Mon May 14 201210 tips for a successful Junior Program
The emphasis on the growth of the game for new junior participants has never been so apparent within the golfing industry. There are industry wide initiatives such as Golf Australia's My Golf, Golf Victoria & Stuart Appleby Junior Golf and countless local clubs doing their bit to encourage kids to play our great game of golf.
So for those clubs who have or are considering a junior golf program, here are 10 key tips to ensure your program gets more kids playing golf at your club.
- Fun, Fun, Fun... - engagement of the kids is paramount, keep them entertained, actively participating and most importantly mix the sessions up introducing new games each week.
- Regulations - parents expect your teachers to have working with children's certificates, display them in your Pro Shop. As a Club, you may want to consider less stringent dress regulations to encourage a more casual environment for the kids and their parents watching.
- Timing - how long will your clinic go for, 4 weeks, 12 weeks? Your sessions should be no more than an hour long, know your school holiday dates and prepare your marketing/clinics in advance. Kids are very busy these days, most of them participating 2-3 activities per week so take this into consideration.
- Preparation - the program needs to be planned, including activities each week - don't wing it. It will show. Also plan activities for when the weather is not favourable to being outdoors, again be prepared, do you have a golf DVD or indoor options ready as a fallback.... Think of what the parents would appreciate.
- Junior Membership - Clubs should have a pathway for development for juniors, in the form of additional clinics (more advanced skills) and then progression into a bridging program to assist them to be confident enough to move into a junior playing category.
- Communicate - email the kids regularly with new tips, golfing games and information for upcoming clinics. Create a Facebook page just for your juniors or have a dedicated area of your website.
- Sponsors - reach out to your suppliers, who can assist with products or services to increase the value of your clinics? Give the kids something to get them started, a 7 iron, a putter etc.... It's the beginning or early connection with the tools of the trade. It is simple to improvise with modifying older clubs... Look around or ask you members to donate anything older that could be used.
- Research - what do other clubs do in your region? What are the local school in the area and how can you get their students interested in golf at your Club? Speak to parents, what works for them?
- Price - when structuring your price for the clinics, consider the total kids per session, rather than an individual cost per student over the 10-12 weeks you'll be running the clinic.
- Club commitment - plan your commitment to juniors (who, what, when and why?). If possible, have your Board endorse the program to ensure the on-going commitment from the Club to allow for the best results in getting more kids playing golf at your Club.
Witten by Peter Vlahandreas
The Eastern Golf Club
Grant Garrison began his career as a PGA Golf Professional in 1984 and won a dozen professional events throughout the following 6 years. He left his playing days behind to became a Golf Club Director and managed 2 exclusive country clubs in Southern California from 1990-2000. During this period, Grant was elected as a board member of the Professional Golf Association of America and managed several "Grow the game" projects.
In 2000, Grant accepted a position with Nike Inc. and created over 100 Nike Golf Learning Centers throughout the United States. His responsibility was to create and implement new programs and provide on-going training to over 400 golf teachers. This program became the largest and most effective player development program in America.
In 2006, He started his own business in Los Angeles, California. The company specialized in high tech golf instruction using the latest bio-feedback learning systems. The company also provided custom equipment and repair. The company was sold in 2009.
In 2010, Grant became the National Golf Team Coach in the countries of Bhutan and Nepal and is the designer of the highest golf course in the world located between Bhutan and Tibet. He now resides permanently in Australia.
Click here to email Grant.
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