More than 2,500 free lessons will be given to spectators by a team of expert PGA professional coaches at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
The 20-strong plus group of PGA pros will be based at the popular R&A SwingZone and putting green throughout the week where they will be on hand to provide golfers of all ages and abilities – from beginners through to low handicappers – with top class tuition.
This year opening times for the SwingZone have been extended and there is a special emphasis on engaging the whole family with Friday of The Open designated as ‘Ladies Friday’ with all female participants receiving a pink cap.
“The R&A SwingZone provides a unique opportunity for everyone and anybody to get involved with golf and receive 15 minutes of expert tuition from a PGA coach,” said Sam Carr, regional coaching development officer for the PGA.
“For 2012, the SwingZone is particularly focusing on engagement and increasing participation numbers within families. Quality golf coaching provides the foundation for a complete beginner through to an experienced player and should not be overlooked.
“All the PGA coaches at the SwingZone have a wealth of experience and can cater for all ages and experience levels and everyone is welcome to come along and get a lesson.”
In the build up to the world’s oldest major, young volunteers from the region have been supporting a partially R&A funded Road To The Open (RTTO) project aimed at raising awareness of the Championship and promoting the game of golf and will be involved in the SwingZone.
The volunteers have also been working on Town and Beach Tours with the Golf Foundation’s Andy Leigh and numerous PGA pros visiting various locations up and down theNorth West coast.
“At these locations inflatable nets, putting mats and chipping games were all constructed to provide free taster sessions to anyone who wanted a go,” added Carr. “The tours have proved to be very popular and have help to raise awareness of golf and promote The Open championship.”
Alison White, assistant director of development for The R&A, added: “We are looking forward to offering lessons all week to people of all ages and hope it brings new people into the game.”
The RTTO project comprises representatives from the PGA, Golf Foundation, England Golf, MyerscoughCollege, Lancashire Ladies Association of Golf Clubs and Lancashire Sport.
Opening times for this year’s SwingZone are extended from last year to:
- Sunday 15 July: 12pm-3pm
- Monday 16 – Saturday 21 July: 9am-6pm
- Sunday 22 July: 9am-3pm
The full list of PGA pros taking part is as follows: Adam Harnett (Worldham Park), Alan Bradshaw (Formby) , Andy Wylie (Ardeer), Beverly Huke (Hedge End), Chris Farr (Paultons Golf Centre), Chris Thornton (Warwickshire), Claire Waite (Deanwood Park), Colin Smith , Craig Thomas (The Golf Academy), Denise Hastings (Denise Hastings Golf Schools), Duncan Woolger (Blue Golf), Geraint Dixon (Bedfordshire), John Howells, Kevin Flynn (Tournerbury), Matthew Hearne (Milford Haven), Paul Warner (Hollingbury Park), Peter Ball (Birley Wood), Peter Kenwright (Haydock Park), Rob Charlton (Orpington Golf Centre), Sam Johnston (Fulford Heath), Scott Graham (Liphook), Sharon Brookes (Tee Time Golf Centre), Steve Vinnicombe (Bedford & County), Steve Scott-Bowen (Bristol).