Knowledge Library

Keeping stats on your teaching business is the key to success

Feb 10, 2020

Any veteran teacher will have a general feel for when things are going well, but the one way to be sure is by the numbers. Here are your key indicators.

We don’t truly know if we’re succeeding unless we can mark our progress using metrics—and stay on track by checking our numbers over time. That’s a fact of business life that only recently has gained major importance in golf instruction.

So, when a golf coach is asked how things are going, and they say, “My business is great,” they’re not providing much of an answer. The natural follow-up question would concern year-to-date gross revenue. What’s that number? Next question after that: How am I trending compared to my 2020 goals? And it’s always good to ask the simple question: How many lessons did I teach last month?

It’s natural to conclude that business is good because you can make the mortgage payment or because you felt like you were on the go all day. But imagine if you could use goal-setting, long-term strategy and ongoing measurement to boost your business 15 percent—or 25 or even 50 percent. Wouldn’t you want to give that a try?

If you agree with the premise, next step is selecting the stats and metrics to load onto your spreadsheet. Here’s a partial list:
 

  • Total lessons taught
  • Type of lesson taught
  • Total revenue
  • Revenue by category
  • Total fittings
  • Average order value
  • Close percentage
  • Renewal percentage
  • Number of referrals
  • Range revenue per student
  • Rounds played by students
  • Food and beverage sales to students

In choosing what numbers to track, you’ll want to consider what your club or facility cares most about. Which metrics will help you illustrate the monetary value you bring to the table? What coaching-related activity most drives the overall success of the club? What’s most important to the facility’s bottom line? And, obviously, what’s most important to your own bottom line?

Managing by measuring is always a three-phase exercise—historical, current and future business. Start simple: How many lessons do I have scheduled in the next month? Next three months? Next 6 months? Next 12 months? Going out a full year may seem like overkill, but once you set up that data point you’ll want to continue monitoring it.

Your lessons-scheduled may be your most important indicator of success. The more lessons you have scheduled, the more you’re going to teach. The more you teach, the more people get better. The more people get better, the more they buy, and the more they tell their friends about your services.

When you’re the busiest game in town you can also charge more for your services. Funny how charging more should reduce the number of students you have but often has the opposite effect—there’s a real perception out there that more expensive coaching means better coaching.

A high volume of lessons on the books is important for your business but it’s even more important for your students’ improvement. So often there is a long span of time between lessons with a student only to have them come back looking the same as they did before their previous lesson. Movement patterns take time in ingrain. The more time you have with your students the more likely they are to get better.

Meanwhile, all that time spent with students will strengthen the relationship and deepen the trust. That additional trust will open up more opportunities for clubfitting and therefore merchandise sales as well as golf trips and other potential revenue streams. Again, none if this is as important as your students playing better golf. The additional time spent with them will take you beyond just being a pro they come to for tips. It will allow you to become their golf advisor, their friend and—most important—their trusted coach.

Want more tips of the trade? Checkout more instructor articles on our knowledge base


Your time between lessons needs time-management discipline

Feb 10, 2020

The between-lesson period is valuable to instructors and tends to be under-utilized, even wasted. Here’s how to make it a business asset.

For coaches who are back-to-back with lessons all day, deploying between-lesson time effectively isn’t an issue. But most teachers have a fair amount of down time. This time should be managed wisely, if you wish to become as effective and financially successful as possible. Poor use of in-between time tends to be particularly common with instructors who are building a book of business and starting to become quite busy.

As for those full-book coaches mentioned above, they actually need to create schedule breaks. Blocking a half hour of time on your schedule in the morning and a half hour during the afternoon (as well as a lunch break) allows you to recharge. Even coaches who appear to have endless energy run into challenges if they try and grind through the day without breaks.

If nothing else, they’ll tend to fall into a pattern of always running late—a prime source of customer complaints. And while they seem to have unlimited energy it’s an open question whether the last student of the day got their best effort. Making time in your book to regroup leads to consistent performance. Your customers will appreciate it.

