Fire in the Hole

Katie Dillard

Golf Player Development Programs at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch are hotter than ever, providing innovative instruction for all ages and skill levels.

Over the past few years, we have seen an increased need for Golf Player Development Programs at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. 2020 was no exception as more people flocked to the course for a safe way to socialize and remain active. Last year the golf professional staff were able to implement a new junior golf program called Operation 36®, begin the Monthly Clinic Series and expand on the already popular Chicks & Sticks program. With greater participation across the board, we are excited to be able to offer more to our membership in 2021. 

Operation 36 for Junior Golfers

As more young families move to the Ranch, the need for junior golf has been brought to the forefront. In 2020 the Club introduced Operation 36, which is taking the nation by storm. The development model of Operation 36 focuses on getting golfers on the golf course and playing golf. Each semester covers 12 areas of golf curriculum that get progressively more difficult as students advance through all six levels. Semesters also include multiple 9-hole challenges, where players start just 25 yards from the hole and attempt to shoot 36 or lower. As players hit their goal, they slowly move back, eventually all the way to the tee box. This program grows with our junior golfers from beginner all the way to scratch and is designed to build life-long golfers who enjoy every aspect of the game. Growing in popularity, 42 students have participated so far and we anticipate greater attendance. In 2021 we will offer spring, summer and fall semesters, with classes on Wednesdays for children between the ages of 6 and 14. 

Future 36ers will be a new addition to our junior golf program in 2021. Over the past year we have met multiple families with younger children with the desire to play golf, but who are not quite ready to play a full 9 holes. The Future 36ers program is for children ages 3-6 and will run on Thursdays. Participants will cover the same golf curriculum and playing structure as the Operation 36 program but in a condensed time frame. Classes will be 30 minutes long and playing events will be 3 holes. Our goal is to build a great foundation and to allow our youngest golfers to ease their way into the Operation 36 program. 

We invite all of our junior members to attend the Operation 36 and Future 36ers orientation on Wednesday, February 3 at 6:00pm in the Cabana Dining Room. Families will enjoy games and appetizers all while learning about the program and meeting other families. 

Operation 36

Orientation & Family Night: Wednesday, February 3, 6:00 to 8:00pm, no charge

Spring Semester: Wednesdays, March 17 – May 26, 5:00pm, $450 for the semester

Summer League: Wednesdays, June 9 – August 11, 4:00pm, $50 a session

Fall Semester: Wednesdays, September 1 – November 3, 5:00pm, $425 for the semester

Future 36ers 

Orientation & Family Night: Wednesday, February 3, 6:00 to 8:00pm, no charge

Spring Semester: Thursdays, March 18 – May 27, 5:00pm, $250 for the semester

Summer League: Thursdays, June 10 – August 12, 4:00pm, $30 a session 

Fall Semester: Wednesdays, September 2 – November 4, 5:00pm, $225 for the semester 

Monthly Clinics for All Golfers

The Monthly Clinic Series was another new addition to golf programming in 2020. The goal of these clinics is to help our membership develop their skills by covering a wide array of subjects related to the game. The past clinics from June through December covered The Importance of Gapping, Wedge Control, Speed & Distance; The Putting Guru; Preparing for your Round; On Course Green Reading; and Golf Fitness. The staff have had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the best professionals in their field including Hunter Gathright, co-developer of TruSpeed, Marius Filmalter, world-renowned Putting Guru and the Club’s own Director of Fitness and Wellness Tamra Christiansen. 

The Monthly Clinic Series will continue throughout 2021 with a fun mix of subjects. Clinics through May have been scheduled and the remainder of 2021 will be released in the spring. 

Saturday, January 23: The Mental Game 

• Dr Julie L. Wiernik is a Licensed Clinical Sport and Performance Psychologist and owner of the Texas Center for Sport Psychology. She will be working with our membership to assist in better understanding their approach to sports, teaching how to maintain focus and how to achieve goals in the competitive environment.

• Group session 2:00 to 3:30pm

• $50 per person

Saturday, February 27: Yardages and Bag Analysis

• This is the perfect opportunity for golfers to dial in their yardages before the golf season really kicks off. The professional staff will also help players find any gaps in their equipment or point out any possible adjustments. All players will leave with a yardage chart that can be referred to at any point. 

