(Ambrosio’s note: Are you a golf enthusiast and passionate investor looking for an opportunity to pursue golf as a business owner? GolfTEC could be the right franchise opportunity for you.
GolfTEC is the largest golf improvement company in the world, with over 148 high tech indoor Improvement Centers, a 22% market share of all golf lessons taught in the US, and over 16 years of experience in the golf improvement business. Approximately a quarter of all GolfTEC locations are corporate-owned.
Their clients enjoy a 95% success rate with their “Five Factors to Maximum Improvement and Lasting Results” program. One major draw for clients is the high quality of instruction. GolfTEC franchisees collectively employ 2% of all Golf PGA Instructors in the US.
I’m very happy to share with you my exclusive interview with Cory Collins, Director of Franchise Sales for GolfTEC.)
Cory Collins grew up in Southern California and has been playing, and in competitive golf, ever since he was 8 years old.
He is a sales and marketing professional with 15+ years experience, specializing in developing strategic partnerships for many different industries: finance/mortgage, publishing, TV and radio, media and franchise development. Cory has worked with GolfTEC since 2008.
He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife and two kids and loves the lifestyle there as he is able to be with his family, play golf and snow ski, which are his greatest passions.
Franchise Chatter (FC): Can you tell us the story behind the creation of GolfTEC?
Cory Collins (CC): GolfTEC was founded in Denver in 1995 by two PGA golf professionals, Joe Assell, CEO and Mike Clinton, COO, who were looking for a better way to teach a golf lesson. The result was a fact-based, diagnostic, systematic teaching approach which has allowed us to provide a consistent instruction experience throughout the company.
We started franchising in 2003 and have seen aggressive growth over the past 8 years, going from 13 centers to almost 150. The opening of so many centers necessitated a strong infrastructure; we support our franchisees with Operations, Marketing, Teaching Quality, Technology and much more.
FC: For those unfamiliar, please tell us about the services that you offer? What makes GolfTEC different from your competitors in the golf improvement industry? What kind of results can students expect from your programs?
CC: GolfTEC is dedicated to helping players improve their game through Technique, Equipment and Conditioning (the TEC in our name). Our core approach involves more than just a lesson or two, but instead a commitment to giving our students a lifetime of better golf.
Our average client takes months of lessons on their path to better golf, and 95% of our clients report real improvement to their play. We achieve these Proven Results through our Proven Path. Only GolfTEC has all five factors needed for maximum improvement and lasting results. These five factors include:
- Fact-based Diagnosis: Combining video and motion measurement to take the guesswork out of analyzing a golf swing.
- Sequential Lessons: Rather than put a band-aid on a major swing flaw with a tip or drill that provides short-term success, we work on the swing from address to finish and from tee to green.
- Advanced Retention Tools: An industry-leading online resource that allows clients to relive their lessons with actual audio and video from their lesson, drills to use between lessons and notes to guide their efforts. All available 24/7 online.
- Video-based Practice: Working indoors with video allows clients to focus on swing mechanics rather than just viewing ball-flight. Only GolfTEC offers this unique service.
- Precision-matched Clubs: Beyond a typical club fitting that is influenced by brand preference or guesswork, GolfTEC offers a precision-matched solution that identifies the right make, model and specs to help each player perform their best.
FC: Who is your target customer? How big is the market for your business?
CC: Our typical client is avid and affluent, typically a male aged 35-64 who plays 25+ rounds per year. Our services, however, are a great fit for golfers of all ages and abilities. Women and juniors experience great success with GolfTEC.
We project that the United States market will support 310 Improvement Centers and we have a current footprint that reaches about 47% of the projected market. We also consider many international markets to be viable for GolfTEC locations. We’re already open in Canada and Mexico and we’ll be opening in Asia in 2012.
FC: Has the current economic environment affected your business in any way? If so, please explain.
CC: That is a great question! The fact is that the golf industry as a whole has endured some very tough times over the last decade and we have done a very good job in working very hard at staying consistent with our Proven Path to Proven Results and that has led us to some very positive industry leading accomplishments.
Overall, the economy has done a few things that have affected us in a very positive way. It has allowed us to reap the benefits of lower rents as well as negotiate very beneficial tenant improvements/build out costs that certainly have assisted us in driving a better bottom line for our centers. It has allowed us to become one of the only brick and mortar retail golf instruction companies that can say they have been in positive growth pattern over the last 8 years.
Most golf instruction companies have not been able to weather the financial storms over the last 16 years. We have not only survived but have continued to grow our business and open in new markets.
In 2011, 1 out of every 4 golf lessons in the U.S. will be given by GolfTEC Coaches — that is pretty powerful. This is something that we are very proud of and will be working to improve upon and grow further here in the US as well as internationally.
FC: Can you describe the ideal franchisee for GolfTEC?
CC: We are looking for a well rounded golf professional and/or business professional that resides in the market they want to own, has a high net worth, has a passion for golf and GolfTEC, is business savvy, has local contacts and will follow the GolfTEC model (after all you are buying into a franchise for a reason).
CC: We have a full real estate site selection team and project management team that can assist the potential franchisee in finding the best location. We have opened over 150 locations successfully (4 internationally as well) so we are confident in our process to assist any potential franchisee in making a good location decision.
FC: What specific steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their respective businesses?
CC: Active management and involvement with the business is imperative to maximize success. It’s part of why we want our owners to live in the markets they operate. Staff is the #1 driving factor of our success and oversight is needed to ensure that high-quality golf lessons are given that meet the GolfTEC standard. Our best owners keep a close eye on key performance metrics as well as effective marketing and advertising efforts.
FC: Can you tell us a bit about the initial investment and ongoing expenses to run a GolfTEC franchise? What is the profit potential for your franchise?
CC: As you may or may not know, we are heavily regulated in the franchise industry so I can tell you that we are a fully disclosed franchisor with a very robust Franchise Disclosure Document and Item 19 (Financials).
I can share with you that we have a very informative website and if anyone would like to discuss this in more detail, please fill out our next steps form and we can set up an initial call to review our initial investment/expenses information.
FC: What are your goals for GolfTEC in the next few years and how do you plan to grow your business?
CC: Our goal is very simple: to become the best Instruction and Club Fitting company in the world, period. We already have a very good head start over the other companies out there and we’re taking more steps forward in 2012.
We’ll be launching our GolfTEC 3.0 effort, which involves significant updates to our teaching technology as well as our Improvement Center design. There is no better time to get involved as a GolfTEC franchisee.
FC: Is there anything else you wish to share about GolfTEC?
The opportunity to own a GolfTEC franchise is closing fast. Due to recent strong growth and performance, we are increasing plans to open more company-owned Improvement Centers and to support our franchise owner network as they continue to grow their business.
GolfTEC is announcing that, as of December 31, 2011, we will cease selling franchises to new applicants. GolfTEC franchisees will have the opportunity to open as many franchise units as they can support, as GolfTEC corporate and our franchisees work to fulfill the remaining US capacity.
As Joe Assell, our CEO and Co-Founder, has said, “We are excited to have grown our business throughout this recent recession and look forward to continuing that momentum into the future. Bringing the franchise sales process to a close and fueling the future growth ourselves and with our existing franchise owners perfectly fits our strategic plan.”
To learn more about the GolfTEC franchise opportunity, please contact Cory Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 223-2365.