In the January issue of the Golf Pro Advisor, we discussed the advantages of being a golf coach versus a golf instructor. In this issue, we explain how to package and price your coaching services.
A Reminder – Why You Want to Be a Golf Coach
Golfers hire a coach to improve their games over time. They hire an instructor to fix a particular problem now and then.
Golf coaches have two major advantages over golf instructors:
- Coaches have greater job security because members and the club leadership value them highly;
- Coaches can make more money because their clients/members are willing to spend more in an effort to move their game to the next level.
If you are offering coaching services for the first time, you will need to educate your members. They may not be familiar with the concept.
Start with your golf committee. Make sure the committee members are behind the coaching program and understand its advantages to the club. It’s essential that you have the support of your club’s leadership.
With your club’s blessing, before the season opens, you can send a letter or email to the membership explaining how the program will work, the benefits, and the fees. You may want to encourage members to call you to find out more.
Offer members “time blocks” rather than a formal lesson schedule. Your goal is give your “client” (member) a guaranteed amount of coaching over a specific time period.
You might agree to give a member the equivalent of four hours (240 minutes) of coaching over a two month period for a fixed price. Coaching sessions could be for as little as 15 minutes or as long an hour, depending on the issue.
In that case, the member could, conceivably, work with you for sixteen 15 minute blocks or four one hour blocks or some other combination of time blocks. Your goal at each session is not only to deal with a specific issue, but to monitor your client’s progress toward his/her goal.
The beauty of this approach is its flexibility. You work with your client on an as needed basis.
If you can address a problem in 15 minutes, why take 30 minutes in a formal lesson? That way, the client gets what he/she needs now and you both save time.
Let’s say your rate for a one hour lesson is $150 and a member signs up for a four hour block. Since you will be paid for four hours of your time, not just a one-off lesson, you might offer a discount.
If, for instance, you offer a 20% discount, the “package price” would be $480 or the equivalent of $120 an hour. You can bill the member immediately for the $480, so you get paid the entire amount upfront.
Instructors don’t know when they will get a lesson fee. They must wait for members to book a lesson. And they get paid the month following the lesson.
Coaches know in advance how much they will make. And they get paid in advance, not in arrears.
There is a (slight) potential financial downside to coaching. You may have to do some unpaid consulting and you’ll probably want to keep some notes in your office on what you are working on with each player and their progress.
You’ll probably want to periodically observe your client on the course during regular play. You may also want to review her scorecards to monitor her progress.
Still, that should consume a relatively small amount of time. You can decide whether or not to count that on the course observation time towards the block of time purchased.
I am an accountant with numerous golf pro clients. I would be happy to spend 30 minutes on the phone at no charge with any golf pro who is considering a coaching program.