Today is April 18, 2015
Player Development Spotlight

Celebrating the Growth of Women in Golf




The Celebration of Growth of Women in Golf event was held at the Saint Andrews Golf Club on June 5th, 2013.  In conjunction with Saint Andrews 125th anniversary, PGA Professional Ambry Bishop and Katie Brenny created a wonderful unique golf experience for women of all skill levels. This event offers a great opportunity to introduce new golfers and continue to grow the game of golf! The celebration has been designed by golf professionals to honor women’s historic contributions to the game, while introducing non-golfers to everything that makes golf fun and exciting. Golf professionals throughout the Metropolitan New York are volunteered their services to create a warm and welcoming environment for those who’ve never played and want to get into golf.



Special Thank you to the following professionals who volunteered their time to assist with the days events at Saint Andrews.

Ambry Bishop, Katie Brenny, Wendy Modic, Dana Bates, Teri Hjelte, Kyla Jones, Joann Walker, Naomi Nasenoff, Jae Lee, Sarah Stone, Carla Wasienko, and Tish Certo.


Extensive Promotion for Get Golf Ready Set for Week of PGA Championship

Grow Your Business by Posting on





Can your tee sheet use more golfers? How about an increase in lessons, purchases in the golf shop, or customers in the restaurant at your facility? If you answered yes to any of these questions, The PGA of America is excited to inform you that an extensive Get Golf Ready promotional campaign will be conducted Aug. 5-11, in conjunction with the 95th PGA Championship.


And, you need to be ready for it!


With a potential household reach of more than 4 million households in the U.S., The PGA will air 30 public service announcements on TNT and CBS Sports, promoting the benefits of this industry-leading program. Five additional Get Golf Ready PSAs will be shown on CBS Sports' and Golf Channel's airings of "The Road to The PGA Championship," which highlights the 20 PGA Professionals who qualify to compete at Oak Hill Country Cub in Rochester, N.Y.


We anticipate that these highly visible promotional spots will spark increased traffic to all PGA of America-supported websites, including PGA Professionals can get a jump on this promotion by posting your Get Golf Ready programs using the PGA Program Management Tool built on Active.

"Partnering with ACTIVE Network might be the best thing The PGA has ever done in terms of Player Development. Since the start of the year, I have had more than 500 people register online with cash in hand," says PGA Professional Ralph Landrum. is also continuing promotion of Get Golf Ready through web banner advertisements on the site and in its weekly E-newsletters to a database of more than 600,000 consumers. In addition to widespread media coverage, there will be a variety of community events in the Rochester area and on-course media to promote Get Golf Ready during Championship week.


This is a fantastic opportunity to grow your Get Golf Ready business at your facility. Take advantage of the incredible exposure for Get Golf Ready to current and potential golfers, who will be looking to sign up at facilities in their area.



Register for Get Golf Ready and post your programs to today!


Click here or call (561) 624-8531 to learn more about promoting your events on



Meeting With Women Professionals at Golf Central

Meeting Notes


On Wednesday February 13th fifteen of the sections lady professionals gathered to discuss important industry and local initiatives for the betterment of our association and section.  A summary of the meeting can be found in the notes below.  Exciting highlights include St Andrews Women’s Golf Experience, Girls Golf and Fore, WMGA Girls Golf Day, and meeting the industry demand for PGA members.

Meeting Notes:

Charlie Robson presented on an overview of the purpose of the meeting.  He also provided some historical perspective on the Section’s involvement and tournaments including the Women’s Open and the Match Play and Stroke Play along with some background to the sponsors. There were several goals outlined for the meeting discussions:

  •                 To explain some programs that are being initiated to promotes women’s’ golf and player development for girls in the Section that hopefully would be well received by the women professionals and that the women professionals would help take ownership of
  •                 To provide the PGA of America with some feedback on why women do or do not choose to join the PGA, the LPGA or neither organization
  •                 To discuss the playing opportunities in the Met Section for women professionals

