He already has Tiger Woods, the world number one, on his CV but American coach Rudy Duran was impressed by the way youngsters are taught golf in England after spending a day with the Young Masters Golf programme.
The Californian, who taught Tiger Woods between the ages of four and ten years of age, knows a thing or two about how to nurture and develop promising talent. Listening to Rudy Duran talk about those early days proved fascinating for the club professionals who went along to the YMG day at the Bristol Golf Club. And a group of two dozen youngsters from the Bristol area were able to benefit from a lesson from Tiger’s mentor.
Duran, who came to the UK as a guest of child club-making specialist Acculength, told a captivated audience, “It was a great opportunity to be Tiger Woods’ junior golf coach. I look back and it was an amazing time. I remember the first time I saw him clearly. Earl and Tida Woods had done some research on me in a bid to try to get him access to a golf course, as most courses didn’t allow juniors to play unless they were 10 years old.
“I was a golf pro on an 18-hole par three course. They brought him in and Tiger couldn’t even see over the counter. His parents explained what they wanted and I said, ‘Okay, let’s check him out.’
“We went out to the range and he hit three or four perfect shots with a two-wood his father had cut down for him and I turned to them and said he could come and play at my golf club anytime he wanted. I worked with him for six years developing his golf and that was a lot of fun.
“Ask Tiger what he remembers most about working with me and he would say I gave him access to a golf course that allowed him to play and that’s what YMG are doing with their programme.”
Rudy added, “Having spent some time with Dave Gosling learning about the comprehensive structure of the YMG training programme, I have to say I am very impressed with the whole concept. It is first-class.”
Rudy wrote a book about his experiences and beliefs on teaching young golfers – In Every Kid There Lurks a Tiger – which was published in 2003 by Hyperion. He currently coaches at Chalk Mountain Golf Course in Atascadero, California.