Golf News for Thursday, January 15, 2015 | Instruction

Golf Channel Academy brings together golf's elite coaches in strategic alliance

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Thirty of golf’s most distinguished PGA of America and LPGA teaching professionals are among the inaugural coaches in the newly formed Golf Channel Academy, a dedicated network of facilities committed to growing the opportunities for golf instruction. Backed by Golf Channel, the game’s leading global multimedia and entertainment source, Golf Channel Academy will open its charter locations in Spring 2015.

Golf Channel Academy is the first network devoted to efficiently expanding the business of golf instruction through a unique marketing partnership with selected coaches and their facilities, and availing itself of a variety of Golf Channel promotional and customized marketing tools. Golf Channel’s support represents a notable shift in how teaching, coaching, and player development are presented, promoted, and delivered.

Golf Channel Academy’s current team of 30 lead coaches features some of the best and brightest teachers in the game today. And that’s not by accident, as years of research by Golf Channel Academy’s executive team have gone into identifying the inaugural group.

The first 30 Golf Channel Academy coaches represent 18 states and one province, 12 Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers, 7 book authors, 15 coaches on Golf Digest’s list of "Best Teachers in State" for 2013-14, and the current LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals National president:

Jason Birnbaum New Jersey Golf Academy, Roseland, NJ
Kelley Brooke Randall’s Island Golf & Sports Center, New York, NY
Henry Brunton Henry Brunton Golf Academy, Maple, Ontario, Canada
Mike Davis Royal Links Golf Club, Las Vegas, NV
Dom DiJulia DiJulia Golf, Jericho National G.C., New Hope, PA
Chuck Evans Chuck Evans Golf, Tiffany Greens G.C., Kansas City, MO
Jeff Fisher Fisher Bryan Golf Academy, Longbow G.C., Mesa, AZ
Fred Griffin Grand Cypress Academy of Golf, Orlando, FL
Martin Hall Martin Hall Golf, Ibis G. & C.C., West Palm Beach, FL
Virgil Herring High Performance Golf Academy, Westhaven G.C., Franklin, TN
Dave Kendall Kendall Academy of Golf/Miles of Golf, Ypsilanti, MI
Charlie King Reynolds Golf Academy, Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA
Rick Krebs Waverly Woods G.C., Marriottsville, MD
Ralph Landrum World of Golf, Florence, KY
Rod Lidenberg Halla Greens Executive GC, Chanhassen, MN
Anders Mattson Saratoga National G.C., Saratoga Springs, NY
Kenny Nairn Celebration Golf Academy, Celebration G.C., Celebration, FL
Rob Noel Rob Noel Golf Academy, Money Hill G&CC, Abita Springs, LA
Chris O’Connell The Plane Truth, The Courses at Watters Creek, Plano, TX
Don Parsons Don Parsons Golf, Twin Lakes GC, Santa Barbara, CA
Chad Phillips Blue Giraffe Golf Institute, Alpharetta, GA
Mark Polich Mark Polich Golf, Tucson, AZ
Kip Puterbaugh Aviara Golf Academy, Carlsbad, CA
Dana Rader Dana Rader Golf, Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, Charlotte, NC
Craig Renshaw Legacy Golf Performance Center, Phoenix, AZ
Jeff Ritter MTT Performance, Poppy Hills GC, Pebble Beach, CA
Jon Sinclair Sinclair’s Golf Training Center, Euless, TX
Kellie Stenzel Kellie Stenzel Golf, Palm Beach Par 3, Palm Beach, FL
Larry Ward High Performance Golf Academy, Lexington, KY
Trent Wearner Trent Wearner Golf Academy, Meridian G.C., Englewood, CO

Golf Channel Academy coaches will benefit from a wide-spectrum of business consulting services and products addressing marketing, sales, technology, and back-office solutions needs, as well as shared best practices across the network. Coaches also will have the opportunity to appear on instructional programming across Golf Channel’s television and digital platforms. These initial academies include over 75 associate coaches, who side-by-side with these instructors, will also be available to work with students.

The idea for Golf Channel Academy began from a collaborative idea between Todd Wilson, chief executive officer of Golf Channel Academy, and Scott Novell, president of Golf Channel Academy. Wilson based this golf instruction concept on the “brand-within-a-brand” strategy employed by NASCAR, where he was the long-tenured senior vice president and chief financial officer.

Golf Channel Academy also will draw on the network and experience of its executive vice president Lorin Anderson, founder and president of Proponent Group, a golf instructor membership-based organization that is now part of the foundation of Golf Channel Academy.

“Our business model is based on acquiring the top teaching talent in the industry and building a marketing and business services infrastructure to support it, thus achieving a scale and synergy not previously seen in this part of the industry,” said Anderson.

Proponent Group, golf’s premier membership-based service company for top-echelon instructors and coaches—launched in 2007 to offer dedicated golf instructors a unique set of business-oriented benefits to help enhance their teaching skills and their businesses—has merged with the newly formed Golf Channel Academy. Anderson believes this merger will make the organization an even more important resource to its 450 instructor members.

“It was time for an infusion of talent and energy that could take Proponent Group to the next level, and this is it,” says Anderson. “We are already starting to tap into the unmatched array of marketing, business, and social-media resources Golf Channel has to offer and are pushing them out to our members.”

Golf Channel Academy plans to open more than 100 locations in the U.S. and Canada within five years and will lean on Proponent Group’s highly qualified membership to fuel that growth.

ABOUT GOLF CHANNEL
Golf Channel is a multimedia, golf entertainment and services company based in Orlando, Fla. Golf Channel, co-founded by Arnold Palmer in 1995 and now part of the NBC Sports Group, is available in more than 120 million homes and 83 countries worldwide. Exclusive partnerships with the world’s top tours allow Golf Channel to feature more live golf coverage than all other networks combined, as well as a programming schedule distinguished by golf’s highest-quality news, instruction and original programming. Golf Channel’s digital platforms, headed by GolfChannel.com, are the leading golf destinations on the Internet, delivering unmatched coverage of the world of golf. Fans are able to enjoy 24/7 live streaming of Golf Channel content through Golf Live Extra and select programming is simulcast via SiriusXM’s PGA TOUR Radio. In addition, Golf Channel connects the world to golf through a wide array of digital services including Golf Channel Mobile; GolfNow, the world’s largest online booking platform; GolfAdvisor.com, a golf course ratings and review portal; the interactive Golf Channel Academy instructional app and services; and the Golf Channel Am Tour, the world’s largest amateur golf tour.

Media Contacts:
Karen Moraghan
Hunter Public Relations
908/963-6013
kmoraghan@hunter-pr.com

Jeff Szklinski
Golf Channel Communications
407/248-3267
Jeff.Szklinski@golfchannel.com

David Schaefer
Golf Channel Communications
407/355-4542
David.Schaefer@golfchannel.com