The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening of GOLFTEC’s new golf training center in Stamford, but it may have been an opportune time for the sport.
The company’s locations were closed last spring due to the pandemic; this also includes a location in Westport that was opened just a few months earlier. Since the reopening, the demand for golf lessons and equipment has increased.
“The golf business in general is booming. It’s ironic that it took a pandemic, ”said CJ Perry, part of GOLFTEC’s marketing team and a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Section Professional Golfers of America.
Perry said that GOLFTEC’s teaching hours increased 23 percent from September to December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Sales in September 2020 increased by 85 percent compared to the previous year and by 55 percent in October.
The National Golf Foundation, citing figures from Golf Datatech, said the game had increased 14 percent year over year to around 500 million rounds in 2020.
Federation President and CEO Joe Beditz wrote in December that the only major increase was in 1997, when Tiger Woods’ breakthrough year brought many newcomers to the sport. Only four more years later there had been a change of more than 4 percent in both directions.
“For one thing, people don’t travel that much. You can’t do indoor activities, ”Perry said.
GOLFTEC has two introductory offers for $ 125: One is a swing assessment, “a kind of hour-long introductory session with a coach,” Perry said, examining problems a player might have with the swing and exploring possible solutions. The other is a club customization that analyzes what equipment is best for the player.
GOLFTEC opened a training center in Stamford, Connecticut, in February 2021.
Prices for additional services vary by location and bus, Perry said. He outlined a year-long plan of weekly half-hour lessons with video feedback and club fitting that cost around $ 3,000. A three month version is less than half that. There are discounts for young players.
Perry said they see good bonding and says students stay an average of three or four years.
“New golfers in particular see how much they improve,” said Perry. “A student who works with us for about a year and follows the program as he should can lose about seven strokes from his game.
“Our target market are fairly wealthy avid golfers,” he added, “people who play a fair amount of golf and have some disposable income.”
Video is an important part of swing analysis. It came on a VHS tape in 1995 when the company started, Perry said, but now players get video practice through a phone app.
The company has over 200 locations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan. The West Hartford branch is a franchise, but Westport is a corporate location like Stamford.
“We have tried to expand our presence in the Northeast a little further, particularly in the New York area,” said Perry.
“Stamford has many major golf media, golf shops in the area, Golf Digest, Golf Channel and Arccos.”
At a time when collecting sizes is on your mind, Perry said it was easy to keep the locations open as they often have four bays with one-to-one tuition. The bays have simulators that show where a shot would have gone and the courses have putting greens. The coaches will play rounds with the players and give instructions on the court.