Irish PGA pros bid to make junior coaching child’s play

27/08/2013

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Children across Dublin and Kildare are being offered the opportunity to get involved in a pioneering new method of golf coaching.

Junior volunteers are required for the sessions which aim to make golf more fun and accessible by helping youngsters make connections between skills they already have, and those needed to succeed in the sport.

Dougie Bell, PGA Professional at Kellys Golf Centre in Co. Down, will team up with Ballykisteen’s Marian Riordan to offer the sessions at GUI National Golf Academy in Co. Kildare on Saturday 7 September.

Bell said: “We aim to make what could be conceived as a difficult sport to pick up much easier, by making it more fun and using the skills that the children already have.

“Lots of kids play football and rugby, and many of the movements they use while playing those sports can be translated directly into golf.

“For example, passing a rugby ball can teach the importance of weight distribution between the legs and the movement of the hips – so by getting them to do this, we can translate how these movements would work in a golfing environment.”

The sessions will help children to work on their long game, chipping and putting by giving them a comprehensive understanding of the game, in a friendly and informal way.

And they can also encourage other important elements of the sport, such as etiquette, which can be drip fed to the children while they complete the activities.

Bell is delighted to be helping more youngsters get into the sport at an early age, and hopes that by setting them achievable goals more will stay in the sport.

“Kids are the most amazing people to be around, it is great to see anyone succeed, but when it’s a child it always seems to be even more inspiring.

“And no matter where they are or what they are doing, all kids want to do is have fun – I think that is a great way to look at life.”

Children aged 6-14 can now sign up to take part in the free junior golf sessions at the GUI National Golf Academy, Carton House, Co. Kildare.

Boys and girls without golf handicaps can complete one hour of golf activities between 9am and 4pm.

To register, email niamh.kitching@pga.org.uk with your child’s name, age, and level of golf experience.

The sessions will be filmed for a video resource, which will contribute to the PGA’s one day workshop, ‘Excellent Golf Coaching for Children’. The workshop provides PGA Professionals with innovative and child centred strategies for introducing juniors to golf.

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