5 Best Practices for a Proactive Approach

In this 3-part series, we have packaged a few best practices from leading golf professionals.   We hope this provides valuable nuggets of information – and specific methods to get more kids swinging the club!

There are roughly 63 million children within the school age population (ages 5 – 19) in the United States. The American Camp Association estimates that over 11 million of those children  will have a summer camp experience in 2018. For the Golf Professional, now is a great time to engage with existing players and plant the seed with new golfers for programming in the upcoming months.  It also offers a tremendous opportunity to turn your future campers into lifetime golfers.

Part One: 5 Best Practices for Pre-Camp Planning

Pre-Camp Checklist

  1. The Early Bird Catches The Worm!
    • Parents now start planning their children’s activities at least 3-6 months in advance. Typically, Mom owns the family calendar. Design your marketing messages that 1.) Speak directly to Mom and 2.) Get you on their calendar first, before competing programs do!
  2. Package Different Camp Programs
    • The kids who attend your camp should range in ages, skill levels, attention spans and teaching focus.  To reach the highest amount of kids, create a broad variety of Camp types to reach different player types. For Youngsters, create ½ Day camps 90 minutes in length and another lasting 3-4 hours.  For Girls and Boys, there is a huge opportunity for kids to bond out on the course – create fun and social “All Girls” or “All Boys” Camps. For the Advanced/Elite Players, create smaller camps focusing on specific skills: Short Game, Course Management, and Mental/Physical Conditioning.
  3. Pricing with Long Term Revenue In Mind
    • Parents are eager to spend money on their child, especially when learning a lifetime sport.  Each new participant that comes to your camp has the potential to become a long term customer.  The value of this child could be anywhere from $200 per month up to $2,000+ per year. Compound this over 5-10 years and it is real revenue.  When pricing camps, consider the long term revenue impact. An option to reach additional kids would be to create a scholarship program for those who may not be able to afford camp.
  4. Check all the Boxes with Programming
    • When tackling the task of Programming creation, focus on the following:
      • The Right Teachers.  If you utilize additional teachers, ensure they have experience in working with children.  
      • Match the activities during the day with the attention span of the kids.  Be sure to break up the day with fun social activities and games.
      • Keep the ratios around 1 instructor to 4-6 kids.  If you have younger kids, encourage the parents to participate!  
      • Gamify the learning as much as possible.  Scoreboards, contests, and challenges are engaging and should be a fun part of each camp day.
      • Make sure you have appropriately sized equipment on hand for your campers.  Visit Junior.Club for new Callaway clubs at monthly rate.
  5. Expand Marketing Reach
    • The prime age range for campers should be between the ages of 4-14.  Parents of this demographic are eager to sign up their children for something productive that takes them outdoors, while having fun learning a new sport with friends.
      • Private Facilities: Low hanging opportunities are typically your Social Members.  This group likely doesn’t have a golf background, but would love their children to learn the game.
      • Public courses: Reach out to local elementary school PE teachers.  They can help identify the sport-loving kids, and may be potential camp staff members, as many educators seek additional income during the summer months.  
      • Create a buddy system, simply offer 25% off if they bring or refer a friend to your camp.  
      • Utilize the power of social media!  Get the word out before, during and after each camp session.  Post fun photos of your campers and staff. Social media is a fantastic tool to get parents engaged – and keep them engaged.

Have you had success with a winning strategy?  Please share your successes and ideas with the Community and support growing the game!