Salter adds expertise to GLF Locker coaching software

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Coaching software GLF Locker continues its rapid expansion into the golf market with today’s announcement that Steve Salter has joined in a consultancy role as Sales Director.

The web-based GLF Locker platform provides a suite of online and mobile tools which help golf professionals to improve their coaching productivity.

Salter, aged 39, is a software expert known to many in the industry from his recent roles at NFS Hospitality and ESP Leisure.

Prior to this he was a PGA professional at Bearwood Lakes and also The London Club – where his wife, Anna, still works.

“GLF Locker is the perfect tool for golf coaches to grow their business and be more professional” said Salter, who is based in Kent.

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“It really excels by taking the hassle away from the day-to-day management of a golf coaching business” he said. “It’s equally as good if you are an individual coach, or are running multi-site academies. I am looking forward to playing a part as its rolls out across the golf industry.”

The GLF Locker app, available in the Apple Store, also enables better communication between coaches and students. It enables secure online payments and offers a host of features which help golf coaches improve their revenues.

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GLF Locker is also available as a fully-branded app for clients who want to personalise it for their own business.

“Steve’s arrival is a landmark moment for GLF Locker” said Rob Spurrier, PGA professional and co-creator of GLF (Giant Leaps Forward). “Our mission is to boost the business prospects of anyone who teaches golf for a living, anywhere in the world. Steve’s experience and his understanding of golf software systems will help us get our message across more powerfully than ever before, as we grow our own business.”

For information or to book a demo visit www.glflocker.com, or call +44 (0)7798 912281.

Ends.

 

In search of the magic bullet

"It's quite a lot of work isn't it?" 

I try to stifle a sigh....inside my heart sinks...

Another conversation with a golf coach ends with the same conclusion....

I have heard so many variations of this kind of line...

"There is a fair amount of admin isn't there." 

"Can't the platform do all of this for me?" 

"Is there a way for me to avoid....?"

It's what we at GLF. call 'The Magic Bullet line'! 

It is when someone has an unrealistic expectation that GLF. is going to be the Magic Bullet that is going to solve all of their business problems and reduce the amount of work they have to do on their business.

The assumption is that the platform will do everything for them and the money will come rolling in.

There is no doubt that GLF. saves coaches time and effort. There is also no doubt that the platform increases revenue for people who make the commitment. 

We can make this claim so confidently because so many of our clients see such great returns. 

But one of the things that we have noticed is that the platform works best for people who are really savvy business people and who understand a simple principle of business...

..."You get out what you put in!"

People who don't do as well as others are usually the ones who have a certain attitude to business...

The Magic Bullet people...

Those people who are looking for the short cuts...looking to find ways to avoid the effort involved with business growth...looking for things to be done for them for nothing. 

Running a business is hard, it's takes dedication...it takes commitment...it takes passion and it takes enthusiasm. 

GLF. can't give you that...

What it can do is make you more efficient, more effective, more valuable in the eyes of your customers and more professional in the way you present your business to others. In essence it can turbo charge your dedication, commitment, passion and enthusiasm and help you to see returns on those qualities. 

It can help you realise a greater return on your investment than you would get otherwise. 

It can't provide a return for people that aren't prepared to invest anything...

So when we hear 'The Magic Bullet line' we are mentally getting ready to start our closure conversation. 

We aren't looking to close the sale...

We are looking to explain to the potential client why they aren't ready for GLF. ...

We don't want people to be disappointed with us...if they have unrealistic expectations then they will be disappointed and we are defiantly not in the disappointment business. 

We are in the 'raving fans' business. 

We over deliver on expectation! 

We have to give some tough love...we need to provide some reality but we need to make sure that we do so without offending. 

That's where this blog post comes in...

If you are someone that is considering an investment in software that can help you run your business more effectively or if you are exploring ways that you can improve the service that you provide for your clients then we would love to talk to you....

But....

We would want you to consider these questions before you do. 

  1. Am I prepared to invest in driving my business forward?
  2. Am I someone that is committed to long term development and growth? 
  3. Have I got the energy and drive to make a commitment to excellence? 

If your answer to these 3 questions is a great big "Hell yes" then we would love to have a conversation with you because we know that we can exceed your expectations and help you drive your business to new levels. 

