Family Golf Groups

Lynne Hunter, a 2008, 2010 and 2011 U.S. Kids Golf Top 50 Teacher, is the PGA head professional at Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

The goal of our membership early in 2012 was to build our family golf programs and to create more family golf options at Kenwood. Taking a page from twilight events or wine and nine programs, I created the “family golf group” consisting of our previous 18-hole trophy events (father-son, parent-child) and newly added family golf “Nine and Dine” events. The new family golf dedicated times are Sunday afternoons between 3 and 5 p.m., with the time set aside for players who might play a bit slower than the normal membership. For the “Nine and Dine” event, families form a playing group, which can be any combination of mom, dad, brothers, sisters and grandparents, on Sunday afternoons at 4. The friendly competition is played over nine holes, in a scramble format, with the parents teeing off on the even holes and the juniors teeing off on the odd holes. That combination ensures that all family members will be involved. The course is set up as all par 3s, and the rounds usually take just more than 90 minutes to complete. In addition, a family golf menu with junior-friendly items is created for the casual reception after play. Many members have thanked me for creating a program where they can spend such great quality time with their family on the course. The kids have success on the course and are always asking when the next date will be, and are excited each time out. Through word of mouth we have new families that come out each month, which keeps the event fresh.

From the beginning, we have attracted between 40 and 44 players for each event. That number is perfect for play over 9 holes. The entry fee is only $5 and goes toward prizes. The food & beverage department receives revenue from the dinner after play. Perhaps the largest impact is the little time it takes to play. We are trying to offer more programs that do not take the typical four or five hours to complete. Having events like this, which are 100-percent full, will help to draw more participants to other events in the future. The event has been sold out each month.