England and Wales (North) Region
30 May 18
The Junior Golf Academy launched at Blackpool club Staining Lodge is proving such a big hit that weekend lessons regularly attract almost 80 youngsters, writes David Birtill.
And to ensure that no-one is turned away, PGA professional Tony Johnstone has introduced another two weekday sessions.
“They have eased the pressure and allowed us to take on new children wanting to receive the best coaching opportunities,” he said.
Enterprising Johnstone has also recently introduced the Lancashire Junior Golf Tour and, intriguingly, the Glow Golf Company.
“Many of the kids have reached a decent standard that would allow them to get around the course yet there is limited organised competition or events to engage with such a large section.
“Some lost interest and eventually stopped playing so my aim was to create a golf tour that includes all competent juniors, with or without handicaps, playing different courses in a competitive yet fun environment.
“I want to break the barriers between clubs and encourage professionals to run coaching and etiquette sessions for kids who aren’t members yet show a keen interest.
“I’m starting to get my local clubs on board and have a series of events planned this year which I hope to grow and develop."
Meanwhile, Glow Golf is proving a new and exciting concept.
Johnstone said: “I’ve had some fantastic feedback from my Night Golf events. I've organised five at Staining Lodge and ran a sixth at Myerscough College for the golf students.
“I have my biggest event coming up in August where I'm running nine holes in the daytime and nine at night. The course really comes to life after dark!”
Johnstone added: “I’m looking at setting up competitions for members at other clubs across Lancashire and potentially the United Kingdom.”
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