We are looking forward to working with you...

P.S. By the way, GLF. isn't a lot of work. It is actually a lot less work! There is some work to be done to set it up and there are some new ways of working to get used to but trust us when we say that you will never go back to the old way!



Contact us for further information or sign up to a few 30-day trial.

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GolfCoach 2.0 - The Future of Golf Coaching

There just aren't enough hours in the day...

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard that phrase!

It seems that people are so busy these days...the term 'time poor' has become a standard part of our language. Everywhere you look people are searching for ways to make the most of their time or find ways of being more efficient in an effort to make the most of the time they have.

Nobody thought it would end up like this...

In this article in The Economist, the modern affliction of 'time poverty' is explored with an explanation that at one point there was a worry that we would have too much free time!

"... “Our grandchildren”, reckoned John Maynard Keynes in 1930, would work around “three hours a day”—and probably only by choice. Economic progress and technological advances had already shrunk working hours considerably by his day, and there was no reason to believe this trend would not continue. Whizzy cars and ever more time-saving tools and appliances guaranteed more speed and less drudgery in all parts of life. Social psychologists began to fret: whatever would people do with all their free time?"

But the busy-ness problem might not be as much of a reality as people think...people in western cultures actually have more free time than ever before...it might be more of a perception problem...

As the same article argues...

"The problem, then, is less how much time people have than how they see it. Ever since a clock was first used to synchronise labour in the 18th century, time has been understood in relation to money. Once hours are financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. When economies grow and incomes rise, everyone’s time becomes more valuable. And the more valuable something becomes, the scarcer it seems."

So perhaps it is less about 'time poverty' and more about 'time stress'.

Nowhere is this more true than in the service industry where people are being paid for their time. Trying to squeeze more about of every day can make a big difference to profitability...

To combat this, work now seeps into the evening. All day is spent delivering the service, providing great experiences and then in the evening all of the admin and emailing needs to get done.

It's the family that suffers...and then this causes an additional source of stress...the stress of not giving enough of our time to our family...but then when we do give time to the family we are thinking about all of the things we need to do in the business. It's a vicious circle and ultimately it isn't an efficient or sustainable way to operate.

But what if much of the admin and back office elements of running a golf coaching business could be automated? What if the management elements could be handled automatically so that the amount of time spent running the business was reduced to a minimum...

This could reduce the stress....free up time...and drastically increase profits....

This is where technology comes in

The time and efficiency guru Ari Meisel from Leverage.com and the 'Leverage' Podcast advocates a 3 pronged strategy to reduce overwhelm...

1. Optimise
2. Automate
3. Outsource

His 3 pronged strategy seeks to find ways of using technology or other services to assist in making life simpler and more efficient (it is well worth checking out).

So the question remains...

How can we as golf coaches optimise, automate or outsource many of the tasks that take up time and increase stress.

Here at GLF, we like to think that we have quite a few of these covered off...

Optimisation
* Your own, highly professional, fully branded web platform without all of the build costs and hosting fees
* Your own, branded mobile app that allows you to quickly and easily interact with your coaching clients
* Full business analytics suite so that you can see who your best customers are and make sure that you are reaching those that haven't rebooked.
* Fully customisable 'MyGame' platform allowing your clients to track their progress and log their development journey

Automation
* Online booking - no more replying to emails or texts...people check your calendar and book themselves you
* Integrated email platform complete with full database functionality to automatically capture customer details.
* Customers put their details into the database through the app without you ever having to do any data entry
* Customers can buy packages or vouchers online without the need for you to phyisically take payment - making money in your sleep!
* Pre payment - customers pay up front so you never have to chase them for payment

Outsourcing
* We set up the platform for you
* All hosting and site design is done for you
* If you want to get the details of how the other coaches in your academy are doing then the details are available at the touch of a button

This platform takes the golf coach into a completely new realm, it is a totally different way of doing business and the customers can really see that you are a highly professional operator that clearly stands out from everybody else.


In essence your business becomes a golf coaching machine with very little effort.

It comes down to a fairly simple decision...

Keep on struggling or get on board and turbo charge your coaching and your business? Be the golf coach of yesteryear or be GolfCoach 2.


Sign up to a 30-day free trial today - complete the form.

