Scottish Golf Courses

Junior programme set for expansion

Development Centre set-up to include wider age range

More young golfers than ever before are being offered the chance to receive coaching from some of Scotland’s top coaches starting this autumn.

The Scottish Golf Development Centres programme is expanding to take players up to the age of 20 with three different levels of coaching in small groups based on age, experience and ability at venues across the country.

The first level offers 30 hours of tuition for those aged 11 to 16 who compete regularly in club competitions and junior medals, and with a maximum CONGU handicap of 36 for girls, and 28 for boys.

Level two is for golfers aged 12 to 17 who are contending in club medals and competing in local competitions with maximum handicap of 22 for girls and 18 for boys. They are offered 50 hours of coaching in a group of no more than eight players, with the option of a further 25 hours summer programme.

The third level offers the same number of hours and group sizes as level two, but is aimed at players aged 16 to 20 who are winning club medals, contending in local competitions and competing at regional and national level. The maximum handicap is 16 for girls, and 12 for boys. Players at all levels will be given a module workbook and skills assessment cards.

Almost three-quarters of new players selected for the Scottish Golf Academy in 2014 came from the Scottish Golf Development Centres programme.

Malachy Hayward, now 13, found his first year at Kings Acre with Scottish Golf Development Coach John Murray helpful. He said: “It’s been great, I’m really enjoying it. We go through short game, putting, long game, nutrition, and it’s definitely helped my short game. John gives us a demonstration and we work on it, and he looks at us individually and says what we can improve and what we need to work on, like my grip which was a bit strong. I’d definitely say come along and get coaching here as it’s really helpful.”

His father, Larry Hayward, has noticed other benefits from the programme. He said: “John Murray has a lovely style with the kids and he’s brought them on really nicely. This has taken Malachy up another level this winter, you can see it in his swing which is much cleaner and more consistent and he loves it. I think it has helped his schoolwork as well. I don’t know if it’s the steady improvement he’s seen, the idea of focusing on his work, I’ve seen his school work come on a lot as well.”

Programme Manager, Colin Bell, said: “This is the fourth year of Development Centres and we have worked with PGA professionals, facility managers, golfers and their parents to create an enhanced programme which we feel will now help accelerate the development of our young players, and create a pathway which works alongside the Scottish Golf Academy.”

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