Run Leagues for All Ages

jerry-stoneJerry Stone, the 2010 Northeast Conference men’s and women’s Golf Coach of the Year, is the head coach of the Robert Morris University men’s golf team and a PGA golf instructor at Scally’s Golf Center in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.

When I started at Scally’s in 1996, our owners wanted to maximize the use of both our par-3 course and short course. Their business knowledge, along with the customer base, allowed us to start three golf leagues: a ladies’ league, junior league and pee wee league. The ladies’ league on Tuesday nights has an average of 50 players signed up. It starts with three weeks of instruction, then 18 weeks of play. Our junior league (ages 9-15) has an average of 120 kids signed up for the summer on Thursday mornings; three weeks of instruction are followed by 10 weeks of play. And our pee wee league (5-8 year olds) has an average of 60 kids signed up for the summer. We begin with four weeks of instruction followed by six playing days. The final day for each league is a huge tournament with prizes and a cookout. Initially an effort to help boost our customer base, the leagues are now a fixture at our facility.

Due to these participation numbers, our food sales increased by 15 percent and golf course revenue by 20 percent, along with a major increase in total rounds played since the start of the program nearly 20 years ago. We also partnered with U.S. Sports Camps to host three Nike Golf camps. Each camp lasts one week with a 24-person maximum. The combination of these programs, along with the publicity that came with being named a GRAA Top 50 Stand Alone Range in the country, has allowed me to increase my teaching revenue by 30 percent. We also offer additional golf classes and clinics throughout the year, which include community college classes, and programs for adults, businesses, juniors and what we call our “little linksters,” which are 5- to 8-year olds. These programs, along with our well-manicured golf courses, mini-golf and annual brand new range balls, help to provide the best possible service to our customers on every visit. And that, we hope, is a victory for all involved.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.