The team at George Dunne strives to share the game of golf with new players.
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.
Kurt Uniek, PGA of George W. Dunne National Golf Course in Oak Forest, Illinois shares his love of the game to inspire students.
Question: How many overall participants did we have through your programming?
A: We had approximately 230 participants in 2020.
Q: Summarize your plan for continuing to grow your facility’s programs.
A: Growing the programs at George Dunne for 2021 have been successful by capitalizing on the interest generated over the last year. I created a couple of new classes that appeal to that target market, such as “Fix My Slice” and “Ladies Learn & Play”.
Q: What are the strengths to your facility and location? What are the challenges that you face?
A: Our strengths are our proximity to Chicago, roughly 35 minutes south, and the courses’ reputation – everyone knows George Dunne National. The only weakness is the volume the facility does, at times it is difficult to get on-course lessons scheduled.
Q: Why do people come to you and why do they stay?
A: Most of my clientele come from word of mouth, personal recommendations - a friend, family member, or co-worker. My reputation of giving quality instruction and caring for the students’ as well as their development has traveled far.
Q: Please share a story of a student (current or former) who has stood out because of their passion for learning and playing the game, personal growth, improvement, tournament success or major achievement such as winning an award, earning a scholarship or becoming a PGA Pro.
A: A couple of years ago in a “Golf Fore Women” class, I had a woman with little athletic ability and coordination. Halfway through the first class she tells me that her goal “is to not be my worst student of the year”. At the end of the first class, I give her homework, to “swing and hit stuff”. She come back the next week and says she picked up some plastic golf balls and every night after work, hits them for 30 minutes. In our second session, she showed improvement. Before the third lesson, she tells me that she is hitting them into the neighbor’s yard and their little boy is throwing them back to her. Again, I see improvement. Before the fourth session, she tells me that she is hitting them over the house now, although a couple did get caught in the gutters. Again, more improvement. When we went on the course for the fifth and final session, she was a rock star. She hit the ball in the air and at her target. She did fantastic. I have never been so proud of a student. This is why I became a teaching professional, to see the improvement & excitement in each student.
Q: What is your drive to grow the game?
A: I have always thought that golf is a great game and tried to pass this passion to others. Hearing students talk about how much fun they have during a round and seeing them improve always gives me great joy. Watching that “light bulb” light up in student’s head when they finally grasp what we have been working on is the ultimate pay off.
Q: Why did you choose golf as a career?
A: I chose golf as a career because I LOVE THE GAME. If you love what you do you will never work a day in your life and I truly believe that. I haven’t worked too many days in the last 25 years.
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