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It is the start of a brand new year.  The wrappers are just coming off on this first day.  It is as the state of a new baseball season.  Every team is still a winner.  Every fan feels good about the chances for their team.  As the leader, you have new budgets, new goals, and a new outlook on how you and the club will achieve this year’s plan.  Although this post will not get you to that promised land, it might present an idea that can drive new golfers for a long time to come.

  Opportunities are not always easy to see.  They come masked as hard work, and lots of effort much of the time.  This opportunity will also take hard work, but the opportunity I believe is very real.  Because golf is the game of a lifetime, a game of health with great social values, I suggest you develop a strategy to bring new juniors and families to your club this year.  Parents, especially Moms are concerned about their kids playing contact sports and the chance for injury, specifically concussions.  Today there are 50 million kids in the US playing all types of sports.  Millions are playing soccer, football, field hockey, ice hockey, and lacrosse.  With the new revelations about CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) many parents are rethinking sports for their kids.

  Golf has an opening to step in as a great alternative.  We know that golf not only offers real life learning, but a sport that will serve kids throughout their lives, personally and professionally.  I suggest you look to develop a series of educational sessions for parents, showing them how your club and golf will be the safe alternative for their family.  Here are my 6 (one extra) thoughts:

  1. Keep every session positive.  The issues around concussions are already there, your role, especially for parents who don’t play is to present how golf grows great citizens
  2. Schedule 3-5 different sessions to attract a wide audience.  A key is to create a relationship with parents and your staff.
  3. Have all key staff members involved in these sessions.  Begin each with some social time together.  Be certain parents get to meet all staff involved in the programs
  4. Go over specifics of the programs.  Review instruction provided, food served, and the calendar.  Parents want to know the detail
  5. Offer at least one program for parents to learn with their kids: family golf lessons might get more parents to allow their kids to participate, and add some adult golfers
  6. Please do not offer a standard vanilla camp or clinic program.  Look to add a junior league so the parents who like the team aspect will also become fans

  This may be a large opportunity or something more incremental, based on the club.  There is certainly a grave concern on the part of the parents.  If golf can capture even 5% of US kids, the long term growth can be a game-changer.

Happy New Year!  Jack Dillon write the highfives series.  Jack is a golf shop expert.  He understands how women buy, as well as golf operations and player development.  You can reach Jack at highfives81@yahoo.com or call him at 407-973-6136. 


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