Getting kids playing on the golf course with Operation 36 – Ryan Dailey and Matt Reagan

I’d be surprised if you haven’t heard of Operation 36. Over 200 facilities joined their network, bringing a lot of awareness to the shortened golf courses concept. VERY excited to be sharing an interview with Op36 co-founders!

Junior player development program based around shooting 36

My guests – Matt Reagan (@MattReaganGolf) and Ryan Dailey (@RyanDaileyGolf), co-founders of Operation 36 (@Op36).

Fun is seeing accomplishment and seeing improvements, even if it’s at the smallest level. (…) Until you get [juniors] on the golf course, they really don’t get involved in the game”

Operation 36 is a network of golf facilities, offering training and a Player Development Platform (web and mobile apps, curriculum, tracking software, resources and much more) based around the Operation 36 Playing Format – beating the goal of shooting 36 on 9 holes (starting from 25 yards away from the hole, progressively moving back up to full length tees).

Having experimented with many different junior coaching formats throughout the years, Ryan and Matt are now able to tell the facilities, fellow coaches as well as juniors and their parents “what we do works, and we’re able to prove it by showing you the results we’re measuring”. Kids are playing more rounds and playing better (losing strokes) while staying in the program for a long time.

Here is what we discuss:

  • What is Operation 36
  • Why they focus on playing the game
  • How their junior coaching philosophy developed
  • Op36’s impact (8000+ golfers)
  • Building environments that facilitate the process of creating lifelong golfers
  • Most important metrics to keep for the business, for the student and for the parents
  • Various issues around getting kids on the course and formats they might play
  • What is “fun” and what looks “fun”
  • Gamification, accountability and professionalism
  • Example Op36 junior academy structure
  • Getting buy-in
  • Operation 36’s value for coaches, what the network includes and how to get involved

If you want to learn more about Operation 36, make sure to go to their website:, where you can sign up and get on a call to discuss the program.

Listen to the episode

Listen to the episode below or in your favourite podcast app (I recommend Overcast).

If you are reading this in an email, access the player and all the links on the website.

Listen to the interview on YouTube

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