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.

Contact XXXX on 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.

Contact XXXX on 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. 

All Summer Holidays


1 x Day  £35
2 x days  £60

Limited spaces are available

Contact XXXX on 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....

Contact XXXX on 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 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) 

Name *

Here comes the CTA...

Complete the form to get a FREE 30-day trial so that you can experience the features of 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 it now...there are customers out there waiting for you to reach them. Do it seriously...DO IT NOW!


Here's to your new success...