Duns Golf Club adopts a more structured approach
From their experiences of their full year of clubgolf coaching
(2007) - where offering children coaching throughout the year, and
allowing them to turn up when they wanted resulted in large
variations in attendance - the club felt a more structured approach
to junior coaching was needed.
It became evident that the few girls who took part in coaching
were unhappy being coached alongside boys.
The practice facilities for juniors were deemed unacceptable. A
large practice area was available but some distance from the
clubhouse and did not have green facilities. The last green was
used for juniors to practise their putting and chipping but there
were obvious safety issues. A practice area nearer to the clubhouse
had fallen into disrepair.
Duns Golf Club does not have the benefits of a resident PGA
Professional to support its volunteer coaches.
The club's junior management group made the surrounding
community aware that clubgolf coaching was taking place and that
all were welcome, whether a member or not, through adverts in the
local media, posters in local schools and shops and the Clubhouse.
The Level 1 volunteer coaches attended firstclubgolf sessions at
the local primary school.
To encourage more girls to play golf the club decided to follow
the initiative working successfully at other clubs by adopting
Girls in Golf coaching. Teaching girls in a separate group is
working at Duns and the number of girls attending coaching has
increased as a direct result.
To improve its practice facilities the junior management group
worked closely its their clubgolf Regional Manager and submitted a
bid to "Awards for All" in July 2008. A grant for £9445 was awarded
and is being used to build a large new putting green, a deep
bunker, a shallow bunker, a practice net, and to purchase a TV/DVD
player to show Etiquette and Rules of Golf to the juniors.
To keep golf at the forefront of children's minds year round,
winter sessions were organised using a golf driving range close to
Duns. During these sessions a PGA Professional (a former Duns GC
junior member) gave the juniors coaching with the volunteer coaches
in attendance. The use of video equipment and other golfing aids
was popular with the children and provided useful feedback for the
The club's committee has fully supported the junior management
group's many initiatives. They welcomed and advised on the
introduction of a junior constitution and supported social evenings
for juniors and parents. Over 90 children and parents attended
social evenings which included a quiz on golf etiquette and rules
and issuing of Golf Passports.
Through the efforts of the clubgolf coaching programme many
juniors have improved their skills, earned handicaps and now play
in junior competitions. Some juniors have attained a sufficiently
low handicap (18) to allow them to play in adult competitions.
Duns voluntary coaches' work has been recognised by the
Berwickshire Sports Council, who in October 2008, awarded them a
Special Recognition Award.
Having a well maintained junior register meant that children could
be contacted in the event of bad weather, a frequent obstacle in
2007. Alternative arrangements were made to use the nearby driving
range. The relationship which built up with this centre meant Duns
GC had some preferential treatment when required.
The challenge of having three coaches for as many as 40 children
in a coaching session has been overcome by adult helpers assisting
the volunteer coaches. The club will soon have a fourth qualified
Although the club's main 2008 aims were achieved, the junior
management group realise that there is always room for improvement.
The 2009 junior season will look at the strengths, weaknesses,
opportunities and threats that exist and plan accordingly.
The club hopes its junior members will become adult members of
Duns or another club. Those that move away from the area will be
well grounded in golfing skills, etiquette and rules. This can only
enhance the reputation of Duns Golf Club.