St Andrews 125 Anniversary  Week Women’s Golf Experience

                Ambry Bishop – Katie Brenny


Ambry Bishop explained the celebration of women’s golf event that was part of St Andrews’s 125th Anniversary week.  The success of the program would be dependent on getting some sponsorship participation and having the sponsors invite executives, clients, employees, friends, etc. to participate.  The day would involve clinics, guest speakers (not necessarily golf-related) and then a festival of golf with stations throughout the golf course.  We are doing this for several reasons: promotion of an important women’s initiative, to be supporting partner of one of our clubs and professionals, to create an event that could help us to attract future activity (lessons, sponsorships, Get Golf Ready) and to do something with women that will be fun social and golf oriented.  Ambry Bishop provided a promotional piece for the event which can be found below.  Katie Brenny described the festival concept (outline below) that was something she had created in Charlotte.  The overall intent will also be similar to programs that CJ Reeves did with Chase Band, Janice Metzler did with a lawyers firm on Long Island and The First Tee did with Reuter’s at Bedford Golf & Tennis Club.

Girls Golf & Fore

                Katie Brenny described her Girls Golf & Fore program that has been instituted at the First Tee facilities.  The Met PGA would like to take this concept to young girls (generally 13 and up) throughout the Section with the involvement of more professionals.  The program incorporates golf with providing an opportunity for young girls to share their thoughts, problems, concerns, and personal issues with a mentor who is also golf professional.  The program is also intended to be part of an initiative that will be funded through a statewide Pro-Am at Oak Hill in 2013 that is under the PGA REACH program (recreation, education, awareness, community and health).  Materials describing the current program for First Tee can be found below.  It is likely that the Section program would be scaled back and there would need to be a “coaches training” program along with a shared curriculum.

WMGA Girls on the Tee

                Monique Thoresz explained her needs for a player development program in concert with the WMGA at Westchester Country Club.  The August event now attracts over 100 junior girls.  Sharon McQuillan also explained her involvement with the US Kids Tour on Long Island and the goal of getting more junior girls involved, increasing playing opportunities and the US Kids philosophy of having the parents also involved.

PGA / LPGA Membership

                Rod Loesch explained that the PGA Membership Committee was examining the split in women professionals who join the LPGA vs. the PGA and that there is also a percentage of women who do not join either association but are still able to find employment.  The discussion was lively and there were several key points that were raised.  The PGA program was perceived to be more value for employment, mentoring and for playing opportunities.  The LPGA programs primarily provided some teaching and coaching education as well as playing opportunities in their events.  The cost of the PGA program was much greater, the entrance exam (PAT) more difficult and there was a question about its value since LPGA and unaffiliated women could play in local events and that at time jobs are based solely on gender and not accreditation or professional experience.  There was some discussion about reciprocity and also whether the two organizations could or would ever merge their memberships but it seemed doubtful that either would accept a change in their overall mission and policies.  Rod Loesch went through an outline of questions and would be reporting back to the PGA at their Planning Session next week. The list of questions are attached and Rod would continue to welcome input from any or all of the women professionals as quickly as possible.

                Unfortunately as the program ran beyond the scheduled (11 am to 1:30 time) it was decided to forego the discussion of tournament matters until a subsequent meeting would be scheduled in April and or May when more women could also attend.  It is hoped that those participants at the meeting as well as the women throughout the Section will take some time to review the materials and provide their feedback or contact the office or various presenters either with questions or to lend their support and assistance.





