Will Reilly: Work With Parents and Kids Together

Will Reilly, the 2005 PGA Youth Player Development Award winner, 2007 PGA Player Development Award winner and a GRAA Top 50 Growth of the Game Teaching Professional, is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Royal Palm Beach (Florida) Golf Academy, a GRAA Top 50 Stand Alone Facility.

For years PGA Professionals have tried to separate parents and children during golf instruction because a small percentage of parents would tend to get overly involved with trying to help teach their child how to play the game. However, I have found that the parent is the PGA Professional’s de facto partner, and the more they get involved, the more the golf experience becomes enjoyable for both the child and the parent. We hold family golf programs every Saturday from 10–11:30 a.m. at the Royal Palm Beach Golf Academy. During these programs, I go to great lengths to teach the parents how to teach the kids. Just like in a husband-and-wife lesson, I tell the parent to only give advice when your child asks for it. I tell the children to ask their parents for advice whenever they want, as it will help them become better players. When a child asks for advice they are more likely to accept it, and the parents simply reiterate the message their PGA Professional taught them.

We charge $15 a person for Royal Palm Beach residents and $20 a person for non-residents for the Saturday programs. On average we see 10–15 youth per Saturday, of which 20 percent are residents and 80 percent are non-residents, generating $250–$300 per Saturday. The parents also feel great value to be able to help their kids with their game and become friends on the golf course and practice range. The family golf program has grown so quickly I’ve had to hire another PGA Professional to help me teach the program. Try this program at your club; instead of separating the parents and the children, learn how to incorporate them into your own family program and you’ll increase revenue and customer loyalty.