. I emphasized the importance of taking care of the golf course.
After lesson number one I encouraged my new golfers to get out and start playing right away. "Why not get together with your fellow new golfers and arrange a game?" I would show them various times when the golf course would not be busy - great times to get out and play with less intimidation from seasoned golfers. Amazingly, many did just that.
If there's a short course anywhere in your area you should encourage your new golfers to try their first games there.
I knew my methods would work because in my early days as a starter I watched hundreds of brand new golfers with rented golf clubs tee off for their first time ever. It was in the 1950s and early 1960s. That's how golf began its post-WWII boom.
I did exactly what I outlined above in Peterborough, Ontario from 1963 to 1988. I introduced golf to thousands of ordinary people in a city where prior to opening our golf center very few even considered playing golf. I went from empty fairways in 1964 to six-hour rounds by 1970. Several new golf courses opened within 20-miles of Peterborough, and two 9-hole courses expanded to 18-holes to handle all the new golfers I created. I even had people driving 100-miles to Peterborough from Toronto to take my classes because there was no way to learn by my methods in their area.
IT STARTS WITH THE PROFESSIONAL STAFF
I highly suggest a meeting with your professional staff to discuss was to invite ordinary people to come out and learn to play golf. Set reasonable fees - never free - and a series of classes so your new golfers can see what they are about to learn. Be sure to indicate that you supply all equipment for the classes and that the new golfers need not run out and buy golf clubs just yet. In neighborhood golf courses you can promote using flyers. Running simple 'Learn-to-Play-Golf' ads in local newspapers should get results.
Here was my five-lesson agenda back in 1970:
- Lesson 1 - How to Play a Round of Golf. You'll learn about golf clubs, parts of a golf course, how to play without delay to melt into the traffic around the golf course. You'll learn basic procedures, rules, and safety.
- Lesson 2 - What you need to learn about the golf swing, ways to practice to develop your hand-eye coordination to be able to strike the ball consistently.
- Lesson 3 - How to use, practice, and play iron clubs.
- Lesson 4 - How to use, practice and play long clubs.
- Lesson 5 - Putting, chipping, pitching, sand trap shots.
During group classes, up to 16, never longer than one hour, I encouraged new golfers to consider private one-on-one lessons with a PGA professional if they wanted to accelerate their progress.
LOTS MORE TO IT, BUT THAT'S THE OUTLINE
When I say there are 10 million people out there waiting for an invitation to take up golf I'm talking as few as three people out of 100. Consider the numbers if every golf course in the USA got onboard.
- In 1990 the US population was approximately 300 million with approximately 30 million estimated golfers - approximately 10%.
- In 2017 the US population is over 330 million, but fewer than 24 million golfers - a decline of 6 million golfers - approximately 2%.
- 10 million new golfers (waiting for an invitation) only brings the participation rate back to the levels of 1990 - approximately 10%.
- If 306 million Americans currently don't play golf it means all we need is approximately 3.3 persons out of 100 to become golfers and we have 10 million more golfers - and golf is back to a seller's market.
CALLIN GOLF'S GENERALS - YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE
Golf should be booming. It's a healthy sport. All arrows point to playing golf, the benefits of neighborhood golf courses, happy social living, and living longer.
Do the Generals have any idea how much money each brand new golfer will add to the industry? WAKE UP!
The 10 million are waiting.
I'm ready to speak with any golf course owner, general manager, PGA Professional, or 'General' to help with ways to get a new golfer program started: 941-739-3990.
Mike Kahn, Golfmak, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org