Young eyeing busy off-season at Ballyneety

Young eyeing busy off-season at Ballyneety


Traditionally, winter is seen as the quiet time of the golfing calendar. But for Gavin Young it could be the busiest as Ballyneety Driving Range gears up for a hectic off-season.

With a 31-bay floodlit driving range - 15 of which have Trackman - an indoor and outdoor teaching studio with Trackman 4 and excellent custom fitting facilities, Young will hope to have players swinging well and clubbing well this winter.

The Tipperary man has been immersed in golf all his life having attended school in Birr while holding membership in Birr Golf Club which is where he started his training before continuing his PGA qualifications in Adare Manor.

Now entering his fourth year as PGA Professional at Ballyneety Driving Range, he feels the facility has become the golfing hotspot in Limerick.

"I'm very fortunate to be here in Ballyneety, working under Donal McSweeney is great," said Young who won the Castle Pro-Am on the PGA in Ireland region this year.

"We were one of the first driving ranges in Ireland to get a Trackman range so it's a fantastic facility. We try to cater for everyone as much as we can and become the main place in the south west that people will travel to for lessons or for custom fittings.

"We have all the main brands here and we can fit and teach inside and outside, we like to think we have everyone catered for as best we can. I teach and custom fit everyday. I do more coaching than fitting but I cover all aspects from driver down to putter."

The Lorrha native always seemed destined for a career in the golf industry having dabbled in some part-time caddying when he was on his holidays from college. Young caddied in Rhode Island in the United States but also had stints on the bag of former Shamrock Rovers striker Stephen Grant on the Challenge Tour and EuroPro Tour from 2012 to 2017.

"I was over and back for a number of years when I was in college so I was part time during the summer holidays when I wasn't trying to play or compete in the national events so I would caddie for a mate of mine Stephen Grant if he had a free week or anything like that I would jump on the bag with him.

"I spent a summer caddying in Rhode Island and it was a good experience which was nice to see from that perspective."

Gone are the days of empty driving ranges over winter or players casually hitting a few balls to 'keep the eye in' until the spring. Driving ranges are now flooded with people all undertaking winter programmes, swing changes and trying to get a head start on improving their golf ahead of the following year.

Young feels the increased technology in golf has helped PGA Professionals give lessons and develop a base of clients who are also reaping the benefits of the instant feedback and data available to them.

"We have two trackman four's so we have two guys teaching all day everyday and it's great for looking at ball flights and seeing what the player is doing and using the technology to verify everything with the instant feedback for the player. They can see if they are doing something wrong and then see the differences after changing. We can send them a screencast off Trackman at the end of the lesson on their email or Trackman account.

"With the Trackman monitors it tracks the ball flight with a radar which is great. It's great for lessons to be able to show them the data and what they can improve on to get a particular number or ball flight on the screen. To be fair we get a lot of people coming out here for lessons to avail of the technology and since Covid those numbers have gone up.

"Golf as a sport has benefited from Covid as have PGA coaches. A high percentage of my clients have recently taken up the game and they are all trying to improve and plenty of them are young people who are delving into golf.

"The floodlights are vitally important for us in the winter. We have all our bays almost full from half 5 to 9pm every night. You need that and the roof coming into he winter months and they are a massive addition for golfers around Limerick."

For many amateurs the lure of the YouTube quick fix can have limited results and eventually send them down down the wrong path and tie their swing up in knots. Young feels players should come to their PGA Professional because they can break down the golf swing into great detail while also keeping it simple and providing value for money.

"We are all qualified having come through as assistants and doing the training. The Youtube aspect can be great but can send you down a rabbit hole. The content they put out might be great for your friend but they don't apply to you or your swing characteristics and then you can get over confused.

"When males or females come in saying they've been online it's good because a PGA pro can fix it quickly and keep it simple. That's how a PGA pro can help you by breaking it down in more detail but keeping it simple for the player. Going to the PGA pro is the better case scenario."

For anyone interested in getting a lesson from Gavin, they can reach him on his Instagram page: @gavinyounggolfcoach


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