An award-winning golf volunteer is to spearhead a major project aimed at developing young golfing talent in County Durham.
Mike Greener has taken up the post of Talent Pathway Co-ordinator for the newly-formed County Junior Coaching Committee, which operates under the banner of the Durham County Golf Partnership.
In 2014 he received England Golf’s national Volunteer Coach of the year award for his support of County Coach Andrew Nicholson at his home club, Wynyard GC.
Mike, who is a level one coach, will be responsible for driving a single talent pathway in Durham for youngsters aged between eight and 18.
He has been actively involved in coaching and talent-spotting throughout Durham, helping with the administration of the development programmes for both the county men’s and girls’ squads, as well as attending matches to assist in the evaluation of performance.
Mike is also manager of the England Golf U16 girls squad for Yorkshire and has assisted lead coach Craig Dilley as part of the Durham CGP’s County Academy Programme.
The revamped unified approach replaces the three separate junior talent programmes which were run by the County Ladies Association for girls, the County Union Men for boys and the England Golf funded County Academy Programme (CAP) for both boys and girls.
Mike’s new role will include administering, monitoring and reviewing the new structure as well as running the popular junior nine-hole mini tour, which helps identify potential talent for the future.
Says Mike, who works as a Project Manager for a Durham charity that supports long-term unemployed gain the skills needed to help them back into work: “Golf is a passion of mine, as is supporting players’ success.
“This new role allows me to utilise my administrative and management skills and to liaise with the 10 Durham county coaches for 2015. I am looking forward to meeting parents, players and coaches across the county throughout 2015.
“The ultimate aim of the programme, long-term, is to have talented young golfers, regardless of gender, progress and hopefully not only represent Durham county but also England, in addition to encouraging more young people to take up the sport.”
Ken Joel, the County Coaching Chairman, says: “Our aim in Durham is to build the strongest Talent Pathway possible, which will see boys and girls come through the ranks and go on to represent the County and beyond.
“Mike is a great addition to the new programme and will I’m sure use his drive,
commitment and experience to support the county in achieving this.”
Phil Graham, county development officer for the Durham CGP, says: “The unified coaching pathway in Durham can only be a positive step for young players. Talented young golfers will be provided with consistent, high quality coaching, helping them to get to where they aspire to be.”
The Durham CGP will also continue its work to encourage more adults into the sport or to return to golf, and details of adult participation projects in the county can be found at www.getintogolf.org/durham
The Durham CGP is supported by the Durham County Golf Union, Durham County Ladies Golf Association and the North East PGA.
Durham County Golf Partnership www.durhamgolfpartnership.com
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