Global Edition

Third Year of Success for Tournament Golf College

8.43am 2nd December 2011 - People


Second year Tournament Golf College student James Yeomans (l) with course coach, Darren Gass, at St Mellion International Resort

Ben Stow, a second year undergraduate on the Foundation Science Degree in Tournament Golf, has qualified for the second stage of the European Tour School. The course is administered by the DuchyCollege, which operates under the umbrella of Plymouth University.

Students on the UK’s only tournament-based golf foundation degree course split their time between St Mellion International Resort inCornwalland Pestana Golf Resort inPortugal

A second year undergraduate on the Foundation Science Degree in Tournament Golf, Ben Stow, has qualified for the second stage of theEuropeanTourSchool.

Having won or been runner-up in nine tournaments over the last two years, and gained a handicap of +4.2,Stow entered the European Tour Qualifying School, passed stage 1 and is currently into stage 2. If he succeeds in stages 2 and 3, Stowwill have qualified for the European Tour itself.

Stowis one of a handful of golfers that are reaping the rewards of the unique two-centre, two-year sports degree course. TournamentGolfCollegeis administered by theDuchyCollege, which operates under the umbrella ofPlymouthUniversity. It has been running since 2008, and 2011 is its most successful year yet.

Students are based at St Mellion International Resort from mid-September to December each year, before spending January to March at the Pestana Golf Resort in the Algarve, and returning to the UK for the spring and summer months.

Also benefitting from the course is second year student James Yeomans, who won the BMW Dubai Invitational by an astonishing 10 shots, and Joey Armstrong, who has now graduated, and who has been invited to compete on the Challenge tour.

St Mellion has been involved with theTournamentGolfCollegecourse from its inception three years ago. With its two challenging Championship courses for students to play on each week, great practice facilities and short game training areas, plus its state of the art gym facilities, the resort is ideally placed to work with the students.

Darren Gass, Performance Coach at St Mellion has also been involved from the outset, and has recently decided to go full time on the Tournament Golf course, travelling toPortugalwith the students, and becoming full time coach on the course.

Gass said: “The Foundation Science Degree in Tournament Golf is unique. It was built to give talented European players a viable option to learn on home turf, rather than travelling to theUSto study. All the academic teaching is based around tournament golf, rather than being a standard education course with a golf bolt-on, which is what you normally find in theUK.

“We have had some phenomenal results already, with Ben Stow being perhaps our most remarkable student so far. I am very proud of what we have achieved in such a short time.

“We are hoping that the course may be extended to a full three-year BA course in the next few years, so that promising golfers can come out with a nationally recognised qualification.”

Rob Spurrier, Group Academy Manager at Crown Golf, said: “St Mellion is delighted to be involved in the pioneering work that theTournamentGolfCollegeis undertaking. With Darren’s help, the students have made meteoric progress in their two years on the course.  Whether the course remains a two-year one, or extends to three in the future, it is clear that the Tournament Golf College is a great success!”

 St Mellion

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