The following were in attendance 

Dana Bates, LPGA – Quaker Ridge

Ambry Bishop, PGA  - St. Andrews

Katie Brenny, PGA Apprentice – Mosholu and The First Tee of Metropolitan NY

Tish Certo, PGA – Willow Ridge

Ashley Gersten, PGA Apprentice, LPGA – Woodway

Sharon McQuillan, PGA – Westchester Golf Range, Sharon Mcuillan Golf Studio

Janice Metzler, PGA – Woodmere

Naomi Nessenoff, PGA – Bonnie Briar

Julie Peluso, PGA – Sunningdale

Monique Thoresz, PGA – Apawamis

Ann Walsh Obermeyer, LPGA – Village Club of Sands Point

Rod Loesch, PGA – Connecticut, Membership Committee Chairman, PGA of America

Rich Richeson, - PGA Player Development Manager, PGA of America

Jonathan Gold, PGA – Player Development Regional Manager

Jeff Voorheis – Met PGA Tournament Director

Charlie Robson – Met PGA Executive Director



220 Roundtable Discussion



On Wednesday, February 20th representatives from the Metropolitan, New Jersey and Philadelphia Section gathered at Springdale Golf Club in Princeton New Jersey to discuss important industry initiatives and best practices in the district.  Topics discussed included membership, player development, junior instruction, activation of female membership, retention of senior membership, professional team building and effective ways to communicate with the members at their respective facility.  Below is a summary of each of the topics discussed in addition to best practices presented at the meeting.  Special thanks to Chris Kenney, Keith Stewart, Nick Wolfe  for organizing and all those that attended to share their ideas.





Attracting and Retaining Members

Many clubs are implementing reduced initiation fees across the board

Gearing toward younger people to attract them to club

Offering payments over extended periods of time

Refer a new member and receive $500 credit in the Golf Shop

Offering incentive for joining club (i.e. member receives a new driver or a set of junior clubs)

Retaining our older members is a recent challenge.  Senior members are dropping in favor of winter club or public facilities.  Clubs are lowering dues, providing special perks, non-resident status, and reduced cart fees in an attempt to add value

Question each club needs to answer is what value does the member receive for their dues?

Perception is: access, service, prestige, practice facilities, dining, entertainment

Allowing house members to play but pay a guest fee

Package guest fees at a discount buy 10 get 12 but must prepay

50% off greens fees for relatives (grandparents, siblings out of town)

Mandatory guest fees in packages of 10, can trade or sell to other members.  Guest packages can also be used as a revenue generator at the beginning of the season

Member Guest – offer a free foursome of golf to the guests as part of their tee gift – These are your potential new members (1 day or Multi-day M/G)

Reflect internally on your current members to help increase retention

Legacy members offered a 50% discount on current initiation fee and may spread payments over 4 years

Not seeing a member within 30 days is a yellow flag and deserves a phone call, not seeing them in 60 days is a red flag and warrants the scheduling of a face to face meeting, because if you don’t see them for 90 days they will be contemplating resignation- assign an assistant to use handicap computer to monitor

New member orientation – lack of mentoring from sponsors was consistent among all the clubs

New member party – all new members within the last 5 years invited. Great mixer and way to introduce people.  Can go over unwritten rules with each department head- some have made it fun (comedy)

HP/staff plays nine* holes with each new member – explains the program and philosophy of the club.  *Some need more or less to get acclimated

New Member Packet that explains the services provided and important facts for the golf operation.

Can the membership process be streamlined to make the process more appealing to prospective members? 

Important to for the club to interview and know new members however how does someone join if they do not know anyone to begin the process?  


Caddie Programs

Caddie fees – increases in fees may kill the programs

Independent Contractor status – evaluations may jeopardize status

No discounts for carts vs caddie fees encourages walking

Do not publish base fees, liability issue

Times caddies must be taken have been relaxed 



Professional Recruitment

4% of PGA members are women

Pink Links – Facebook page for female professionals

Benefits/difficulties experienced in recruiting

Fashion Retail Merchandising majors can be available to intern in your shop through colleges/universities with this major- FREE


Women’s golf development

No-Holers – non players being introduced thru clinics. Greeted them at valet with champagne, told to walk around the clubhouse and explore – create comfort zone at the club on first visit

8 sessions, presented diplomas at the end, last session was 9 hole scramble, scheduled from 10:30 – 11:30 so they could then transition to lunch at the club

Tied in events after clinics: Bookclub, Specialty chef, trainer – make the club a destination for the day

Sent a recap e-mail following each session.  New sessions were added to previously sent e-mails so that participants could use as a reference for past topics.

