A Deeper Look at Coaches’ Instruction Revenue Sources and Averages

Mar 18, 2024 | News

By Lorin Anderson, Founder        

As has been the case for many years in our annual Operations and Compensation Survey and again in the 2024 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 ($79,242 out of $165,424 total average revenues) come from one-on-one private golf lessons as programming offerings continue to broaden and some of our coaches tap into around a dozen revenue streams. This private-lesson percentage has remained year after year in a tight band between 48 and 52 percent of revenues. Talk about steady. Private lessons made up 46 percent of Employees’ revenue. For Independent Contractors it was 51 percent of their revenues. 

As for overall revenues by position type, independent contractors averaged $149,903, coaches who are employees averaged 17 percent more at $175,279. Academy Owners with multiple instructors averaged 70 percent more than independent contractors coming in at $255,019.

Overall average revenue decreased 7 percent from a year ago. Employee revenues were the lone bright spot, up 9 percent (thanks in large part to the average salary rising 8 percent in this year’s survey.) Independent Contractors were down 19 percent and Academy Owners were down 3 percent

These decreases do generally correlate to the amount of coaching performed. In 2021 at the height of the Covid-induced golf wave the average number of hours of teaching time with students peaked at 32.1 hours per week. In 2022 the average dropped to 30.4 hours per week on average and in 2023 the average hours of teaching time with students dropped to 29.1 hours weekly. At 29 hours weekly this is approximately 1,450 hours of billable teaching annually spread over 50 weeks. That’s down from a little over 1,600 hours in 2021.

The largest additional revenue contributors, after private lessons and salary ($32,110) were long-term coaching programs averaging $21,187, group lessons and clinics at $14,911 and golf schools at $4,253. 

The biggest loser over the past five years was traditional golf school programming which decreased on average from $9,617 to $4,253 – a drop-off of 56 percent

While coaches often talk about passive income (revenues produced for the coach when they are not personally teaching) they have remained relatively small—only $5,413 on average out of $165,424, or just 3 percent. (This included revenues from staff coach payments, endorsements, coaching a school team, tournament winnings, membership sales, media and sales commissions.)

Online and remote teaching also gets a lot of attention these days but, so far, the revenue from these internet lessons only averaged $1,656 per coach over the past year, just 1 percent of total revenues. A few coaches are beginning to build a significant online business, but only 30 percent of our coaches reported bringing in online lesson revenue (down from 32 percent a year ago) and for those who reported online lesson revenue the median amount was $2,000. The jury is still out on how big this opportunity will become.