Like many other golf clubs, Puttenham have been struggling to maintain an active Junior section. In order to reinvigorate the section, ex-Club chairman Colin Reardon and Colin Price volunteered to take on the role of junior organisers at the club AGM in 2019.
As part of their commitment to the juniors, and to be able to assist the Club Professional in conducting junior coaching events, both decided to enrol on the ASQ Level 1 Coaching course, delivered by the PGA, at Meon Valley Golf Club, Hampshire in mid-November 2019. The two-day course covered many aspects of coaching for juniors and beginners; not just the skills required, but roles and responsibilities, preparation, behaviour management, risk analysis and more.
The basic skills covered were putting, chipping/bunker play, pitching and full swing. Each skill required attendees to conduct “micro-coaching” sessions for the other course attendees.
Passing the course required successfully answering a multiple-choice questionnaire and delivering a 15-minute coaching session on one of the key coaching elements to a group of other course attendees under strict time controls.
The two Puttenham Colins were the only volunteers on the course, with the other attendees being young PGA professional trainees looking to develop their coaching skills and move on to a ASQ Level 2 and further coaching qualifications.
Colin Reardon commented, “As a 20-handicap golfer I felt it was important that I understood the fundamentals of coaching the juniors. My swing has been likened to that of trying to kill a snake in a phone box, so I didn’t want to pass this on to our juniors. The basics taught on the Level 1 course were incredibly useful and have helped my game too!”
David Ellis, a Training Executive at the PGA and a course observer at the Meon Valley coaching course added: “The ASQ Level 1 Course is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in coaching golf, whether it be in supporting your PGA Professional in developing your junior section, or to progress and become a qualified PGA Professional. It is vital that we all support the development of the game and ensure that golf has a long and healthy future for generations to come”.