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The evolution of golf coaching - how good can we get?

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Here at GLF HQ we believe that golf needs to change if it is to survive in the modern leisure landscape...

Nowadays, people are very discerning about how they spend their leisure pounds or dollars and they make decisions in a different way than they used to. Many team sports are struggling, not because there are less players but because those players play less frequently. Where as in previous years, people would make a commitment to playing throughout a league season, now they will play 3/4 of the games. Clubs are struggling to adapt and league rules often mean that it is hard to accommodate these kinds of transient players. 

In golf we are seeing something similar. Participation is on the increase but membership is in decline. The old model of forking out £$1,000+ annual membership is becoming increasingly hard to justify. People just don't have the time to get value from such a proposition. 

As the golf consumer has changed the potential golf coaching customer is changing too.

With less regular golfers out there who are likely to commit the time and energy to extended work on their games, golf coaches need to adapt if it is to keep pace with the way people are now looking to develop their skills and their abilities.

Here at GLF, we believe in excellent coaching…it is built into our DNA, it is our WHY! We have created the GLF platform so that golf coaches don’t have to worry about all of the admin and all of the business management stuff and they can focus more of their time on providing a great learning experience that will help people get better and become as good as they can be.

We believe that technology can help coaches to reach and engage their audience better and we also believe that the platform does much to fostering a new, more modern approach to supporting the golf coaching consumer.  

But...(isn't there always a but!)...we also know that all of the clever tech in the world, will only work if the actual coaching experience that the person gets is excellent.

We think that some old practices and some old ways of thinking could be holding us back…it is stopping us from re imagining what we do as coaches and delivering something different.

Part of this is the very idea of a 'golf lesson'

What exactly is a lesson?

Dictionary.com defines a lesson as…

Lesson

Noun:

A section into which a course of study is divided, especially a single, continuous session of formal instruction in a subject

…”formal instruction”? Hmmm...

Do people really want formal instruction? Isn't formal instruction something that makes you think of school? Why do we use the language of school within our industry? Why are we aligned to an educational model that, in the words of Sir Ken Robinson “…was designed for the needs of the industrial revolution?”

Do we want to be giving lessons or do we want to be providing people with ‘learning experiences?’

A number of skill acquisition researchers have begin to question whether formal instruction is a methodology that enables people to learn effectively. At least not in the sporting context. Sport is about movement, it is about learning to control your body in space in order to achieve a certain objective. In the case of golf it is about learning to solve the problem of managing an implement in space to propel a ball towards a target in as few strikes as possible.

Viewed from this perspective we would suggest that learning in golf needs to be experiential, the person needs to be at the centre of the learning experience and we as coaches need to be facilitators of their learning. Giving a lesson evokes the idea that the teacher is all powerful and has knowledge and their job is to transmit that knowledge to the pupil and that this will make the pupil better.

The latest research in human learning is now asking questions around whether instructional learning models are actually effective in helping people to acquire physical skill.

Check out this great video from a website dedicated to learning and skill acquisition called 'Train Ugly'. 

 

 

 

 

 

The other question we pose is how motivational an instructional coaching approach actually is….

In 2011 two researchers called Deci and Ryan proposed a motivational learning approach called ‘Self Determination Theory’. This approach to learning proposes that people are really motivated to learn when 3 key elements are present: Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness.

  1. Autonomy is when a person feels that they have a choice in how they learn and do not feel compelled to do so.
  2. Competence is the sense of being able to accomplish a task and control outcomes.
  3. Relatedness is the sense of being connected to the person who is supporting them due to that person meeting their needs above.

Formal instruction or lessons do not serve the needs of people from the perspective of Autonomy and Relatedness because it fails to take into consideration the needs of the person as a problem solving learning organism. People love to have the freedom to explore solving problems and puzzles and sometimes need a coach to help them to solve the problem when they have run out of answers. But if that coach just tells them the answer then that takes away the sense of autonomy and competence and relatedness as it places the learner as a passive recipient of the coach’s superior knowledge. The coach is all powerful and all knowing which makes them less relatable, they do not feel autonomous because they are merely carrying out instructions rather than finding a solution and they don’t really develop competence because much of what they have learned doesn’t stay with them and transfer into their competitive play.

