Craig Hocknull, the 2013 Southwest PGA Section Youth Player Development Award winner, 2013 Section Player of the Year, 2014 Section Player Development Award winner and 2014 Section Teacher of the Year, is the PGA Director of Golf at Outback Golf Academy in Gilbert, Arizona.
Feeling the need to create a social and fun environment for learning the game, I established a Friday Night Singles Clinic. The program provides singles a wonderful opportunity to learn all the facets of golf and also network, enjoy and perhaps meet a future companion! We focus on a bowling alley concept in that equipment, balls, and all training aids are provided on site as part of the clinic. Additionally, our newly renovated range and putting/chipping green incorporated lights therefore allowing us practice and enjoy well into the evening!
When I first piloted this program, I used a website called meetup.com, which provides a wonderful platform for awareness. We currently have 80-plus singles in our Active Network database, of which we average six to eight showing per clinic, with a 50/50 men/women split. We charge $20 per clinic, which lasts from 6-8 p.m. Of our attendees, 90 percent or greater are of a beginner level, and 60-75 percent will further their golf instruction initiative with me during private lessons. The responses have been overwhelming as our students continue the rest of their evening starting at Mulligan’s, our facility’s bar and grill.