Beginner Clinics During Outings

Hill Herrick, the 2011 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA head professional at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

We host a lot of events at our club and, in my experience, not everyone will want to play in the event. In fact, many times people feel peer pressure to play golf even though they do not have the skill level to do so. We created a beginner’s golf clinic for these attendees; it shows them not only how to play the game, but also teaches proper etiquette and how to interact on the golf course. It can really be an invaluable learning tool. A clinic, which can be as short as one hour, will help beginning players improve their games so the next time they are invited to play, they will not feel so intimidated. It’s an opportunity to reach more potential golfers, as outings here tend to draw lots of people. It’s also a great way to showcase the facility, since we allow to them to use our amenities while being involved with the clinic. It’s something that a lot of event planners don’t think about doing, but it strengthens the participation and excitement when people attend an outing.

I think the main thing that these clinics do is expand our reach while improving our reputation. Being able to cater to these new golfers shows that we care about our guests. We want to make every person that comes to our facility for an outing feel very comfortable, with hopes that they will return again soon. The clinics generally lead to some extra private golf lessons afterwards. The income potential for two or three extra lessons per group is roughly $30,000 annually. And there are other benefits that come from this clinic, such as improving our food & beverage sales and merchandise sales.