Darren Mc Loughlin is helping spread the #WeLoveGolf message in Asia as part of his role at Birdie Golf Academy, Guangzhou, Guandong, China.
Q. How did your journey to become a PGA Professional start?
A. All my family were single figure golfers and I grew up next to Lucan Golf Club. After four years in College and working on a management program with a large supermarket company I decided to take a year’s leave of absence to see if I could make the grade. My first Assistant job was at Newlands Golf Club under Karl O’Donnell in 1994.
Q. What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
A. The growth & development of the game here in Asia. I previously worked in Thailand and Indonesia before moving here to China.
Q. Do you have any female specific programmes?
A. Yes, at the moment 60-70% of my students are Ladies or Junior Girls. We are very pro-active here in growing the game amongst females.
Q. What structure does the programme / sessions take?
A. Because we have an on site gym too here in China we cover everything from the game of golf, golf fitness, nutrition & psychology. We are also involved with numerous International Schools which allows us to reach Juniors who never had the chance to be exposed to golf.
Q. What does the Club do to help attract a more diverse customer?
A. We offer open clinics for new guests. We run an ETP Program(elite training program) where we can add extra tuition & fitness training for students who are committed, show potential and desire to improve at a faster rate.
Q. Do you believe that there is any difference between the people you coach where you are based and beginners in the UK?
A. Yes, totally. People here are committed to a long-term program over 18 months to 2 years.
Q. What is the best advice you’ve had, or can give, about being a great coach?
A. Never stop learning. Expose yourself to as many different coaches as you can remember; less is more!