As a result these people can quickly become disenchanted and either stop getting coaching or maybe find someone else who seems to connect with them as a learner better.

Sport England recently published its new strategy for coaching entitled, ‘Coaching in an Active Nation: The Coaching Plan for England’ and in that document the plan writers talk about how coaching needs to become more focused on meeting the needs of players when it defines coaching as:

“Improving a person’s experience of sport and physical activity by providing specialised support and guidance aligned to their individual needs and aspirations”

The team at GLF are totally on board with this vision for coaching and we want to enable more coaches to be able to meet the needs of more golfers so that we can help them to grow the game and be more successful.

So here is the challenge to anyone reading this…

Can we stop talking and thinking about instructional 'golf lessons'....and move in the direction of thinking about providing more ‘learning experiences’? Can we rid ourselves of these words from all of our promotional materials and start using a more modern, learner centred vocabulary? 

In case you are struggling to come up with something better, here are 10 suggestions that are better than 'golf lesson: 

  1. Skill excellence session
  2. Skill development sessions 
  3. Learning sessions
  4. Skill exploration sessions
  5. Skill discovery sessions 
  6. Skill execution sessions 
  7. Learning experiences
  8. Learning conferences
  9. Golf growth sessions
  10. Game enhancement sessions

The 'Golf Science Lab' podcast features 2 of the worlds best golf coaches, Lynn Marriott and Pia Nillson of 'Vision 54' gives a great insight into how great coaches think about the golf coaching experience. 

I hope you find this useful in helping you to provide amazing learning experiences for the people that you coach. We firmly believe that adopting this kind of approach will develop a network of people that aren't just customers, they are raving fans!

To your continued success on the amazing learning journey that is coaching. 

The genius secret that golf pros can learn from beauty salons

My wife owns a beauty salon...and she is a genius! She taught me a secret the other day that really improved the revenues for her business. I think it can help golf coaches to do the same...

We were chatting the other day over dinner and as usual, the discussion turned to her business and some of the strategies that she is using to help her business grow. 

(bear with me here...we will get to the golf coaching bit I promise!)

The salon was doing really well but she knew that they needed to get organised and manage the clients better. She knew that they were missing opportunities and she knew without a more organised approach they would continue to leave money on the table.

One of the biggest problems that she was facing was the number of cancelled appointments that they were getting. The salon had a cancellation policy which meant that a percentage of the cost of the treatment was payable if the client cancelled too close to the appointment time so in theory, cancellations shouldn't be a problem as they recoup some of the lost income...

But they never enforced it!

This was partly because they not want to annoy the customer and risk losing them to another salon. But the main reason was that they just didn't like to have that difficult conversation. It was just awkward and uncomfortable and it was easier to let it slide and take the financial hit than asking the person to pay for an appointment they didn't attend. Especially when they had a good reason (which they always did!). 

So we started doing some maths and we worked out that cancellations were costing the salon an average of £200 per week in lost revenue. £10,000 per year! That would pay for the bubblegum pink Range Rover that she has always wanted! 

So what did she do about it?

She invested in some super smart salon management software which really helped to manage the client bookings. It would confirm appointments and could send text reminders before the appointment so any forgetful clients were reminded about their appointment. 

This helped a little but it didn't really solve the problem. They were still getting too many cancellations and this was costing them money. 

She realised that although they had the software and they were reminding clients...there was nothing really stopping the clients from cancelling. They were still too squeamish to implement the cancellation policy and have that difficult conversation. 

The big thing that solved the problem was implementing a prepayment option. They got their clients to pre-pay online using their online booking system and offered them incentives for doing so.

For some of their repeat offenders they almost 'insisted' that they prepay! 

This was really effective because...

  1. Most clients were more inclined to turn up for the appointment because they had already paid - this reduced cancellation rates significantly almost overnight.
  2. If the client didn't turn up then it didn't matter because the salon already had the money in the bank and if they could fill the appointment with someone else then they basically doubled their revenue for that appointment.
  3. The biggest benefit was never having to have an awkward conversation with a client ever again. If a client ever asked for the money then they could point to the cancellation policy and then make a call as to whether they would offer the appointment again minus the cancellation fee or not. 

The pink Range Rover isn't sitting on the driveway just yet (thank god!) but the Salon is definitely doing a whole lot better!

