By Lorin Anderson, Founder
As has been the case for many years in our annual Operations and Compensation Survey and again in the 2023 results, about half of all coaches’ revenues come from one-on-one private golf lessons. This year’s survey found that 48 percent of member revenues ($84,586 out of $177,386 total average revenues) come from one-on-one private golf lessons as programming offerings continue to broaden. This private lesson percentage year after year has remained in a tight band between 48 and 52 percent of revenues. Talk about steady. Private lessons made up 53 percent of Employees’ revenue. For Independent Contractors it was 45 percent of their revenues.
As for overall revenues by position type, coaches who are employees averaged $159,664, independent contractors averaged 12 percent more at $178,294. Academy Owners with multiple instructors averaged 65 percent more than employees coming in at $263,196.
The $84,586 private instruction total was up from $66,719 in our survey 10 years ago, or an increase of 27 percent.
The largest additional revenue contributors, after private lessons and salary ($23,890) were long-term coaching programs averaging $17,280, group lessons and clinics at $15,550 and online/remote instruction at $7,842.
The biggest loser over the past five years was traditional golf school programming which decreased from $9,617 to $5,754 – a drop-off of 41 percent.
While coaches often talk about passive income (revenues produced for the coach when they are not personally teaching) have remained relatively small. Only $10,110 on average out of $177,386 or just 6 percent. (This included revenues from staff coach payments, endorsements, coaching at school team, tournament winnings, media and sales commissions.)
Online and remote teaching also get a lot of attention these days but, so far, the average revenue from these internet lessons only averages $7,842 per coach over the past year (up $4,860 per coach over a year ago) but just 4.4 percent of total revenues. Most of this year-over-year increase, however, came from a handful of coaches who have gone all in on remote instruction and reported more than $25,000 from remote lessons. Overall, the median was only $2,000 in online lesson sales for our member coaches. The jury is still out on how big this opportunity will become.