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PGA Pros set to help Open Championship go with a swing

8.55am 6th July 2011 - People

PGA professional Matthew Hearne (courtesy of Getty Images)

An expert team of PGA professionals will be showcasing their coaching skills as they give more than 2,000 FREE lessons at this year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s.

Spectators attending the 140th Open will have the chance to combine watching stars like Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood with grabbing a 15-minute lesson.

The in-demand PGA pros, who will give in the region of 2,400 lessons, will be based at the R&A Swingzone where there will be six indoor bays, three outdoor bays and a putting green.

A number of the pros will be from clubs in surrounding counties but there are also some from as far afield as Scotland with Andrew Wylie from Ardeer Golf Club in Ayrshire while Robert Charlton returns from Soufflenheim Baden-Baden Golf Club near Strasbourg in France.

Also among the dedicated band of 30-plus pros will be PGA Fellow Professional Peter Ball from Birley Wood in Sheffield.

Ball, who discovered European Tour ace Danny Willett, has been coaching at the Open since 1996 and is looking forward to what he calls one of the most enjoyable weeks of the year.

“It’s a fantastic experience for both the PGA pros and the kids. The idea is to make it fun and while we might only have 15 minutes there is a lot they can pick up in that time,” said Ball. “We’re next door to the Golf Foundation who have a lot of Tri-Golf and fun games on their stand which the kids love and then they get the chance to pop next door and have a go with real balls and clubs so it’s perfect for them.

“Having taught so many kids, one of the secrets is that you need to work on all the basics of grip, posture and stance but also to get them up and running quickly so they can hit the ball and enjoy it.

“Whatever age or ability, the most important thing is that good coaching can help anyone improve and this is a marvelous showcase for PGA professionals.”

Jonathan Wright, PGA coach education manager for England, said: “This is a great opportunity for golfers to get a fully qualified coach to have a look at their game and receive some expert advice with a view to helping them improve moving forward.

“Many people don’t take lessons with a PGA professional so this is a wonderful chance to combine watching some world class golf while receiving some world class coaching.”

The R&A Swingzone will be open from Sunday, July 10 to Sunday, July 17, and is open to children and adults.

The full team of PGA professionals teaching at the R&A Swingzone:

Peter Ball (Birley Wood Golf Club, South Yorkshire) Alan Bradshaw (Bootle Golf Club, Merseyside) Adam Harnett (Worldham Park Golf Club, Hampshire) John Brotherton (John Brotherton Golf, Kent) Andrew Wylie (Ardeer Golf Club, Ayrshire) Colin Smith (Keele Driving Range, Staffordshire) Steve Scott-Bowen (Windmill Golf Academy, Bristol) Laurence Pawley (Hoebridge Golf Centre, Surrey) David Vernon (Manston Golf Centre, Kent) Kevin Flynn (Tournebury Golf Centre, Hampshire) Brian Sparks (Manston Golf Centre, Kent) Tiffany Woodyer (Saunton Golf Club, Devon) Emma Brown (Windmill Golf Academy, Bristol) Bev Huke (Hedge End Golf Centre, Buckinghamshire) Rob Charlton (Soufflenheim Golf Club, Baden-Baden, France) Paul Warner (Hollingbury Park Golf Club, Hampshire) Neil Evans (Greetham Valley Golf Club, Leicestershire) Matthew Hearne (Milford Haven Golf Club, Pembrokeshire) Craig Thomas (The Golf Academy, West Midlands) Tom Bridger (Leatherhead Golf Club, Surrey) Duncan Woolger (Braintree Golf Club, Essex) Steve Vinnicombe (Pavenham Park Golf Club, Bedfordshire) Simon Garner (Brockett Hall Golf Club, Hertfordshire) Dean Harrison (Paultons Golf Centre, Hampshire) Sarah Bennett (Three Rivers Golf & Country Club, Essex) Scott Graham (Liphook Golf Club, Basingstoke) Chris Farr (Paultons Golf Centre, Hampshire) Mark Taylor (Alvaston Golf Centre, Cheshire) Gavin Grenville-Wood (Oak Park Golf Club, Surrey) Sam Johnson (Fulford Heath Golf Club, West Midlands) Chris Thornton (Shirley Golf Club, West Midlands) Grant Dixon (Bedfordshire Golf Club, Bedfordshire) Denise Hastings (Denise Hastings Golf School, Cambridgeshire)

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