The core objective of Go Futures is to grow the game. In our spotlights, we showcase the achievements of our industry professionals’ player development programs.
Go Futures is our grow-the-game initiative that focuses on creating opportunities for growth within local markets, tailoring programs to specific needs, and making golf accessible to all. Go Futures is possible because of the incredible team and talent here at Indigo Golf Partners.
Corey Higgs, Director of Player Development at Compass Pointe Golf Courses champions an 800-student program that continues to focus on #GolfForEveryone.
“The key to building a strong core of students is to: work hard to build student’s trust through listening, finding common ground, and genuinely care about each individual.” Corey Higgs – Go Futures Spotlight
Review our Q&A line up with Corey Higgs:
Q: How many overall participants did you have in your GoFutures programs in 2020?
A: At Compass Pointe, we had approximately 800 students.
Q: How do you plan to continue to grow your facility’s program?
A: We are excited to continue building our current programming by increasing the total number of group and individual classes. Some of our successful programs are: Tee It Up, Operation 36, PGA Junior League, High School Prep Clinics, and Individual Elite Programs. We even offer monthly memberships with some of these programs to help the bottom line as well as the student. Our lessons booking tool, CoachNow, is invaluable for us. We can communicate quickly and easily to the students through the app, allowing us to provide the best experience possible. We look forward to safely bringing back national golf programs like Women’s Golf Day, as well as club fittings.
Q: What strengths does your facility and location have that you incorporate into your programming? What are challenges you face?
A: Strengths of our facility include a 36-hole course, a grass driving range, top rated instruction and technology. We are in a great location and only 15 minutes from BWI airport. Having 36 holes provides flexibility for scheduling many on course lessons and league play. There are some challenges: we have zero cover for inclement weather, a limited short game area, no lights on our range, and poor drainage which lead to closures. From November through February, the latest I can teach is 4PM. Additionally, we had limited staffing in 2020, leaving us short on support for our junior camp season. For 2021, we are solving these problems by creating a Learning Center & hiring an intern to cover some administration and coaching responsibilities. In the next two years, we see the need for additional instructors both seasonal and full-time to cover the growth of our programs.
Q: Why do people come to you and why do they stay?
A: After spending a lot of my time following successful coaches from all sports, I found the key to building a strong core of students is to: work hard to build student’s trust through listening, finding common ground, and genuinely care about each individual.
It seems that my reputation has spread through the industry and students by word of mouth, nothing is more valuable to me. I enjoy being creative on and off the course. For 3 years, I sent out 460 holiday cards to my student database and by mid-January my lesson schedule was full though June. It is astonishing the connections you make through old-fashioned letters.
Q: Please share a story of a student who has stood out because of their passion for learning and playing the game, personal growth, improvement, tournament success or major achievement.
A: In 2014, while working at the Institute of Golf’s Junior Academy in New Zealand, I had the opportunity to observe 10-year-old, Darae Chung. She clearly had natural talent with a strong drive but, a 17 handicap. As I was watching her in a tournament, her mother approached me and was shocked that I had come to watch Darae play. She asked for my thoughts on her daughter's game, and we talked for a few holes. Darae was not yet playing at the elite junior level, but had raw talent, determination, and a calm, happy demeanor. I invited Darae and her parents to my office to discuss curriculum and personal player development plans. I explained that we only invite elite or more experienced players, but if Darae worked hard to improve her game there could be a space for her. They paid the full year tuition up front.
Within 13 months of Darae being enrolled, she was a scratch handicap at 11.5 years old. Darae's work ethic was second to none. She was immersed in the process of improving every single day. Since moving back to the United States in 2016, I have stayed in contact with Darae and her parents via video chat. She is now winning tournaments in New Zealand and Australia at the age of 17 with a +5 handicap. She has been invited to play for the New Zealand Women’s team, in the Nick Faldo Major Champions Invitational in Florida, and is receiving scholarship offers from top ranked colleges. Golf encompasses so much more than just being an instructor - I’m her coach, mentor, friend, and part of her team. These experiences give me passion for my profession.
Q: How do grow the game of golf?
A: Personally, I enjoy growing the game and building a business from scratch while pushing to the limits. I like having the opportunity to take Academy or Learning Centers to new heights by keeping students engaged and connected.
Q: Why did you choose golf as a career?
A: I chose my career because I wanted to be outdoors and make valuable connections with individuals through golf. Golf helped me grow and made me the person I am today. All I have ever wanted is to give others that same opportunity. Every day, I do what I love. As the famous quote goes, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Go Futures Quick Tips:
- Lesson Booking Tool - CoachNow
- Send 460 holiday cards each year
- Do what you love
Learn more about Corey Higgs at www.compasspointegolf.com/corey-higgs.