'We coach in barefoot and hoodies'
An uber-relaxed approach to coaching is winning over young golfers at a club in southern Holland.
PGA Professionals at Golf Club Prise d’Eau, on the outskirts of Tilburg, can regularly be found sporting hoodies, jeans and even coaching barefoot.
Emilio Dellanzo, who heads up the coaching team, says it’s all about replicating an environment, much like a bowling alley, where young people feel more at ease.
“As coaches, it’s our responsibility to make customers feel relaxed.
“If that involves dressing in a more relaxed way, then I think we should do that.”
Where did Dellanzo get his inspiration for the club’s innovative new approach? Weekend fitness classes.
“I regularly attend physical bootcamps. Not because I want to learn how to do a push up, but because there’s a group of friends I like doing it with.
“There is a coach there. But their role is really just to create an environment where we can do it and enjoy it together as a group. That’s why I go back every weekend and that’s what I’m trying to create here.”
The recent roll out of new social coaching programs at Golf Club Prise d'Eau, including love.golf, are showing promising signs.
“We’ve recruited 70 new players to our beginner classes since June alone, and are on track to far exceed our numbers from last year,” added Dellanzo.
And the increased interest from young beginners has inspired the club to go even further.
They have just installed a new bar on its driving range serving up beer and bitterballs (Dutch fried finger food) and are about to transform an old lesson room into an academy lounge, complete with industrial walls decorated by local graffiti artists.
You can follow Golf Club Prise d'Eau's progress by following its Facebook page.