The staple of golf instruction has always been the private one-on-one lesson, where a golfer receives personalized advice on how to improve his or her game. Current prices per hour for such a lesson vary wildly, from $30-$40 on the low end, $60-$100 the most common, and on upwards for the higher end. Some prominent gurus are able to charge thousands of dollars per hour, but people seeking these instructors are probably paying more for the privilege of spending time with a golf celebrity than they are in getting instruction that is heads-and-shoulders above what other teachers can provide. USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional Jim Perez from Fresno, California, related in his USGTF Master Golf Teaching Professional thesis in 1997 how he was able to quickly build a clientele. He placed an ad in the Fresno newspaper, advertising unlimited lessons for three months for the paltry sum of only $99. Now, you may ask yourself, how can you make any money giving someone unlimited lessons for only $99? You see, Jim knew numbers, and he knew math. Over 200 people took him up on his offer. That’s right – Jim pocketed over $20,000 almost immediately. Another USGTF/CGTF member doing this is Master Golf Teaching Professional Grant Gulych in Canada. I’m sure some other USGTF members may be doing the same thing, but at this time I’m unaware if they are (and if you are, feel free to drop me a line at and let me know how it’s going). Golf is a competitive business, and you have to come up with creative ideas in order to succeed. What worked for Jim in 1997 will still work today, except that you may have to advertise in other media besides newspapers, as they have somewhat fallen out of favor, especially among younger people. Craig’s List is one good option to start. In any case, utilizing a lesson “membership” plan may be the way to jump-start your teaching business in 2016. By: Mark Harman, USGTF National Course Director, Ridgeland, SC      
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