Join Bridge Winners
Honors' version of a Pro-Am

A Mentoring Program with a Twist

     As club mangers everywhere have come to learn, it is not easy to develop long term mentoring programs that require that experienced players be willing to give back to the bridge community on a regular basis. We think we've found the “niche” that works.

     Three to four times a year, Honors hosts Pro-Ams that we believe may be unique to our club. They are also among the most anticipated events on the Honors Bridge Club calendar. What we do is run these Pro-Ams with a twist. It’s the twist that makes this event as much fun for the Pros as they are for the Ams.

     You see we don’t run the standard Pro-Am duplicate game. We run a Pro-Am team event. A "Pro-Am-Am-Am", if you will. It works like this:

     Each four person team is made up of one Life Master Captain (the “Pro”) and not one, but three, non-Life Master developing players (the “Ams”). The teams are ranked and bracketed by the total number of Master Points of the three NLM’s. Each team plays three rounds of eight boards per round against other teams in their bracket. The Captains all sit North at their home tables and play a full match with each of their three Ams.

     This type of Pro-Am presents the same wonderful mentoring opportunities for the NLM’s as do traditional Pro-Ams. Ams get the benefit of playing with and against Pros on every board throughout the evening. The pros like it because they get to partner with not one, but three up and coming players and get to teach solid Swiss Team tactics to all three Ams at their table each match. The event’s organizer likes it because it dramatically reduces the strain to find a Pro for each Am.

      We hold these games on Sunday evenings. We include dinner, then we ply everyone with lots of wine (the secret ingredient), and with cheese, fruit, desserts, and every New Yorker’s favorite, pigs in a blanket. The key to our event’s success was in finding and keeping just the right person to handle all the details, all the organizational work. We’ve been extraordinarily lucky. These sessions each often top forty teams.

     Once a year we hold a “thank you” event for the Pros and the partners of their choice. Both play as our guests. Dinner, with wine and hors d’oeuvres, round out the evening.

      What is so beneficial and gratifying about Pro-Ams is that experienced players get a chance to “pay it forward”. Each time we run a Pro-Am new players participate and come away with a greater appreciation of what the game is actually all about. What really is special is when former Ams, now LM's in their own right, return to captain their own team. Can any club manager ask for more?

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