PEIGA Member Course Options for Golf Growth and Development
It has now been a month and a half since I was announced as the Provincial Golf Coach and since everything I am involved with fiscally starts with the New Year I feel like it’s my first month on the job. Since obtaining this position I have been strategizing to formulate a solid plan to grow the game of golf on the island using proven programs I have ran in the past. I also plan to help develop players of the game to prepare them for provincial and national championships by working closely with their current instructor to raise the levels achieved by our athletes on the national stage. For young players this comes with the ability to open doors for recruiting to universities in both Canada and the United States. This can be achieved with systems already in place through Golf Canada like sporting DNA which the national coaches carefully watch so they are aware of all talent throughout the country. The programs and initiatives are in place. It is now time for Prince Edward Island to use them!
In recent national meetings Golf Canada’s commitment to promote and grow the game was strong. If any facility hopes to have golfers playing on their grounds in the future I would encourage you to support the national body through its provincial organizations.
This year on PEI we will be offering multiple programs to grow and sustain the game on a grass roots level which I can assure you other zones are doing very well which a lot of PEI’s golfing tourists come from. To help us be consistent in program delivery John Schurman will be facilitating all programs with the help and guidance of me. As most people may be aware John is a very accomplished player, a former PGA professional, and has competed on the national stage numerous times. John will be deeply entrenched with player growth and development and with his help it will be rewarding to see results.
We will be offering all PEIGA member courses an opportunity to host the events and programs that we can offer in a combined effort to grow our local golf population.
Golf in Schools
This grass roots program is a combined effort of Golf Canada and the PGA of Canada. The resources and equipment are of the best quality and from our experience almost all participants love the activities and become very excited about the game of golf. The result is increased awareness at the elementary level and increasing the potential pool of future golfers by connecting a huge amount of young individuals with the game.
It is our intention to personally provide and deliver the program to at least 8 schools on the Island shortly after March break and before most courses open for the season. The reason for this timing is to keep the game fresh in their minds while spring approaches and junior golf program registrations begin. We will also be making them aware of all the Future Links programs and facilities across the Island to encourage the transition from the gymnasium to the Golf Course.
If you know of a physical education teacher in your area or a school you think we should contact please let me know at your earliest convenience so we can schedule our itinerary between March 26th and May 4th as early as soon as possible. We have a golf in schools kit which we will bring site to site but if you know of anyone that might sponsor a school to keep the equipment for their own it can be purchased through the Golf Canada website and donated to the school of their choice.
Golf in Schools to Future Links Transition
As of 2012 a program was put into place to fund school trips to a golf facility. Last year across Canada less than half of the $500.00 grants were issued and this year we want to ensure PEI receives both our allocations. The $500.00 is to help one of the Golf in Schools sites to bring their class out to a golf facility so they can see first hand what the game is really about in the outdoors. The money can be used for anything from transportation to food and prizes.
It is our intention to make sure we receive both grants and have 2 schools visit actual golf facilities. Once we complete the Golf in Schools in early May we will make 2 draws from those who wish to register as candidates. One draw will be for a Western school and facility and one for an Eastern school and facility. For those who may be interested in hosting a school I will remind everyone once we get closer to the date.
Future Links is a great program with proven results across the country. We would encourage all facilities to look at implementing a Future Links program at your facility to get help from the valuable resources they provide. I know first hand how much it enhanced the junior program at the Summerside Golf Club as it helped grow their junior membership from 23 to 135.
We will be heavily involved with the mobile clinic aspect and will be delivering the Level One program at various facilities across the Island. Our aim is to have 6 sessions at facilities achieving the best coverage of the Island. If demand exists we may provide more but in the quality over quantity approach we will set 6 at first. Again to provide consistency John Schurman will be delivering all programs with my help if needed. All registration will go through the PEIGA and me (the provincial coach) as to reduce inconsistency. Every program will be advertised with the facility location. For those who have an employed PGA professional we would be more than happy to have the help and will compensate them accordingly as well. For those that do not and usually have large numbers we would encourage asking a member or someone in the community to become a Future Links Leader. This is a feature which was started in 2011 to have golf enthusiasts help grow the game they enjoy so much. They will be provided free training and will be mapped in the national database to provide easy linkage when help is needed. All Golf in Schools, Future Links Facilities, and Future Links Leaders are mapped so when providing programs all can be easily reached.
If your facility is interested in hosting a mobile clinic please let me know so we can begin scheduling of this so our advertising for programming is effective. The possible growth of golfers from this program is a major benefit to any facility as it will be remembered by the participants for a long time.
