Andy Miller: Start Kids as Young as Possible

Andy Miller, the 2013 Philadelphia PGA Section Youth Player Development Award winner and a GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, is the PGA Director of Instruction at LedgeRock Golf Club in Mohnton, Pennsylvania.

Here at LedgeRock, we look to begin our youth golfers as young as possible. Recently, we created a program for youth golfers ages three to five years old, which included a Starting New at Golf (SNAG) setting and an educational learning environment. In addition to teaching golf skills, playing games and just having an overall fun focus, we even incorporated our maintenance team into the program. We showed the youngsters how a cup is changed, how to fix ball marks, repair divots, the changing of tee-markers daily and the maintenance of the grass and bunkers. This concept was incorporated to teach our youth about the time and preparation that goes into taking care of a golf course, which gives them a respect for the process. The kids were blown away as they returned each of the seven weeks, ecstatic not only to play golf, but to learn more about the game, course and sport.

We began to become a bit tired of families saying: “We couldn’t make golf today because Matt had soccer.” By starting the kids as young as possible, our goal is to have parents saying: “we can’t make soccer today because Matt has golf.” We want
to show our youth how fun and cool golf is to play just like every other sport. We offered the program on Thursdays from 10:00 — 10:45 a.m. for seven weeks between June-August. We captured 13 youth golfers: eight boys and five girls. We charged each participant $150, which helped drive roughly $2,000 in revenue. By starting golfers at young ages, we increase the likelihood of long-term play as well as potentially creating future industry professionals!