The current global economic conditions we live in and the state of the golf economy require the aspiring golf teaching professional to adapt and use sound strategies in attempting to obtain a teaching position. The teacher should be trying to accomplish two goals with his/her strategies: The first goal is to make yourself valuable. In other words, show your potential new facility how you can generate revenue for them. The second goal is to establish yourself as a viable professional. To create a task list for the first goal, the professional should start with a sound business plan. Business plan websites and software programs are easily available and make the task of creating a sound, professional business plan easy. When writing a plan to be presented, steer clear of simply writing philosophy; include solid research instead. Do your homework on the facility, no matter what type of facility it is. Armed with key information about the facility and its teaching business, you can tailor your plan to fit that facility. Honestly, a large majority of courses, ranges and indoor ranges have so many aspects of their business to manage that planning how to generate more revenue from instruction is not a priority. Professionally presenting viable and imaginative ideas in a business plan format might be the key to getting you in the door. I can tell you, as someone who has hired many golf professionals over the course of 30 years, it is things such as a professional business plan that can make the difference. Identifying the market and having new and out-of-the-box ideas to attract new customers are what many facility managers and owners are looking for. How will your students translate into revenue for them? What sort of customer traffic will you generate? Do you have fresh ideas to get people into the game? People still love to hit a ball, especially a golf ball. How can you turn that fun and desire into new golfers and new revenue streams? Armed with a solid and impressive plan, you will have a great chance at obtaining that position. It could an employment position, an independent contractor position, or simply becoming a renter. One idea the professional should incorporate into the plan is to offer to utilize any existing professionals at the facility. For example, include in your plan a position for a junior clinic or camp assistant. This displays to the owner or manager that you are a team player and you want to work with the current staff an not be an adversary or cause negative issues that they have to deal with. The number one reason a golf course is hesitant to incorporate a teacher into their structure is the turmoil such a move will cause among the existing staff. Creating a professional, credible image should be the second goal. This goal should include wearing the appropriate clothing, presenting yourself professionally to the owner or manager, and establishing credibility as an expert in the game. Wear a suit and tie to every meeting you have at the facility. Make your shoes are new and shined. Present letters of recommendation and letters from your students bolstering your image as an above-average instructor. An even more effective tool can be a small portfolio covering your career and accomplishments, even if they are not golf-related. Next, never introduce yourself over the phone. I have seen that mistake made hundreds of times. Positions aren’t acquired over the phone in the golf business. Also, never show up at the facility in shorts or clothes that put you in a bad light. If you are seen as just another golfer, you lose any chance of securing the position. There are many positions and opportunities for competent instructors. We need teaching professionals with common business sense and savvy to fill the need for instruction that currently exists. Think through your strategy and make a good plan before you approach the facility, and you may open a door that otherwise wouldn’t be there.
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