Golf At Goodwood continues to enhance its reputation as the number one venue for junior golfers in the South of England with the appointment of one of the team to the role of Sussex Golf Development Academy Coach.
Craig Gardner, PGA Professional at the West Sussex estate has been selected by the county’s governing body to coach 9 to 15 year olds with the primary aim to deliver county standard golfers in the future. The prominent role will include regular coaching sessions for academy players, developing individual training plans and hosting selection days to identify young players with potential to join the programme.
In his day to day role at Goodwood as Junior Co-ordinator Craig is part of a highly successful coaching team that has seen a 40% increase in junior membership over the last 12 months. With just over 56,000 junior golf club members throughout England the average number of juniors per club is just 29 and Goodwood is bucking the trend with 85 juniors to date.
Craig recently commented: “Here at Goodwood we actively encourage newcomers from as young as 3 years old to have a go at golf through taster sessions, linking up with local schools and also encouraging families to try golf for a day here at our academy. The emphasis has to be on accessibility and affordability when there are so many activities for children to choose from today”.
“We want young people to develop basic playing skills which leads to both physical and psychological benefits associated with improvement, personal achievement and most importantly life long participation in sport”.
Goodwood’s growing status as a centre of excellence has been further boosted by the onsite presence of Olympic Strength and Conditioning coach Steve Gent who is now based at the academy. Steve helped prepare athletes for three Olympic Games from 2004, totalling over 17 Olympic medals as well as 90 podium finishes in World and European Championships. Accordingly, Steve has developed a systematic approach to golf conditioning that integrates fully with the services already on offer at the Golf Academy.