Extra time has to be used effectively. It’s the key to being able to finish the day and truly leave things at work—instead of going home to a pile of business-maintenance chores. Vow to yourself that you’ll accomplish as many business tasks as possible during scheduled breaks. In-between time should first be used for outbound calls and emails to students who currently aren’t scheduled. Call them and see how things are going, with your goal being to book their next session. Using this valuable time to call people who have left you a message to book another lesson is a misuse of time. Nothing addresses this issue like a good online booking service—set one up, if you haven’t already.

Again, some of it is recharge time. After you’ve reviewed key takeaways with your students, delivered their homework and booked their next lessons, you need to get away by finding a quiet place on property where you won’t get sucked into conversations that aren’t productive.

Also, don’t waste your unbooked time by simply going long in your lessons and eating up your break time. The longer lessons go, the more likely teachers are to give students too much information. And a confused student does not make for a successful student. Don’t try to wrap up your lessons by “ending on a good one,” as you may be there all day. Yes, there are times when you need to give someone an extra few minutes, it just can’t be standard procedure. Students appreciate starting on time and ending on time. A coach who is constantly behind schedule creates frustrated students.

So, study your habits. Seek the opportunities for productivity and organization that you may have been missing. Do this well enough and you may find time to actually practice your game a bit between lessons! Want to learn more tips of the trade? Check out more instructor articles on our knowledge base


Plan early this year for “Butler Cabin Fever”

Feb 10, 2020

With The Masters a couple months off, you’ve got time to plan promotions that take advantage of pent-up demand and peak golf interest.

For your customer base (and prospect base), Masters Week is special. It kicks off the season in the North and it puts golfers in the mood to say “yes” to offers and promotions. Here are some proven ways that you can get them to say the magic word:

Run a sweepstakes:
Let golfers know that if they buy a lesson program in April they’ll be entered to win a chance to go on a golf vacation with their pro. Or, they buy a lesson program this month and they get entered to win a new Callaway Mavrik driver.

Have a sale:
Offer your lesson programs at a discount during Masters week or for the month of April. Offer your introductory session at a discount to entice new students.

Provide add-on services, free of charge:
People love free stuff. Examples would be a free playing lesson with the purchase of a lesson program. Or, buy a lesson program and get a free clubfitting, or free range balls for the month. Give people something extra to spark their desire to play better.

Get them competing, for prizes:
Throughout April, run a weekly closest-to-the-pin contest. Put together a putting contest—lowest score wins. Set up 9 holes of up-and-down challenges around your practice green—again, low total wins. Run a Masters pool, with the person who comes closest to picking the top five finishers receiving lessons or prizes.

Sway them with swag:
See what your local sales rep has available to put in the hands of your customers. It could be trial packs of their newest ball, or hats, gloves, towels, tees, anything they might like. Give something to every student who takes a lesson. Give one of your logo golf shirts to anyone who buys a comprehensive lesson plan.

Give Groupon a try:
You may not have the highest close rate into long-term lesson plans using Groupon, but it may still be an effective way to drive a fair amount of new business quickly. For example, it could be what one of your assistants needs to build his or her book of business.

Promote a different product mix:
Increasing business doesn’t always call for price promos and giveaways. The lift you’re looking for may simply call for a rethink of your product mix. Are you stuck in the typical grind of one-hour lesson after one-hour lesson? Start promoting your group classes. Offer supervised practice as part of your plan. Bundle in a playing lesson or a putting lesson.

Whatever promotional activities you go with, you’ll want to spread the word every way possible—mentioning Amen Corner, green jackets, Magnolia Lane or whatever else might push the Masters button in peoples’ brains. Update your website. Use signage. Get the news on your social media platforms. Blast email your database. Text your students. Call them on the phone and leave a scripted voicemail message. Share the news during their lesson.

You’ll have to expose them to the messaging several times and in several ways to get the activity you’re seeking. Just remember, it’s the time of the season when they’re most in the mood for a chance at better golf. 