So how does this help a golf coach? I hear you ask. 

Well fortunately for you, the discerning reader of this blog, GLF. Locker has a prepayment feature built into the online booking engine which means that you can offer this to your clients and massively reduce your cancellation rates, increase your revenues and never have to have an awkward conversation with a no show coaching customer again.

Prepayment comes as a standard feature with a GLF. Locker subscription.

That is the very definition of a no brainer! 

You might be able to get a pink Range Rover of your own! 

To your continued success in golf....

The GLF Team

Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial.

 

 

The big mistake that most golf pros make that could be leaving them up to 20K poorer per year (and how you can avoid it!)

£20,000 is a lot of money...

Imagine what you could do with 20K extra. Better car...better holiday...extension? 

If you would like to get close to it you need to read the rest of this post...

The other day I got an email from my golf pro. 

It was the usual newsletter style mail that I had received a number of times in the past but this time it was different. This pro has only been at the club for about 6 months or so and I was keen to get some lessons for my son and was keen to see when he was starting some group sessions. 

It was a bit of a case study in some of the mistakes that golf coaches make when promoting their services so I thought I would share some of the lessons so others don't make the same mistakes. 

This was the email...

The subject was 

'Lesson Offers'

Let's just start right there....'Lesson Offers'...Hmmm? 

A good email open rate is about 10%. People get bombarded with emails that are selling things and delete them pretty quickly without opening them. Will they open something that says 'Lesson Offers'?

Most people would have swiped this left and deleted it. 

The other thing about this is that it isn't speaking to the receiver from the perspective of how they will benefit beyond the fact that they might save some money. Anyone that was thinking about taking lessons might be motivated to take advantage of this but as any golf pro knows, that is a small proportion of the membership at any club.

A basic premise of human motivation is that people are either motivated by the desire to move away from pain or to move towards pleasure. 

This email needs to speak to those people who are either struggling with their game and explain how this could help them or it needs to offer a major gain point that would be attractive to someone looking to play better. 

Now to be fair, when you look at the header of the email. We are moving in that direction...

What are your personal goals this year?
Are you Looking to gain a few extra yards or to gain consistency around the greens?

Here is the problem with this. Firstly...who has 'personal goals' for their golf game. I am really serious about my golf and I don't have 'personal goals'. I think this question is just a waste of space. 

The second question sort of works but doesn't really get specific enough. 'Gain a few yards' or 'gain consistency around the greens' how would these actually help me? It assumes that I can make a connection between these questions and how they could solve my problem or enhance my play. 

Consider these alternatives...

"Nail the ball off the first tee this weekend" (Gain)

"Shoot 5 under your handicap within the next month!" (Gain)

"Golf balls are very expensive...stop losing pounds every round". (Pain)

"Never duff a chip again" (Pain)

Each of these speaks to the golfer on an emotional level. They tap into the 'limbic system' in the brain sometimes also called the 'lizard brain'. It is very powerful to speak to people emotionally. It taps into their 'fight or flight' response and leads them to take action more readily. 

Talking about a few extra yards or consistency around the greens speak to our 'rational brain' which is regulated by the 'prefrontal cortex'. This part of our brain ways up the options and considers the best course of action. We use this part of our brain to regulate our behaviour. It causes us to pause and reflect. Useful for making plans or avoiding danger...terrible for taking action. 

The lesson here...

Make your promotions speak to people on an emotional level if you want them to take action!

Now let's turn our attention to the body of the email...

Coaching At XXXXX Golf Club

With the great facilities at XXXX Golf
Club you can work on any area of your game alongside PGA Professional XXXXX.

25% OFF lessons on Saturday 6th May – Limited spaces…

25% OFF short game lessons throughout May. Are you looking for more consistency around the greens?

Never be scared of a bunker shot again!

Lesson Prices: 1 hour individual lesson £40
2 hour Playing lesson £60
4 lessons for the price of 3  £120

Ladies Group Coaching
Wednesdays 1-2pm
Roll up group session, all abilities welcome.
Open to members and
non members £10 per person includes range balls.

TO BOOK:
Contact XXXX on XXXX@XXXXgolfclub.com or 07XXXXXXXX

Juniors group coaching - Mondays 4.30-5.30pm

Introduce your children/ grandchildren to the great game. Fun and active junior group coaching. £7 per week.

