Keith Williams, the England National Coach, has announced that he will be stepping down from his job at the head of the England Coaching team after a successful eleven years.
The relationship between the England Golf Union (EGU) and Williams began in 1987 when he undertook regional coaching in the West Midlands. During the late eighties and early nineties Williams began coaching squads at national level before taking over the reins as the England National Coach from John Stirling in 1994.
Williams has been the principal driving force in the evolution of golf coaching in England from being a responsibility focussed solely on technique into a package that encompasses the wider aspects of sports science and medicine. The introduction of physiotherapy, psychology, aerobic training, musculo-skeletal screening, diet and nutrition have been just some of the initiatives that have been led by Williams.
His long history and relationship with the game of golf, playing both at top clubs and also on tour, meant that Williams was also able to introduce, in addition to his expertise, many contacts from the sport’s top brand names who provided technical support and advice to the England coaching programmes.
By bringing in teams of experts where needed, Williams has been able to lead the development of English golf talent that has certainly paid back in terms of success and recognition. Some of the many achievements that Williams has overseen include victories in the World Boy’s Championships, the European Youths Team Championships and a string of wins in the Home Internationals plus individual squad player successes at the European Amateur, Spanish Amateur, Portuguese Amateur and Chinese Amateur Championships. Some of the world’s top professional players who have benefited from Williams‘ coaching skills whilst at the EGU include Justin Rose, Scott Drummond and Paul Casey.
On his decision to leave Williams said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as National Coach. A decision such as this is always difficult to make especially when I have built a successful but also a happy relationship with the EGU and individual players. It’s been great to watch the coaching programme develop through innovation and hard work and this in turn be reflected in each players‘ own achievements.”
Keith Williams holds exempt membership of the PGA European Seniors Tour and has indicated that he may play a few events in the months following his departure. After leading an eight-year period of EGU sponsored coaching for the Czech Federations National Squads he also has plans to return to follow up this previous work. In addition he has indicated that he would like to continue to expand into other areas of coaching by creating performance golf academies for the professional game that will offer a complete holistic approach to coaching.
Paul Baxter, EGU chief executive commented, “Keith has always been a highly respected member of our team. He will be missed for his professionalism and also as someone who brought a lot of enjoyment to the coaching team and players and to the EGU as a whole. It has been a pleasure to work with him and we wish him the greatest success in his future plans.”
The position of National Coach is expected to be filled once the EGU’s new Director of Coaching is appointed by the end of March.