Learn more about how we can assist with your marketing efforts by visiting our Instructors page.



Videos

Boosting events business with GOLF Business Solutions

Sep 19, 2019

EagleSticks Golf Club’s Kelly Morrow is boosting his events business with the help of GOLF Business Solutions’ Advanced Marketing Program – or AMP.

Learn more about our Advanced Marketing Program, HERE.


Medinah’s culinary team delivers at BMW Championship

Aug 22, 2019

While fans at last week’s BMW Championship kept a close watch on the FedExCup leaderboard, they probably paid little notice to the show being staged by the culinary staff at Medinah Country Club – a performance that proved just as compelling as the action on the course.

As the host golf course, Medinah’s culinary operation, led by Executive Chef Michael Ponzio, efficiently and seamlessly planned and served more than 33,000 meals throughout the week at the Chicago-area club. While the best golfers in the world competed for the win and a top position in this week’s season-ending TOUR Championship, Ponzio’s team catered to their every culinary need, while doing the same for their club members, and a large contingent of news media.

The sheer volume of just the food prep, alone, for the week was mind boggling. This included making more than 5,000 bagels from scratch, smoking more than 2,000 pounds of meat in their on-site smokers and hard-boiling more than 6,000 eggs. The team worked in multiple shifts around the clock.

“We had an incredible week and I learned how far our team could be pushed, especially considering many of the curveballs thrown our way,” Ponzio said. “To produce that kind of volume from scratch was quite an accomplishment. Food is such a big part of major golf events, and we truly executed a showcase of what we call the ‘Medinah experience.’”

Ponzio’s prep for the week was captured by GOLF Channel cameras and he was interviewed by Morning Drive co-host Gary Williams during the show’s Wednesday telecast on location at Medinah. The Chef also provided a look inside the Medinah F&B operation as part of the original GOLFPASS series, My Daily Routine, which is currently available as part of a vast video library accessible to anyone with a GOLFPASS membership.

Ponzio is keenly aware how golf course culinary operations – both big and small – can benefit from a group-buying program to help them succeed, like the Ride serviced offered by GOLF Business Solutions. The source of Ride as a procurement difference-maker is the immense purchasing power of Comcast, the $84 billion company that owns Xfinity, Universal Studios and the NBC networks, including GOLF Channel. Currently, more than 700 golf courses use Ride to save anywhere from 6 to 35 percent annually on agronomy, food-and-beverage and business supplies.

Medinah joined the Ride program in May and leaned on the service to help the club prepare for its big week. “US Foods was very helpful and accommodating,” Ponzio said. “Their online ordering system made things very simple and gave us the time-saving power to search and order on our own, without having to call a rep and wait for options. For example, if I wanted a snack mix, I could go online and search multiple options and just pick what I wanted.”

“We really did our homework leading into the week,” Ponzio said. “We talked with other chefs who have hosted big golf events before and worked with local farmers to bring in some really cool food options that created special, unexpected moments.

“It definitely had an impact,” he said, “I’ve never seen food talked about so much before during a golf telecast.”

To learn more about the GOLF Business Solutions food and beverage group purchasing programs, CLICK HERE.


Transitioning to Ride is a seamless golf solution

Jul 24, 2019

Group purchasing delivers bottom-line savings, period. Joining or transitioning to the Ride service offered by GOLF Business Solutions can be easy, seamless and stress free. Hear why from Matthew O’Connor, executive chef at Bonnie Briar Country Club in Larchmont, N.Y.

To learn more about our Ride program, CLICK HERE.



News

GOLF Business Solutions now offering PGA TOUR LIVE tournament coverage to golf and country clubs throughout the U.S.

Feb 07, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 7, 2020) – Golf and country clubs throughout the U.S. now have access to PGA TOUR LIVE through a new partnership with GOLF Business Solutions, which will provide golf facilities with live, featured group coverage of every PGA TOUR event on the balance of the 2019-20 PGA TOUR schedule.

