Mary Hafeman: Use Get Golf Ready as a Springboard for Development Programs

Mary Hafeman, a PGA and LPGA Professional, is the 2016 PGA of America Player Development Award winner, a GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional and a golf instructor at Missing Links Golf Course & Driving Range in Mequon, Wisconsin, and at Deercreek Country Club in Jacksonville, Florida.

At both locations where I teach, I present a program called “Women: Play Better Golf” using Get Golf Ready as the foundation. Since the PGA of America promotes Get Golf Ready, I find that people are familiar with it, thus making it easier to market my program. With more lines of exposure, it makes sense to piggyback off of it for greater awareness, and then make it my own. With the occasional help of an intern, I conduct clinics for groups ranging from six to 10 players each, in five weekly sessions, each 90 minutes long, with flexible scheduling for groups when needed. In each group is a mixture of ages (20 through 90 in one group this past year!) and experience levels, so beginners learn not only from my direct instruction, but also by watching what the more experienced players do; in other words, learning through discovery. I organize fun, competitive practice activities so practice is never boring, often pairing golfers with their friends. We also play one hole on the golf course during each session. I individualize my instruction, so that if a golfer is already putting well, I don’t dwell too long on that skill for her. I also present men’s and mixed clinics, which I call “Get Golf Ready: Play Better Golf.”

I market this program to different segments, including families, companies and groups of friends. I always ask for referrals, a successful technique. In any given month, I run four or five “Play Better Golf / Get Golf Ready” programs. I charge $165 per person for the series of five sessions. As of this writing, I have had 91 women enrolled, for a revenue of $15,015. I pay 15 percent of that to the golf course to cover range balls and facility usage. I buy two sets of demo clubs each year for use by players who don’t own their own equipment. Most of these participants end up purchasing the demos or new clubs. My students also buy apparel from the golf shop and food & beverage at the course, augmenting the facility’s revenue stream. I find that 70 percent of program participants sign on for the next level of clinic instruction, and many decide to take private lessons from me, too.