The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, April 30, 2020
Dormie Network Institute — Interview with Meaghan Francella — Must-click links in women's golf
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The Dormie Network Institute
It’s been a busy couple of days in my tiny corner of the world at the PGA of America. The Allied Golf Organizations put their heads together to announce a ‘Back2Golf’ initiative as golf courses across the country are able to re-open. I was talking to a friend who lives in Tampa and she said pretty much every course around her never closed down. In Palm Beach County, where I’m based, pretty much all golf courses were mandated to close and were able to open again today for ‘Phase 1.’
I do think golf is in a really unique position, given facilities are following state and local guidelines and following Center for Disease Control restrictions/guidelines, to get people out of the house who are going stir-crazy. Whether it’s just walking the course or having a few drinks while your friends golf, it’s probably one of the only sports and forms of recreation that can allow for proper social distancing.
I am itching to get back out on the golf course myself: I haven’t touched a club for a couple months now! As most of us are realizing, there are still plenty of ways to spend this extra downtime. I have seen more people outside walking, riding bikes, exercising or just hanging out in lawn chairs at the park than ever. I have even seen people doing golf drills and taking full swings with real golf balls in the middle of grassy fields. I think our world will be changed forever once the curve starts to flatten and we can get back to a new normal. There’s a deeper appreciate for wellness and the outdoors—which will certainly benefit the golf industry.
One other dimension of golf I was thinking about that probably won’t be the same post-COVID-19 is golf instruction. A few weeks ago, I highlighted some golf fitness programs and golf fitness trainers, but today I wanted to dive into golf instruction. One company that I caught wind of recently was the Dormie Network Institute (DNI), which is a customizable instruction program. For a broader scope of what DNI is all about, their ‘tagline’ is: anytime, anywhere.
Dormie Network Institute (DNI) is a uniquely customizable instruction program focused on entertainment, travel, relationship building, and the best skill development across the network. DNI offers a wide range of programs, all tailored to fit the needs of advanced players, beginners, or somewhere in between.
Whether you want to hit bunker shots like Phil, putt like Rory, think like Tiger or drive it like Lexi, our DNI Instructors will help you achieve your goals. Guest instructors used by PGA and LPGA Tour players are also available to make your event even more memorable. (via dormienetwork.com)
What uniquely positions DNI in the instruction space is not only its diversity of offerings, but the fact you’re investing in an experience as well. You can get on-course lessons, online instruction, have them put on a corporate outing for your company or you can attend their events which are full-service, stay-and-play experiences. This July, you could play golf with Dr. Bob Rotella, author of the best-selling “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect” and eight other sports psychology books, during a two-day trip.
It’s really all up to the player on how and where they want their lessons for DNI. During a time like now, I’ll bet many golf businesses wish they had online offerings. I look at my current work situation, where we just recently migrated our technology to Google, which came with full on-boarding for those who had never used Google products before. Our company has thrived the last few months because we have all the weapons to succeed when we can’t be together: Google Hangouts, Google Drive, Slack Channels, etc.
While human interaction and connection won’t ever be replaced, being able to do business from anywhere is a really powerful thing. It allows for a level of flexibility that many probably didn’t know was possible. Although I’ve never taken formal golf lessons, and lean on my instincts and friends for pointers, I think both are wonderful. Imagine how many people go to YouTube to learn how to swing a golf club or look for golf pointers! But also imagine how many people have built a relationship through golf coaching or golf lessons. The relationship portion, and truly being able to connect with another human, is what’s really missing these days in my mind.
What I’m trying to get at is this: thank goodness we have options! We can walk golf courses. We can YouTube. We can take online lessons through companies like DNI. We can order a putting mat and do drills at home. We can practice social distancing and remain safe even when courses open up again. We can find a random park and hit golf balls anyways. We can set up chipping drills in our backyard.
Many of the conversations that COVID-19 has stirred up are about how it’s limiting us from what we do. But if you really dig deep, you’ll find plenty of fun to keep you busy. Of course I am with you and everyone else that life is better with sports (and golf) in it, but thankfully we live in a world where so much is right at our fingertips. Here’s to brighter days and finding our new normal once all this passes, but also to getting creative and using the abundance of resources at our disposal.
This Week in Women’s Golf
Reminder: First, the underlined words are the links. Second. CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me! email@example.com
More changes to the LPGA schedule, which now targets a July start.
What will the LPGA look like when it starts up again? Golf Digest has more.
Mike Whan talks to Golf Channel about the staggering financial hit since COVID-19.
The LPGA announces two new events to highlight the revised Symetra Tour schedule.
“Dame” Laura Davies has done it all. LPGA breaks down her career by the numbers.
Golf champion Ethel Benson Nalle Wetherill passes away at 95 (via Philadelphia Inquirer).
Tiger Woods gave this woman a Buick. Here’s the great story behind it from Golf.com.
From Forbes: As golf industry sees more courses reopen, opportunity abounds.
International Golf Federation pushes back Olympics qualifying deadlines, ESPN reports.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Meaghan Francella
Meaghan Francella joined the Dormie Network Institute in the spring of 2020 and offered up some more insight on her role with the company. Given we are currently in the middle of a global pandemic, and we’re forced to get creative in terms of how to stay active (keep our golf game sharp), learning more about DNI made perfect sense.
I. What is your role at DNI and what sorts of things do you do from day to day? I am the Director of the Dormie Network Institute. My role is centered on business development for the institute, as well as instruction. As far as my day to day goes, it varies. I spend some days working on special events for the Dormie Network Institute such as bringing in people like Dr. Bob Rotella, The Stocktons and Tour players. Right now, we have been working on ‘Live with DNI’ on Instagram, so I have been working on getting the talent for those pieces. They are about 30-45 minutes long. We have had Dr. Bhrett McCabe and the LPGA’s Marina Alex and have few others lined up for the coming weeks. I work on securing those people, helping out with the creative process and communication across the Dormie Network for all things that go on with DNI.
II. Has the focus/vision of DNI shifted in any way since the start of COVID-19? Our focus has been shifted slightly at the current time to more of the online approach. We have launched on DNI V1 online academy where Network members and guests can join our academy and work on their game virtually.
III. What long-term impact do you think COVID-19 will have on golf instruction? Golf instruction could be impacted for quite some time. Giving a golf lesson without moving a club in someone’s hand or grabbing their club to show them something is going to be a challenge. I think instructors are going to have to alter their teaching ways. I sometimes can be a hands on teacher and right now, I need to find other ways to teach people; that might mean showing them something in a different way or explaining what to feel. I think you are going to see a lot more online lessons and even playing lessons. Those seem to be the safest right now.
IV. Can you elaborate on some of the benefits of both online instruction versus on-course instruction — what should players be looking for when deciding? I think with the technology we have now, online instruction is just as important as in person.
V. If someone signs up for a DNI Membership, what are they getting in return? Actually it’s a Dormie Network Membership; DNI is an arm of the business. It is so much more than just a golf membership. Our team takes pride in creating unique golf experiences unlike any other. Upon joining, you will be welcomed into our network as family and treated with first class hospitality, all while experiencing great golf camaraderie. We have six clubs that are a part of our network. When you join, you are a member at each of those clubs, meaning full privileges at all of them. We have no cart fees either, no assessments and no food and beverage minimums. We have beautiful cottages on site, so when you travel to any of the clubs, you never have to leave. Eat, sleep, golf and repeat!