Young golfers are being offered the chance to receive coaching from some of the country’s foremost coaches this autumn and winter through Scottish Golf Development Centres.
Players aged between 11 and 17 with an official golf handicap can apply for 30 hours of tuition from a PGA professional for only £160 in one of Scottish Golf’s Development Centres. Last winter, 504 youngsters took part in the nationwide programme receiving tailor-made coaching in some of Scotland’s finest practice facilities with the aim of giving them the tools required to reach their golfing potential.
Applicants are urged to sign up as soon as possible to secure their place before the deadline of Sunday 14 September as numbers are limited to ensure each player receives the appropriate amount of coaching, support and opportunities for their personal development. Some centres are filling up fast and have limited spaces remaining. Nominations can also be put forward by Areas and Counties.
With many inspiring stories of players who took part, achieving goals they set with their development coaches and some significant reductions in handicap, 98% of players surveyed say they would recommend the programme to another young golfer.
The programme, running between October and May, consists of 30 hours of group golf coaching on all areas of the game with additional access to non-technical modules such as fitness, goal setting, nutrition and psychology. Coaching will be delivered by specially selected PGA Professionals, who have the drive to develop youngsters using the most appropriate coaching techniques and are experienced in coaching talented junior golfers.
Parents are encouraged to assist players with the home learning elements of the programme and are welcome to attend any workshops. Players will also be introduced to the benefits of skills testing to help assess their own progress.
Kayleigh Singer from South Queensferry attended Kingsfield Development Centre after reducing her handicap from 36 to 23 last summer.
She said: “I was struggling with my irons and my coach David Patrick really helped me with that and with my short game so my putting has improved quite a bit too. Last year my handicap was stuck at 23 and the development centre coaching helped me get down to 17.6.
“I was in a group of other girls from Midlothian so it was lovely making new friends and share the experience with girls of my own age as there’s only other girl at my club. I have since played with a few of them at East of Scotland under 18s in competitions and it’s been good to meet other girls who share the love and passion for the sport. It was all just great fun really.”
Matthew Palin also benefitted from tuition last year. Along with two teammates, the 16 year-old from Kintore recently won the ClubGolf Junior Masters qualifier at Turriff. He said: “I learnt a lot which has helped my game, including knowing what shot to play, about draws and fades and I feel able to play both kinds of shots now. The equipment was good, being able to monitor how you putt, see how you swing. The targets are personal and made it a lot easier to record how you were progressing.
“One of the biggest things I took from the coaching is the drills. They will stay with me and are easy to do when I come home from school. The improvement in my short game more than anything is down to the Development Centre.”
Matthew’s brother Ross also took part in coaching, and their mother Joyce was impressed with the programme.
She said: “The boys really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. The set up at Meldrum House, the coaching and the facilities for the kids is fantastic - it’s an excellent Development Centre. The coaching has obviously had an impact and Matthew played really well at the ClubGolf Junior Masters qualifier at Turriff.”
Scottish Golf Development Centre Project Manager, Colin Bell, said: “The aim of Development Centres is to ensure that we give junior players every opportunity to meet their potential.
“In addition to the first-class coaching, players will learn about other key elements that are essential in becoming a top golfer, so it really is a great opportunity for all enthusiastic junior golfers out there and aspiring professionals of the future.
“We are confident young golfers in Scotland are better provided for than they have ever been with 38 Development Centres available nationwide, complementing the significant number of ClubGolf introductory programmes on offer at the earlier stages. We would like to see as many children as possible to grab this opportunity and submit their application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”
To find out how to book a place at your local Scottish Golf Development Centre, visit our development centre page.