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Talent-spotting programme in Durham
February 2, 2012

Promising young golfers in Durham are to be given the chance to develop their skills as part of a successful talent-spotting programme in the county.

The scheme is aimed at identifying boys and girls with the right mix of talent, commitment and attitude to help them develop into players capable of climbing the talent pathway.

Those taking part do not even need to have a handicap or be members of a golf club, but will be encouraged to become involved at their local club so they can put what they learn into practice.

Six centres - at Chester-le-Street GC, Knotty Hill Golf Centre, Sharpley GC, Headlam Hall, Beamish Park Hotel and Golf Centre and Ramside Hall - will provide coaching by PGA professionals who understand the development needs of young players.

The County Academy Programme, which is now in its fourth year, has seen more than 150 young golfers access its coaching and development opportunities. Some players have progressed onto the next step on the talent pathway - County Junior Elite coaching.

The first steps towards getting involved in the 2012 programme take place in March when two free talent assessment days will be held. These are aimed at youngsters between the ages of 7 and 15 years.

The talent assessment venues and dates are:

Saturday, March 3 (12noon-3pm) - Ramside Hall, Durham

Sunday, March 4 (10am-1pm) - Knotty Hill Golf Centre, Sedgefield

Anyone wishing to take part needs to register in advance by returning the form available from the Durham County Golf Partnership website ( ). The website also has further information about the programme and the opportunities it offers developing players.

Any questions about the programme can be directed towards Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership (Tel: 077758 48602; E-mail

"This opportunity should be of interest to any young player who has aspirations of progressing within the game to become the best player they can be. A good attitude towards practising, playing and competing is a must!" explained Jonathan Ward, County Development Officer for the Durham County Golf Partnership.

After the assessment days have been completed all those successful will be invited onto the programme and to join other players of a similar age/ability at one of the venues around the county.

Apart from coaching, members of the academy will be able to access online resources, workshops on topics such as golf psychology, fitness and rules, as well as take part in events which are only open to those on the programme.

The County Academy Programme is one of a number of projects aimed at increasing the talent pool in golf, run under the umbrella of the English Golf Partnership. This is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including the England Golf (the new organisation formed by the merger of the English Golf Union and the English Women's Golf Association), the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

This partnership is replicated at county level and brings together the Durham County Golf Union, Durham County Ladies Golf Association and the North East PGA.

For more details of the Durham County Golf Partnerships activities, please visit

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