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County Academy figures reach new high
October 28, 2011

More than 120 young golfers have been put through their paces by the Shropshire and Herefordshire County Academy.

Special coaching sessions have been held at 14 clubs across the region aimed at giving promising young players the chance to develop their skills.

The scheme is designed to help boys and girls with potential, some of whom may not have a handicap or even a great deal of golfing experience.

Those taking part do not even need to be members of a golf club.

The programme continues to go from strength to strength with numbers reaching a new high following a successful launch in 2010 when more than 100 junior golfers received extra coaching.

Mark Taylor, County Development Officer for the Shropshire and Herefordshire County Golf Partnership, says: "The County Academy complements the excellent work of the county union and association in developing players at the highest level. It gives young golfers with the potential to develop their game the chance to do so by providing first class coaching and a development plan which includes all aspects of the game, on and off the course.

"Many players from the County Union's under 14 team are being coached in the programme and the County Golf Partnership would like to thank Charles Sievewright, junior organiser for the County Union, for all of his support."

The coaching team is led by Head Academy Coach Jason Davies, from Oswestry Golf Club, and Mark Taylor, who is also a PGA Advanced Professional.

Assessment days for the 2012 Academy programme will be held in April with full details of how to register available in the new year on the county partnership's website,

The Academy coaches involved in the programme are: Jason Davies (Oswestry Golf Club); Mark Taylor (Shropshire and Herefordshire County Development Officer); Tom Gibbs (The Shropshire); John Richards (Shrewsbury Golf Club); Andy Cameron (Burghill Valley); Keith Preece (Burghill Valley); Matt Lea (Horsehay Golf Centre, Telford); Rob Bluck (Lilleshall Golf Club); Mark Sutcliffe (The Shropshire); Phil Toomer (Shrewsbury Driving Range); Michael Welch (Lee Westwood Golf Academy)

The County Academy is part of a wide-range of projects aimed at encouraging more people to take up golf.

Fifteen girls have been given the chance to receive additional coaching with the support of a grant from the English Women's Golf Association. Many of the girls have been identified through the school coaching programmes and are now on the pathway to becoming members of local clubs.

Clubs in both counties supported the summer's Midland Golf Week, which saw 143 would-be golfers taking part, and 12 new junior members sign up. A Tri Golf festival at Meole Brace Golf Club saw 108 primary school children take part while four specialist schools competed in the Special Needs Golf Festival at Lilleshall GC.

Four golf taster sessions have also been held at Sainsbury's stores in both counties, with 60 children taking the chance to give golf a go, while 40 people took part in a taster session at a new leisure centre in Oswestry.

The County Academy is one of a number of projects aimed at increasing participation in golf run under the umbrella of the Shropshire and Herefordshire Golf Partnership, which is a collaboration of the major stakeholders in golf, including the English Golf Union, The English Women's Golf Association, the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Shropshire and Herefordshire the partnership is supported by the Shropshire and Herefordshire Union of Golf Clubs, Shropshire County Ladies’ Golf Association and the Shropshire and Herefordshire Professional Golfers Association.

For more details of the activities in Shropshire and Herefordshire visit

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