Nick Schremser is the PGA Head Professional at the Golf Club at Mansion Ridge in Monroe, New York.
As a Jack Nicklaus signature design course, we have players come from miles around to play our club. To add local players to our daily tee sheet and increase rounds during off-peak times, we reached out to local businesses and invited their employees to a day of golf instruction and play. The participants generally are novice golfers, and our goal is to encourage them to play. So, we try to make it fun and affordable. Players are given a dozen golf balls and provided two hours of instruction on everything from set up and full swing, to short game and putting. The golfers then hit the links for nine holes of golf with 150-yard holes and larger-than-standard cups. The golf is followed by food & beverage and stories of the day. We started this program in 2015 holding one event, and we grew it to two events in 2016. This program has brought dozens of new golfers to our course, rendering it worthy of three or four events this year. It has proven a successful method of growing the game at Mansion Ridge.
Participation has increased 50 percent in one year, as we had 16 players in the lone session in 2015 and averaged 24 per session last year. Several players have returned to play on their own, increasing our rounds of golf. The day of golf benefits our golf shop as we gain revenue from rental clubs (normally priced at $50 per bag), the balls that were given to the players, and other miscellaneous sales before and after the participants play. Also, prizes are awarded in the form of golf shop credit. We have food & beverage packages available for groups that range from $15–$40 depending on their needs. Given that this is an employee event, we generally see the employers / hosts of the event make the reception special for the group. Finally, golf instruction has increased, as nearly 30 percent of the participants have returned for further lessons. Even with the cost being less than the normal $70 two-hour clinic rate and the $30 9-hole twilight rate, this program is very beneficial to our club and has room to grow even more.