• 30-minute individual time slots, 9:00am to 3:30pm 

• $50 per person

Saturday, March 20: Ball Fitting 

• The golf ball is the most used piece of equipment in every golfer’s bag so it is important that players are using the ball most suited to their game. Players will have the opportunity to compare golf balls side by side from the big manufacturers both on TrackMan and in an on-course situation. Participants will leave with a golf ball recommendation and trial sleeve based on their needs and performance. 

• 1-hour individual time slots, 9:00am to 4:00pm

• $50 per person

Saturday, April 17: Short Game Masterclass

• Marius Filmalter will be joining us again for a Short Game Masterclass. He will host three sessions throughout the day, each lasting approximately three hours: one on putting and two from around the greens. If you missed the opportunity to participate in his putting clinic in September, now is your chance to learn from the Putting Guru himself. Marius is a colorful character, full of information, with the one goal of 

making you a better player. 

• 2.5-3-hour small group time slots, 8:00 to 10:30am, 12:00 to 2:30pm, 3:30 to 6:00pm

• Invitation for dinner with Marius the night before 

• $400 per person

Saturday, May 29: Wedge Clinic 

• This clinic is a perfect complement to the April clinic and an opportunity for players to ensure that their wedges are compatible with their playing style. Players will enjoy one hour of one-on-one instruction and wedge fitting with our professional staff. Each participant will receive two new wedges of their choice as part of this clinic. 

• 1-hour individual time slots, 9:00am to 4:00pm

• $350 per person, including two wedges

Ladies’ Chicks & Sticks

One of our most popular programs at the Golf Club is Chicks & Sticks. This program was created by Membership Director Debbie Pepper as a way to introduce more women to the game of golf. It provides an opportunity for our female members to learn about different aspects of the game in a judgment-free social environment. 2020 saw some changes to the program as we started running multiple sessions to accommodate as many ladies as possible. We also recognized the benefits of implementing some of the Operation 36 principles into the program, and in the summer we started the Chicks & Sticks Development Program. Each week golfers have 30 minutes of instruction on a particular area of the game and then head to the golf course for a 9-hole challenge. All players start 25 yards from the hole and, like our junior golfers, work their way back as they are able to shoot 36 or below. Throughout the fall we incorporated instruction with the playing component and have seen considerable progress. This program was a huge success as we saw 39 ladies participate throughout the summer, many of whom were new to or just getting back into the game. Chicks & Sticks will continue on Tuesdays in the spring, summer and fall of 2021, and we encourage our female members to participate whether they are new to the game or more experienced. This program has something for everyone and players are taught based on their individual skill levels. 

Spring Sessions: Tuesdays, March 23 – May 25, 10:00am & 4:00pm, $30/$50 a session

Summer Sessions: Tuesdays, June 8 – August 31, 4:00pm, $50 a session

Fall Sessions: Tuesdays, September 14 – November 2, 10:00am & 4:00pm, $30/$50 a session

Juniors’ and Ladies’ Monthly Roll-Ups

The off-season proves a challenge with unpredictable weather conditions here in Texas, so we will be hosting Monthly Roll-Ups for our Juniors and Chicks & Sticks golfers during these times, weather permitting. These sessions will be two hours long and cover the main areas of the game, including a playing component. They are designed to be the perfect refresher until we can get back into a routine during peak playing season. Roll-Up sessions are open to all skill levels and provide a social learning environment. 

Junior Roll-Up: Saturday, January 16, 2:00 to 4:00pm

Chicks & Sticks Roll-Up: Tuesday, January 19, 2:00 to 4:00pm

Junior Roll-Up: Saturday, February 20, 2:00 to 4:00pm Chicks & Sticks Roll-Up: Tuesday, February 16, 2:00 to 4:00pm

Junior Roll-Up: Saturday, December 11, 2:00 to 4:00pm Chicks & Sticks Roll-Up: Tuesday, December 14, 2:00 to 4:00pm

As a professional staff, we are delighted to witness the excitement surrounding the game of golf and are proud to be able to assist our membership in developing their skills and, most importantly, their enjoyment of the game. If you would like more information or to register for any of our upcoming Player Development Programs, please contact Katie Dillard.

Katie Dillard is the Player Development Coordinator at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. She can be reached at or 830.336.4653.


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