Outfit of the week was promoted to the group – became great shoppers

Wanted their own identity and named themselves the no-holers because they only took lessons and did not play

Golf Chicks – 5 hole wine and dine, new golfers recruited for 45 minute clinics,, Thursday nights then transitioned inside for dinner or drinks, created their own logo for merchandise

Women want to identify themselves in a group, group must have a title/name, enjoy relaxed and fun atmosphere

All playing had a goal oriented towards completion in a certain amount of time – 5 holes from the family tees in an hour



Junior golf

TPI Junior program is a must attend for all

Great programming which includes a rounded approach to Jr. Development

PGA Sports Academy – free resource, great YouTube videos by Joe Hallett

Create your own junior clinic with your friends, pick your own day and times

KWIK Golf- worth looking into

Junior set rental program idea- allows all kids to be properly fitted at all times- HOMERUN

Rent little set for $75 per season, tween set for $125 (75-100 rentals last year).  One challenge is storage of the clubs

Each set usually last 3-4 years, members charged to replace any lost/broken pieces of the set. At the end of the sets life, donate to First Tee and take the write off.

Parent-Child outings – gear towards corporations for outings or own member events

Videotape each kids swing at beginning of year, mid-year, end of year, include interview of their personal goals for golf, archive.

Can compile for end of season montage video of camp clinics, tournaments, etc.

Pro-Jr event – scramble format. Get kids playing with professional staff

Par 3 family night from family tees – tie into a bbq

Drive in movie night with golf carts

Fishing tournament on the course ponds and incorporate into golf tourney- some tie in camp outs on the course/range into these events



Communication With Membership and Staff Knowledge

What’s Happening Board – dry erase board in staff area where each staff member can write personal happenings of each member after one on one discussions to share with the entire staff

Journal for all extraordinary things done by the staff under counter- beyond the call of duty

Track range rounds

Quantify everything that happens in the golf operation – number of phone calls

Newsletters are a must- weekly or monthly; send in mailing and/or email.  Video increases open rates

Fashion member of the week – take a picture of a member wearing the outfit they bought in the shop and post their picture as the winner each week. Members will plan their outfits and special order items in effort to win. Include in newsletter and post in locker room

All communication needs to be centered on the members and their activities, include as many names as possible. They will read anything that they feel they may be mentioned in.

Communications that are sent under the Head Professionals name also seem to have a higher open rate vs. those sent from club

Film testimonials from members after fittings, incorporate into newsletters

Video all events at club, archive and compile season ending montage. Send to all members via YouTube

Include video in communication

Use Survey Monkey to send surveys to gain valuable information from your members that can be used to create and Action Plan for the future.


Tom Henderson Becomes First PGA Professional to Achieve Certification in Player Development

Congratulations to Tom Henderson, PGA Head Professional at The Round Hill Club located in Greenwich Connecticut.  As of December, 11th 2012, Tom is the first and only PGA Professional to become certified in player development.  This is a tremendous achievement giving further recognition to the Metropolitan PGA's commitment to Golf 2.0 and growth of the game initiatives.

Aligned with the goals of the Golf 2.0 strategic initiative to give PGA members a state-of-the-art skillset to grow the game of golf, PGA CPP 2.0 is an online, career-enhancing education curriculum that ensures that PGA members have the skills, competencies and job requirements demanded by employers and customers throughout the golf industry. Designed with direct input from employers and industry experts to immediately enhance PGA members’ expertise and performance in the workplace, the all-digital PGA CPP 2.0 is an intuitive program available on

"PGA CPP 2.0 is designed to provide a good user experience that is easy to understand and directly focused to what matters most on the job — grow customers and improve profitability.," said Dawes Marlatt, a PGA Master Professional and PGA Director of Education. "The entire program is an investment in the PGA member, so they can literally learn the information today…and apply it tomorrow, using a flexible design, fewer required courses and more self-directed electives." CPP 2.0 is designed to enrich a PGA member’s arsenal of skills, in order to set you apart in your current job or to demonstrate to your employer a commitment, ability and readiness to move up into the management ranks.

We look forward to learning from Tom and his insight into achieving certification as well as how he has benefited from becoming certified in player development.

