|Location: Hungary, Europe; India, Asia|
PGA Professional: Jonathan Mannie (Austria)
“Some of the coaches had travelled almost 3000 km by rail, bus and taxi to attend…”
The honour of working as a golf development officer and the privilege of working together with some of the best golf professionals is in itself probably one of the most exciting and humbling opportunities I have experienced in the past 10 years.
Recently in previous visits I worked with Keith Williams in Argentina and in India I was given the topic of short game together with a putting guru, Steven Orr.
The idea was to give three courses, each over three days, with level A, B and C coaches who work close to Delhi but also from across India.
Considering the size of India we had no idea how far the coaches would travel. To our amazement we realised that some of the coaches had travelled almost 3000 km by rail, bus and taxi to attend these 3 days. I said humbling because in the feedback they mentioned they would have travelled double.
The content was based on basic geometry and physics to better understand the ball flight and the connection to what happens when a golf ball is hit. The group was then divided into pitching and putting and spent the day in practical sessions having fun and trying new exercise and drills, as well as ways to help them improve their skills and knowledge as coaches.
We left feeling we had made a difference – we’d visited a very special country with very special people who made us feel very special!
Hungary was also very interesting as the topic was slightly different being targeted at improving communication and growing the game.
Discussions with the different golfing bodies took place, a few projects were looked at, and a pathway for the future was developed. The professionals then had a 1.5 day workshop on how to develop themselves and their market for the future, whilst also looking at basic information on the launch monitors and ball flight laws.
I will finish this short case study by thanking The R&A and the PGAs of Europe for making these visits possible. The influence and impact that these visits have on countries is way past what we think and offers experiences and knowledge to so many people who never forget these special opportunities.
The R&A's Working For Golf Programme
The R&A invests up to £5 million of Open Championship generated income annually on different aspects of golf ranging from grassroots to coaching to equipment provision.
Much of this support is delivered to emerging nations as part of a drive to raise the profile of golf as a sport for life.
Today The R&A supports golf in over 120 countries worldwide and works closely with many of its affiliates including the PGAs of Europe.