Farleigh Golf Club in Surrey has appointed Paul Babbage to its team of PGA Professionals. Known as the ‘Golf Gurus’, Babbage will work under Steve Stiller in a team tasked with furthering the Club’s mission to put a club in every hand.
“Paul’s enthusiasm for the game and personable nature made him the ideal candidate to help us encourage people to try golf,” says Russell Stebbings, General Manager at Farleigh Golf Club. “His role involves being a community champion for the game, reaching people who have never before thought of giving golf a go.”
Previously a coach at Chislehurst, Number One Junior School and Sundridge Park, Babbage also ran the Portuguese academy for Golf Made Simple, one the US’s biggest golf school brands. His experience made it clear to Stebbings that he could easily work with the Club’s existing golfers, but could he encourage new golfers to the sport? For this, Stebbings introduced an extra interview stage.
Enter Farleigh’s Sam Donovan, who has worked at the Club in the Sales and Events team for almost five years and never tried golf. Joined by two other female colleagues new to the game, Donovan ventured onto the course with trepidation, with Babbage tasked to lead their first ever golf lesson.
“I love working at a golf club, but there seemed too many barriers for me to play,” says Donovan. Time, cost and clothing were some of the reasons cited by the mother of two, with fear of looking silly in front of colleagues and members also a concern for the ladies.
“Paul was excellent at putting us at ease and dealt patiently with a lot of questions that some golf coaches would no doubt groan at,” continues Donovan. “Things like what’s the difference between a fairway and a green, why putters look different to other clubs and how to make a golf bag stand up. Golf can seem like a foreign language and after five years at the Club, I felt I’d left it too late to ask what it all meant.”
Reporting back to Stebbings, the ladies praised Babbage’s ability to make the game fun and that he had pointed out different options for how they can get involved such as driving range, putting green, 9 holes and the Club’s two hole golf introduction, ‘Balls & Bubbles’.
“I have a passion for helping golfers of all levels and abilities to improve their golf, but my real joy comes from seeing people play the game I love,” says Babbage. “Farleigh has great plans in place to open the game up to children and women, two groups who are integral to growing the game. I’m delighted to be working with such a progressive club.”
For more information on Farleigh, visit farleighfox.co.uk