TO BOOK:
Contact XXXX on XXXX@XXXXgolfclub.com or 07XXXXXXXXX

Junior summer camps
PGA Professional XXXXXXX invites your child to join the junior summer camps.
Your child will learn all aspects of the game in a fun and exciting environment. 

When?
All Summer Holidays
Mondays
and
Tuesdays
9.30-2pm

Prices

1 x Day  £35
2 x days  £60

Limited spaces are available

TO BOOK:
Contact XXXX on XXXX@XXXXgolfclub.com or 07XXXXXXXXX

Did you spot the big mistake in here? There is a bit of a clue...the big mistake is in bold.

The big mistake lies in the 'Call to Action' (or CTA as those marketing types like to call it!). The problem with this call to action is that it fails to understand a fundamental glitch human behaviour. That glitch is called 'The Intention-Action Gap'. We humans are great at having intentions but we are not very good at turning them into action. This goes back to the pre-frontal cortex again. We rely on our rational brain to stop us from getting into dangerous situations so it often makes us stop and think instead of act on our desires.

How many times have you said to yourself that you are going to start an exercise programme or lose some weight but never actually got going? That is the Intention-Action gap at work.

Getting people to take action is hard ...and if there is any friction in the way then that makes it even less likely. 

Let's check out that CTA again....

"TO BOOK:
Contact XXXX on XXXX@XXXXgolfclub.com or 07XXXXXXXXX"

It is asking me to do something else in order to take action. I have to write an email or make a phone call. I might decide to do that but the likelihood is that I am going to say to myself. I will get round to that at some point....and that is where my intention is likely to stop. 

Even if I did decide to send an email or call then I have to wait for the pro to get back to me and find a date that would work

Imagine if it said something like this...

"Click here to select your session and book instantly using our convenient online booking system".  

This is a totally different proposition. I can literally do it then and there. I don't have to write an email. I don't have to make a phone call or remind myself to make a phone call. 

In today's market place full of cash rich but time poor customers you need to be able to allow customers to book online. Otherwise, you are leaving a big chunk of cash on the fairway!

This article from Acteavo, a website dedicated to the travel and tourism industry explains the value of online booking in a competitive market place. 

An online booking system leads to more sales.  Without one you can be like a leaky pipe, where small drips of water are constantly being lost.  At first this doesn’t seem like a big deal.  The trouble is that a consistent small drip from a number of places can create huge loss over time.  This is the same with bookings.  When you consider that 39% of bookings are made outside normal office hours and that only 1 in 3 people leave a voicemail when they ring, there is a huge potential for lost bookings.
Let’s consider the pipe analogy a little further…
Every day you receive emails (from customers) about your offers, this requires you to get back to the customer often with long delays between each email. Naturally, some drop-off and you don’t hear back from them.  This is normal, right?  Wrong!  These customers may have been impatient and wanted to secure a booking, they too are stuck for time and may have simply booked another service.  That’s a lost booking that was yours for the taking and like the leaky pipe over the course of a year, this can be very expensive.  Say you get 10 leads per day and only 4 actually end up booking, even if 2 of those lost – booked with someone else – that’s 730 lost bookings per year!  That’s a lot of cash.

730 lost bookings at an average of £30 per lesson...that's £21,900. That's a shedfull of cash!!

"But wait a second, online booking systems are costly and I would need to pay a developer a load of money to embed it into my website" I hear you cry. 

Not so. 

Here at GLFLocker.com we have an online booking system built in as part of the subscription. Not only is it available on desktop but it works within the app too so you can manage the bookings on the go and in between clients. 

No more replying to loads of texts and emails late in the evening (pain) 

Loads more customers and loads more cash meaning that you can take the wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/mistress/toyboy on that holiday that you've been dreaming about (gain) 

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Here comes the CTA...

Complete the form to get a FREE 30-day trial so that you can experience the features of GLFLocker.com and start to be one of the few golf coaches out there that has the capability to reach a whole new market place. 

Go on do it now....don't do it later...do it now...there are customers out there waiting for you to reach them. Do it now....no seriously...DO IT NOW!

 

Here's to your new success...