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July 2018

2 Questions, 2 Operators


Many golf professionals push lessons in the spring, but by late summer bad habits can creep back into golfers’ swings. Jason Witczak, PGA director of golf instruction, The Club at Pradera and Pinery Country Club, two Arcis Golf properties in the Denver area, and Tim Cooke, director of instruction at The Golf Learning Center at The Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, discuss the importance of pushing summer tune-up lessons, club-fitting specials and demo days.

Golf Business: Do your members/customers realize there’s a good chance that bad habits can creep back once the summer is in full swing and what are their common faults?

Witczak: Our members are amped and eager to work on their golf game from spring through fall, as Colorado winter months are so unpredictable. With that in mind, we intentionally stage our summer programming to account for the end-of-summer “lesson slowdown” that can occur once golfers are playing every weekend and back in the thick of it. We counteract this issue by establishing strong programming in early spring and then place a heavy focus on technique in summer to keep them progressing.

Cooke: Part of the teaching professional’s job in developing a player’s skill is to create self-awareness of his or her swing so they can self-correct as needed. This heightened sense of swing allows for reduced lulls in performance, as the golfer will know when they need to return for continued instruction.

GB: Does your staff take advantage of this and offer mid-season lesson specials and/or club fitting specials, demo days, etc.?

Witczak: We find summer in Colorado is the best timing for demo days and club fittings, as it is when our membership is most active. We engage them through our unique programming, which includes our Elevation Junior Golf Academy and the “Sip and Swingers,” as well as the Member Club Championships. We tend to run more lesson specials during winter to keep our more dedicated golfers active when the weather is not on our side. This approach allows us to keep each member’s game in tip-top condition and helps us identify any bad habits that creep in.

Cooke: Creating a year-round program at The Sea Pines Resort has eliminated the need for discounts or mid-season deals. All of the instructors at The Golf Learning Center use an email database to stay in front of the clientele and promote upcoming programs. We have success by simply scheduling a follow-up lesson with students at the end of each lesson. That allows us to avoid “pushing” for lessons in different seasons of the year.

—Steve Donahue

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