PGAs of Europe

Case Study: Coaching & Tuition Trips

Claire Duffy has been Head Teaching Professional at Test Valley Golf Club in Hampshire for the last nine years.  Prior to that she competed on the Ladies European tour for 18 years, achieving many top 10 finishes and winning both the South African Open & Player’s Championship in 2000.

Here Claire explains how she supplements her income in the cold winter months of her season by taking groups away for tuition trips with the assistance of…

“I’ve been doing tuition trips for a number of years and absolutely love it. I’ve taken people to France, South Africa – even to Augusta –and it’s such a fantastic way of combining a golf holiday with some intensive coaching.

I’m going back to Penina again this year with because it’s a great venue that delivers exactly what I need: superb practice facilities, a Championship course and two nine-holers as well.  I also like Arras in Northern France and the Ocean Club in Cadiz, Spain.

The golf tuition weeks are always overseas around February time when everyone can escape the British winter for a few days and find a bit of sunshine.  The weather makes such a difference to the coaching…everything is so much easier with a bit of sun on your back! Hitting from perfect lies and putting on dry greens helps a bit too!

The golf tuition trips are a great way to boost your income for a month in the winter when teaching revenues can fall.  I send the invites out by email to members, people who take their lessons here at Test Valley as well as anyone who has joined me on previous trips.

I like to start the poster off by saying “You are invited to join PGA Professional Claire Duffy”…  I think by using the word invite, it is as if people are getting a personal invitation to join the trip.  The personal touch definitely goes a long way in this regard.

Having started fairly small, my coaching trips are getting more and more popular now; so much so that I now also take one of the Assistant Professionals with me too.  This year we had 18 golfers so took a third PGA Pro to ensure my preferred ratio of six amateurs to one Pro.

A lot of time goes into preparing the coaching trips so that the amateurs get as much as possible from the break. We (the Pro’s) will meet early in the year to decide on the format of the trip, the areas we are going to cover and what sort of instruction we’ll be doing.

At the start of the trip we also do a draw to create a ‘team’ of amateurs who will stay together for the majority of the week. It’s a great way for them to get to know each other and meet new people.

We usually teach in the mornings and then have a light lunch together before teeing off around noon.  We like to have daily events or competitions, either individually or as teams.  This year the Pro’s played nine holes with one group & then joined the group behind for the back nine, that way the amateurs are getting to play with each pro, 9 holes at least twice during the week.

Week Structure

Day 01
09.00 – 11.00 Driving range for warm up, then iron play, then woods
12.00 – Golf on the Championship Course
Day 02
09.00 – 11.00 Putting
12.00 – Golf on the Resort course
Day 03
09.00 – 11.00 Driving range for warm up, then iron play, then woods
12.00 – Golf on the Championship Course
Day 04
All day Rest day
Day 05
09.00 – 11.00 Chipping & Bunkers
12.00 – Golf on the Resort Course
Day 06
09.00 – 11.00 Driving range for pitching
12.00 – Golf on the Championship Course

In the evenings people tend to split into three or four groups, either staying in the hotel or taking a taxi to a local restaurant.  From breakfast through to dinner the professionals are there chatting away, teaching, playing, socialising and really getting too know our guests.  It is hard work but we are well rewarded and is great for building lasting teaching relationships.

Before we go I make a short video showing some of the highlights of the previous trips and including footage of this year’s venue.  I also make up a folder for each player that includes the schedule for the week, the tuition info that will be relayed to them in the lessons plus the background info of their professionals.  I have even designed a logo for the trip and invested in logoed golf towels, balls, tees, caps and personalised scorecards.  It’s great for our clients to have mementoes of the trip and it really gets noticed when everything looks so much more professional.

I have had trips in the past where I have made all the arrangements myself but it’s far easier now that I work with because of the excellent service, advice and attention to detail that they offer me through their dedicated Golf Pro Relations department.  When you also consider the great deals they have, the 5% commission and the free place for the Pro it’s easy to see why so many Pro’s work with them.

For more information visit or contact’s Golf Pro Relations department on: +44 (0)1753 754 355.

PGA Professional Group Travel – Recommended Package

Lumine Golf & Beach Club, Costa Dorada, Spain

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  • Free buggy for Pro whilst on site
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This article originally featured in International Golf Pro News. Visit the IGPN Page to find out more and subscribe for free.