Golf clubs using DIRECTV as their television content provider can showcase PGA TOUR LIVE through a dedicated channel inside their clubhouse, restaurants, locker rooms and other areas within the golf course property. The service is available immediately, giving course patrons access to round-by-round, morning and lunchtime tournament action before national television network coverage begins.

PGA TOUR LIVE, which also is available to consumers as a streaming service through NBC Sports Gold, is the only service to offer live tournament action prior to national television coverage. PGA TOUR LIVE also became available to bars and restaurants for the first time in January through a partnership with Joe Hand Promotions.

Golf clubs can learn more about PGA TOUR LIVE or purchase the service for their facility by visiting Clubhouse Solutions website HERE. Members of GOLF Business Solutions’ ClubBuy group purchasing program receive a 15 percent discount on pricing.

About GOLF Business Solutions
GOLF Business Solutions is a complete spectrum of business-to-business services offered by the family of golf brands within the NBC Sports Group portfolio and managed by GOLF Channel. Building off the recognition and trust of the GOLF brand, the comprehensive offerings of GOLF Business Solutions are designed to meet virtually any need of businesses interested in investing in golf, helping them to become more efficient and effective. Included are services offered by GOLFNOW, GOLF Advisor, Revolution GOLF, GOLF Academy and GOLF Am Tour.


-NBC Sports Group-

Media Contact:
Dan Higgins
GOLF Communications
407-355-4018
Dan.Higgins@GOLFchannel.com


GOLFNOW'S G1 management technology now helping more than 600 golf courses improve efficiency and customer service

Feb 05, 2020

Milestones show rising demand of G1 cloud-based management platform

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2020) – Now transacting at more than 600 golf course facilities in North America, GOLF Business Solutions’ G1 technology continues to build on its reputation as the market’s most advanced all-in-one business management platform.

Approaching its second year in the marketplace, G1 has become GOLF Business Solutions’ most-installed, cloud-based business management platform. This milestone comes on the heels of a successful showing at the 2020 PGA Merchandise Show, where GOLF Business Solutions representatives hosted more than 400 meetings with golf course operators and managers during which the G1 technology was discussed.

“The interest in G1 is at an all-time high,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLFNOW. “We’re proud of the milestones being reached but, more importantly, the ways that G1 has helped our golf course partners enhance the golfer experience. The improved control and mobility that G1 offers not only is helping operators manage their facilities more efficiently, but it also has the tools that are helping them improve customer service.”

With G1, tee sheet, point-of-sale, social media, customer booking engines, inventory, marketing campaigns and other functions integral to efficient operations are managed by golf course staff, anytime and anywhere.

“As a large resort business, we appreciate the flexibility and mobility that G1 provides,” said Jimmy Bills, director of golf at Arizona Grand Golf Resort. “In addition to seamlessly integrating with all the components we use within the GOLFNOW platform, the features within G1 have helped us streamline the management of our operation and allow us to transact from anywhere on our property, which really has improved our guest experience.”

Improved data collection is a key characteristic of G1, which also provides tighter data integration and integrity across multiple tools. Also, G1 provides better insight into golfer booking and spending patterns, which helps operators better customize their marketing messages.

“Golf course operators have expressed these as some of the more important features of G1,” said Charles Kingsbaker, a senior sales specialist for GOLF Business Solutions. “For example, it’s critical to ensure a golfer’s contact information is consistent across every platform used by the golf course. Also, the ability to use your data to identify the spending characteristics of golfers within your population can help tremendously with future planning.”

“The innovative technology has been hugely beneficial,” said Joe Dahlstrom CEO of Paradigm Golf Group. “From the iPad tee sheet at the first tee that updates real time along with our ability to proactively manage pace of play, deliver food and drinks, along with the personalized data collection that allows us to track our customer buying patterns and preferences.”

Another important included benefit for golf course operators using G1 who previously used locally installed software, is eliminating the need to manage updates manually and worry about server issues. The cloud-based G1 technology installs regular updates, new features and other improvements automatically, with no time or action required from golf course staff. These management functions also can be used across multiple golf courses within the same portfolio, which is a great time saver and allows more staff focus on the guest experience.

