Bob Torrance, coach extraordinary, whose charges include triple Major Champion Padraig Harrington , was among the four ProSport Media 5-Star Professionals announced at the Annual Awards night and Gala Dinner in Murcia, Spain.
In the detailed citation of the Scot’s distinguished career, a man whose son, Sam, became a great European Ryder Cup player and Captain, Bob Torrance was described as having been “A PGA member for approaching 50 years during which time he has earned a place among the world’s greatest coaches who could be likened to the greatest of them all, John Jacobs, with the wisdom and simplicity of his teaching.
“One of this coach’s charges, namely Padraig Harrington, won three Major Championships, and all the signs are that this sublime partnership has more such successes ahead.”
Another winner was the Frenchman Jean-Etienne Lafitte, who served for many years as a director of the PGAs of Europe and as chairman of its Education Committee and: “one of the most influential figures in both the development of professional golf in France over the past couple of decades, and of The PGAs of Europe since 1989.
“During the same period he became one of those missionaries who, under the Golf Development Programme funded by The R&A and implemented by The PGAs of Europe, has been a consultant/teacher taking golf to faraway places including South America and Africa. The PGA of France described how he created their education programme and is ‘maybe one of the country’s best teachers.’”
Germany’s Gà¼nther Kessler, coach of the country’s current No.1 player, Martin Kaymer was another recipient whose accolade recorded his “36 years experience in the coaching of players of both genders and all ages and whose knowledge and experience have benefited a whole procession of golfers of varying abilities.
“Among the ranks of The PGA of Germany he has reached the highest qualification level of G1…and was voted Youth Coach of the Year in 2004 and Teacher of the Year in 2006 and 2007.”
The fourth winner, Timo Rauhala of Finland is also the coach of his nation’s finest players, Mikko Ilonen and Minea Blomqvist… “but it is not just his influence at the elite end of golf that earns him this award, he stages also, annual coaching clinics for the PGA of Finland for both trainees and qualified pros.”
The Board of the PGA of Finland, describes him as ‘showing a passion for the education of our members and wanting them to become better teachers themselves in every way, never hesitating to share his knowledge with all.’
The PGAs of Europe www.pgae.com