After capturing his third title of the year, Major winner Sergio Garcia returned to PGA Catalunya Resort, near Girona, for the sixth year in succession, to spend time with students of his Junior Golf Academy.
The 37-year-old Masters champion conducted golf clinics with the youngsters, as well as a special masterclass with a group from Consorci Sant Gregori in nearby Girona, an organisation that helps individuals with special educational needs, and played some exhibition holes with 12 pupils.
Since it was established as a collaboration between Fundación Sergio Garcia and PGA Catalunya Resort in 2012, the academy has given children from all walks of life the opportunity to play golf, develop their skills and maximise their full athletic potential.
Asked what advice he would give children aspiring to follow in his Major-winning footsteps, Sergio said: “I truly believe that the most important thing for children, especially at a young age, is for them to have fun and enjoy the sport they’re playing – be that golf, football, tennis, etc. If they enjoy themselves now, like it and decide they want to train more and more, then you have the makings of a great player – maybe even one who’ll eventually play on the Tour.”
He added: “Every time I visit PGA Catalunya Resort to see the progress of the Academy it is pleasing to see the children having fun playing and enjoying golf. The coaching staff is doing an excellent job and the students are continuously improving. I’m constantly surprised by how children of five or six years old feel so passionate about this sport.”
Shining stars of Sergio’s Junior Academy, which now regularly welcomes more than 30 youngsters aged between five and 17 years old, include Hugo Palomeque (16, handicap 4), Sofia Pedrero (12, handicap 12) and siblings Ivan Ponsdomenech Kamenev (11, handicap 8) and Daria Ponsdomenech Kameneva (9, handicap 28), all of whom have been attending the academy for more than two years.
The Sergio Garcia Junior Academy uses the globally recognised TPI teaching programme that allows youngsters to develop age-appropriate skills that maximise their full athletic potential, not just the golf swing. The courses are available in three age categories: 6-9 years, 9-12 years and 12+ years.
PGA Catalunya Resort www.pgacatalunya.com