For more information, PGA members are encouraged to contact the PGA CPP 2.0 Mentor line at (866) 866-3382 Ext. 4 or

Westchester CC Gives a Name to Their Family Tees

HARRISONThere’s a new golf course at Westchester Country Club, and director of golf John Kennedy said he hopes this will be the template for others like it across the country. Kennedy and the WCC membership on Thursday dedicated and named the new portion of the South Course as the Debbie Austin course.  The irony is that Austin, who for 10 years was so instrumental in the club’s junior program (which numbers almost 300), and in teaching and helping players of all abilities, had kind of been out in front of this idea at her current club, Orange Tree GC, in Orlando, Fla.  Taking the PGA of America’s brilliant Tee It Forward initiative a step further, Kennedy sought to establish another set of tees, well in front of the red or golds, for juniors, for kids, for beginners and for seniors, so that the game can be more fun. The new 3,800-yard course, with its own scorecard and fully rated by the Metropolitan Golf Association for the purpose of handicaps, was unveiled in a ceremony beside the first hole.

“We have a big family program here, so it kind of fits in with our whole package,” club president Nick Cammarano said.

“(Kennedy) said, ‘It would be kind of neat if we could name the tees.’ I said, ‘Who do you have in mind?’ And he immediately said Debbie Austin – she was very instrumental in getting our junior program really cranked up. … there wasn’t even a second choice.”

Kennedy said that he’s had more than 300 assistants in his 41 years as a club pro, and that if he had to start all over again, his first hire would be Austin.

“It is a wonderful honor and something I’m very proud of,” she said of the dedication.

Before coming to Westchester CC, where she worked from 1991-2000, Austin made some big noise on the LPGA Tour.

Now 64, the Oneida native was, for a comet-like period of time, on a victory rampage on the tour.

As a young amateur champ, Austin played in a handful of LPGA events, where she would have won money. So she decided to turn pro in May 1968 to start a 19-year, eight-win career, which ended with some injuries, a slump, she said, and eventually rheumatoid arthritis.

“In the early 1970s I started playing some really good golf. I could make money, but never huge money. And then I just worked on my game and got better and got more confidence. Finally in 1977 I hit on some good instruction and some good positive thinking.”

That season, Austin won five Tour events – the Birmingham Classic, Hoosier Classic, Pocono Northeast Classic, Long Island Charity Classic, and the Wheeling Classic.

In those five wins, the runners-up she beat included Debbie Massey, Judy Rankin, Jan Stephenson, Sandra Post, Nancy Lopez, Kathy Whitworth and Hollis Stacy – big-time brand names and Hall of Famers.

She followed that up by winning the first event of 1978, and then the ’78 Australian Ladies Open, for seven victories in the span of about a year.

“That,” she said, “was pretty exciting.

“You just get up and you go, ‘Oh, my gosh,’ ” Austin said. “The ball’s going in the middle of the fairway, the ball’s going on the green, and some of your competitors make a mistake here or there and you just sort of fall into a win. It’s just one of those things.

“And I think, with golf, it’s easy when you’re playing well to be confident.”

Now a five- or six-handicapper, Austin runs a charity tournament at the Orange Tree, benefitting MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, and last year raised more than $41,000 for women’s breast-cancer research. And while Westchester hosted the PGA Tour stop, she would return to assist in the merchandise sales.

“I had what I consider was a really good career,” Austin said. “It wasn’t a Nancy Lopez career or JoAnne Carner, but it was pretty darn good at the time. And I said, ‘I’m ready to slow down and do something else.’ My experience here (at WCC) was just a wonderful, wonderful experience. You talk about working hard. You work really hard in this golf business, the club business. But I loved it because I love people and the members were always so supportive of me here. It was a lot of fun being here.”

As Bruce Zabriski, who worked on the WCC staff with Austin in the 1990s, and is now back on Kennedy’s staff, said, “What Debbie did better than anybody else was make (golf) fun. She packaged it, wrapped it up, put a bow on it and shared it with everyone.”

By Rick Carpiniello

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