Hong Kong: A shift away from traditional one-hour golf lessons and one-on-one coaching is paying dividends at the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy.
According to Kurt Greve, General Manager at the Academy, which is a Facility member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, long-term teaching programmes are proving to be increasingly popular among members and customers – virtually and in person.
“We have to be creative, make it fun and interactive and be educationally thought-provoking. Knowing what our customers want and using technology for learning, entertainment and a pathway for the future goals is very important these days,” said Greve, speaking during a LinksAsia webinar focused on How Does Golf Use Technology to Appeal to a Younger Generation.
“One thing that has really worked well for us at our Academy is the introduction of long-term structured programmes. We do a 36-week programme that runs from September to June. Then you’ve got your remaining 16 weeks of holiday camps and other events to supplement or add more tutorial training.
“We don’t just focus on the one-hour lesson, but train the entire body like a PGA Tour professional would, such as Brooks Koepka.
“The 36-week programme we do is all-encompassing, from physiotherapy to nutrition to mental/mindfulness to sports psychology to short-game, full swing, course management and on-course practice. We’re using artificial grass, so you also need to know how to compress the golf ball and to take divots on real grass.
“The traditional golf courses are needing to get into the holistic side to produce the next Koepka or Bryson DeChambeau. How are they getting so strong? How are they getting so smart? How do they get longevity?
“All of that is holistic in the development of children. Giving them a pathway. What is their next five-year, 10-year and beyond progress report?”
Greve says parents understand the need for their children to get more exercise, sleep and nutrition and to spend more time outdoors in socially conducive environments.
He said: “Time is a valuable commodity that is very limited. Academics for kids is very important but there needs to be a balance in life … and balancing out other things in their life socially. Golf is a perfect fit for that. People need to make time for it. We need to give them reasons and opportunities as to why they should do it, add the value, manage the cost of it.
“As a child I got hooked on golf, addicted to it – and that made it a desired habit. Golf was something I needed to have all the time. It’s creating a good addiction like: ‘Oh, it’s Saturday, I’ve got to go to the golf club and hit some balls’. That’s what we’ve got to focus on and give them back that avenue so that they will do it more often.”
Joining Greve on the webinar panel were Peter Shaw, Director International Sales for Golf Genius, one of the world’s leading suppliers of tournament management solutions and a Full Business Member of the AGIF, and Casper Schonfeldt, General Manager at Trump International Golf Club Dubai. The session was moderated by Kate Burton.
*To view the webinar, please visit https://app.livestorm.co/impact-golf/linksasia