PEI Junior Tour
We will be running a provincial junior tour throughout the 2013 season. The tour will determine the composition of the junior teams going to the CN Atlantic Championships and the Golf Canada National Championships. We will have a schedule of 8 to 10 events throughout the Island and the host venues will receive a small monetary contribution in gratitude of hosting an event. Each venue will receive news coverage for the event and increased exposure through junior and parent traffic.
To keep consistency throughout all events John Schurman will be on site for course set-up and throughout the days competition to ensure proper pace of play and etiquette is followed. For any courses wishing to host an event you may apply directly to me at any time as course will be selected late winter with an even distribution across the Island with the major events being centralized if possible.
Beginner Ladies Programs
This program was created 4 years ago and implemented at the Summerside Golf Course with fantastic results. They have seen a retention rate of 50% with half of participants obtaining memberships the following year. We will be offering this program at facilities that wish to increases this demographic. Unlike most other growth programs this one pays immediate dividends as green fees or a restricted membership are part of the package which the facility receives 100% of the revenue. The program at Summerside Golf Club has the following components but any changes may be made to suite the specific facility;
This is a cost efficient way for ladies to get into the game of golf because the group setting allows them to meet new people to start the game with. Since green fees or a restricted membership are included in the package they also become accustom to the facility and will be encouraged to look at membership options the following year.
For those facilities wishing to deliver this program please contact me to set up a meeting to discuss putting together a package to advertise as costs will vary depending on the green fees / membership attached. Please also remember pace of play and etiquette are covered in this program the graduates will be given the tools to ensure all policies are adhered to.
Get Golf Ready
This program is geared towards both men and ladies and is an inexpensive way to get introduced to the game. The resources are a product of the PGA of Canada and the NGCOA and will once again be delivered by John Schurman with help from me if needed to provide program consistency through all facilities. As with all of these programs if you have a hired PGA professional we encourage them to be a part of the programs so they can become familiar with your future customers and share in the lesson revenue. The details of this program are simple and the entire program is delivered in 5 days (can be consecutive or one day per week) without having to take up valuable tee times. After the program the participant will have all the tools needed to play the game while adhering to all course rules of etiquette and pace of play policies.
Any facility wishing to implement this program will be encouraged to contact me for scheduling.
The scope of all this is more than to introduce new players to the game but give accomplished players the tools needed to achieve higher levels of success. I will be coaching the Canada Games team for 2013 and will start the recruiting process for players upon my return from training the end of January. I have already set up locations and professionals for physical and mental training so we hit the ground running beginning February. We will start testing athlete’s skill early February to determine the best candidates for the team to bring forward into the spring. We hope to narrow it down to the best 5 boys and 5 girls so training through the winter is effective going into the spring. If however the athletes skills are very close we will keep however many needed until we can make proper decisions.
The team will be decided after 6 days of specified competition. Although the top three athletes will be seriously considered the 3 best suited for the team will be chosen by the coach based upon competition results, personal performance and attitude while playing. This will be accomplished by the end of June so the team can train together for at least a month and a half before the Canada Games. This puts us very behind other zones but we have a very distinct advantage of a small logistical area so training on the Island will be much more effective and will prepare them for the event. This will also give us great experience for the games in 4 years time so we may become better prepared and identify the up and coming athletes a lot earlier through the national tracking database.
If you are aware of any players who may be interested and able to make the Canada Games team please let me know. An advertisement will go out to seek out those interested as well.
Junior Golf Development Center
PEI will see the first Junior Golf Development Center this spring. These centers are starting across Canada and will help provide knowledge and insight to junior players and parents. Their function is to show various golf development pathways and educate players and parents about the options available. Using various resources this center will help identify key athletes at an early age to become a part of the provincial elite team. This team will be tracked provincially and nationally using the sporting DNA platform and will educate players on the possible competitive pathways golf can provide.
This will open up the doors for scholarships and playing opportunities anywhere the game is played. The possibilities for our Island players are fascinating and this center will provide the springboard for their development.
This year the provincial team members will be given the opportunity to access proper physical and mental trainers before the national competitions. If they chose to access this route they will be better prepared for what’s to come on the national level of competition and as a result will achieve higher standings.
This program will be dedicated to continuing development of our best Island players. This program will have the athletes set playing goals and create a pathway to accomplish those goals.
I am very excited to implement and grow these programs throughout the Island and having John Schurman head all delivery will provide a level of consistency needed to keep such a large task professional. This fact will add to the stature of golf on the Island and help increase the games exposure everywhere.
The doors this will also open for our young players are limitless. By identifying and properly training our young athletes throughout their early career they will become exposed to possibilities of playing golf at the highest levels. PEI has the distinct advantage of a very small land area so high performance athletes can get together to train more often and efficiently. Very exciting times are ahead.
Provincial Golf Coach