About GOLFNOW
GOLFNOW is an innovative technology company that creates seamless ways for golfers and golf courses to better connect. GOLFNOW operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, offering 3.5 million registered golfers a variety of ways to stay connected to their favorite courses and the ability to easily book tee times online and via mobile devices any time of day. GOLFPASS members receive special playing perks through GOLFNOW, including tee time credit and rewards, with GOLFPASS+ members benefiting from waived booking fees, cancellation protection and 25% more rewards points. GOLFNOW is an extension of the GOLF Business Solutions’ suite of digital businesses, owned by NBC Sports and managed by GOLF Channel. With offices in Orlando, Fla., and Belfast, Northern Ireland, GOLF Business Solutions also provides technology, support and marketing services to more than 9,000 golf courses in 24 countries around the world.

-NBC Sports Group-
Media contact:
Dan Higgins
GOLF Channel Communications
Dan.Higgins@golfchannel.com
407-355-4018


NBC Sports Group's Clubhouse Solutions launches website, providing new resource for private golf and country clubs

Feb 04, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2020) – Clubhouse Solutions, the newest division within NBC Sports Group’s GOLF Business Solutions family of brands, today launched a full-service website dedicated to the success of private golf and country clubs.

Resources offered by the Clubhouse Solutions website will tap into expertise gained by an organization that has helped more than 9,000 public golf courses around the world become more efficient and effective through innovative technology, services and best-in-class customer support. It also will build on assets gained from NBC Sports Group’s recent acquisition of EZLinks Golf, whose expertise serving high-end private clubs will elevate Clubhouse Solutions’ ability to maximize partnerships.

“We’re excited about the launch of the new Clubhouse Solutions website, which now offers our private club partners easy access to information and a full menu highlighting some unique assets, including custom technologies and services focused on member retention and acquisition,” said Mike Hendrix, vice president of Business Services, GOLF Business Solutions.

Users of the Clubhouse Solutions website also will be introduced to ClubBuy, a group-purchasing organization used by hundreds of private clubs in the golf industry and beyond. ClubBuy members, who can use the service for free, now have an opportunity to turn their food and produce expenses into credits for technology and services purchased from Clubhouse Solutions.

About GOLF Business Solutions
GOLF Business Solutions is a complete spectrum of business-to-business services offered by the family of golf brands within the NBC Sports Group portfolio and managed by GOLF Channel. Building off the recognition and trust of the GOLF brand, the comprehensive offerings of GOLF Business Solutions are designed to meet virtually any need of businesses interested in investing in golf, helping them to become more efficient and effective. Included are services offered by GOLFNOW, GOLF Advisor, Revolution GOLF, GOLF Academy and GOLF Am Tour.

-NBC Sports Group-

Media Contact:
Dan Higgins, GOLF Communications
407-355-4018
Dan.Higgins@GOLFchannel.com



Downloadable Resources

Chapter 6 - Procurement

The Playbook - Chapter 6

Feb 20, 2019

Time to think outside the procurement box

Group purchasing brings new profit possibilities to golf operations. Courses can stock up on products they already buy, as well as others they need at a significant cost savings. With significant cost savings and ability to earn points toward tech, satisfied golf courses see enough savings to make a difference. 


chapter 1

The Playbook - Chapter 1

Jan 17, 2019

Who doesn’t want to book more rounds and generate more revenue?

And while you’re at it, let’s solidify your position in your marketplace and start operating at peak efficiency. Private club, daily fee, municipal or resort course — all have the same goals in these competitive times. Finally, there’s one go-to source to help golf operations learn and activate best-practices throughout their operations.


The Playbook - Chapter 2

The Playbook - Chapter 2

Jan 17, 2019

Best practices for having the right product at the right time for the right price.

What started with the airline and hotel industries is spreading to restaurants, theaters … and golf courses. Dynamic pricing is the inventory strategy courses are using right now to maximize revenue.