Global Edition

Alliss lands international role

12.03am 25th September 2008 - People

Gary Alliss has been given an international coaching brief after being appointed national coach of Slovakia.

The Belfry head professional has been given the job of raising the standards of golf coaching in the central European state plus helping improve its leading players.

It’s an exciting challenge for Alliss with golf in Slovakia still in its very early days having only existed since 1998. It possesses just three 18 hole courses and has 4,000 registered golfers out of a population of five million.

Alliss, who received PGA Master Professional status in the summer, landed the role after working with the PGAs of Europe and the R&A and he will spend a total of 25 days working with the Slovaks and has a two pronged attack planned.

“My aims are twofold,” he explained. “The first is to help the elite players that they have. They’ve got two or three players who play off plus two or three and there are a couple of women who are scratch. They also have one lady Zuzana Camasova who plays on the LET.

“Bearing in mind nobody had picked up a club nine years ago that’s quite impressive. Also because the game is growing very fast, my aim is to establish a structure so that the 15, 16 and 17 year olds can be helped a little more.

“Secondly I want to show them how to practise. At present they are very enthusiastic but just bash balls. There is no understanding or discipline on how to get the most out of practice, how to use statistics in terms of fairways hit and greens in regulation.”

In addition Alliss is hoping to establish links with the small band of Slovak pros who currently mostly work in the Czech Republic.

“My hope is they might want to come back and see what I am doing and be able to learn what to teach and what to look out for. I hope they will buy into what I am doing.”

One interesting fact that Alliss has noticed about Slovak golfers is the startling amount of left-handers.

“It’s amazing, I’ve never seen so many lefties but it’s because ice hockey is massive in Slovakia and anyone who plays on the left side has to play left handed so they can belt the golf ball equally well from either side,” he said.

Slovakia’s three courses include Gray Bear at Tale which was designed by renowned American architect Bob Walton and Black Stork where another member, PGA Fellow Professional Brett Brasier coaches during the summer months.

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