A New Beginning for PGAjay

From: Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon

It was 8 years ago when the thought first crossed my mind. “What if there was someone who made videos about how to be a better Golf Professional?”

And, I kept asking myself that, year after year. Because every time I looked, I could never find anything. Sure, there were people starting to pop up on social media and youtube that were Golf Professionals. But, they were talking about teaching, and not the actual business part being a golf professional.

That’s when another thought crossed my mind…..”What if I did it?”

But what would I talk about and how would I do it? I was a first Assistant pro at the time and was still learning so much myself that I couldn’t dare think that I had something to teach anyone about how to be a better golf professional.

A few more years went by, and eventually I became a pretty good Head Golf Professional and Director of Golf. I started to have some big wins, like implementing a membership retention initiative that lead to a 30% reduction in resignations that year, and merchandising programs that set records and won me an award. I started to think I might have something valuable to say and noticed nobody else had said it yet.

In an ironic twist, the thing that actually got me to start making videos to help golf professionals was me quitting being a golf professional. I’ll admit that the free Masters tickets may have had an impact, but I also knew I wasn’t done with my golf story yet. I just knew that getting where I wanted to go, and creating what I wanted to create, required me to get off the road I was on and make my own path ahead.

Over those next 4 years working outside the golf business, I worked with some incredible people to accomplish some remarkable things. During that time I continued to make videos, create over 170 golf business podcasts that have been listened to over 40,000 times. Produced and edited my own daily vlogs. I’ve gotten asked to speak at multiple PGM Universities and spoke at my first one last year. I’ve made great friends and been inspired by so many great people.

And that brings us to today. The day after my last day of full time work. The rest of the PGAjay story unwritten. The same question to be answered……. “What if I did it?”

Asking “How Was Your Round?” Can Cost You

We all do it as golf professionals. We see a member walk into the golf shop after their round and the words just come out. “How was it out there?” You say. All of a sudden, the memories of shot by shot accounts of other members 94’s come flooding back, and you panic. Like a game of Russian Roulette you just hope for a quick “Great day! Course is playing awesome!” or “Well, we had fun.” Anything but the dreaded “You won’t believe the round I just had. So, on Number 1 tee……..”

Regardless of the response, do either people in this exchange gain anything? Sure, they feel a little better that you took the time to listen to them. And, you have some insights into their game and how the course may be playing. But, is the relationship with you and the club strengthened at all? After all, we all ask the same question. What’s the difference if we ask it or another pro down the road?

Getting to know our member is important, but many of our hurried interactions during the season aren’t conducive to deeper dives into who they are as a person. And, when the winter comes we will go months without seeing them at all.

This area of member engagement is one of the most overlooked benefits that social media platforms offer a golf professional. Imagine having a window into many of your members lives outside of the club. Like, seeing their daughter just got her Black Belt in Karate or that their wife just landed a big promotion at work.

Social Media Tip

I recommend a platform like Instagram for this type of member engagement. You can find your members by searching their name, or by searching the followers of your club account (another great reason to create a club account), and view their profile.

Stay out of the “News Feed” of posts you get served when you log in to your account. I prefer to go into each persons account, where you can learn a little from their bio and also see all their posts in one place. You have a much better chance of remembering something about someone if you aren’t jumping from person to person.

Now let’s revisit that post round interaction. And let’s say this time we saw on social media the example of the wife getting a big promotion at work. Now rather than ask how the round was you can say,

“Hey Jimmy! I trust you guys had fun out there today. I saw online your wife Jane got that big promotion. Please give her my congratulations if I don’t see her this weekend. Actually, it sounds like she’s going to be really busy with the new gig and it may be awhile before we see her here at the club. Why don’t you come out for Sunday breakfast tomorrow with the family? It’s on me. I’d love to wish Jane congratulations myself if you can make it?”

You can tell Jimmy is pretty impressed as he graciously accepts the offer with a hand shake and a “Thank you. That means a lot and we will be there!”

What you couldn’t tell, is that Jimmy and his wife, Jane, had planned on celebrating the promotion by looking at new homes across town in that new golf community. Plans that they later canceled, during the breakfast you invited them to, because you had something to say, because you were paying attention.

Episode009 The PGAjay Show – The Ultimate Public Golf Course

Here is the latest installment of the show.  I really liked this one because I had a lot of fun editing it and trying to make if fun.  I still fell like reigning in my thoughts and what I am trying to communicate is a challenge.  It always has been but being on camera makes it that much harder.

That remains the thing that surprises me the most is how uncomfortable I feel in front of the camera. I am fine in front of a group of people but the camera is different. Not having the energy of the person or people I am talking to to feed off is tough for me.  I like to react to people around me and having the camera is tough because I know there are people out there watching and reacting but I can’t see that reaction and adjust my presentation.

I just have to do more of it to get comfortable and I just takes doing more and more. Thanks!

PGAjay Show Episode 004 – “The Yips and Jr. Golf Revelations.

Hey Everyone.  Sorry I have been neglecting the website over the last couple of weeks.  It’s really not that hard to do, I just always feel like I need to write something special here an that is why I usually don’t do it.  Most other places I post this like YouTube and Facebook I just post it and maybe add a sentence but here I feel like I need to do more.

Well I guess I will stop thinking that way and just start posting.  I am not a great writer in the first place and that is why I do video.  So there!

Thanks for all the support!