Lancashire County stars shape up on Algarve

QUINTA do Lago has made a flying start to  its new partnership with England Golf after the prestigious Algarve resort played host to the first players – including Lancashire trio Paul Howard, Paul Kinnear and Sean Towndrow – in its new role as the winter training base for England Golf’s national squads.

PAUL KINNEAR

PAUL KINNEAR

England Golf has agreed an exclusive four-year deal with Quinta do Lago to host its men’s, ladies, boys and girls elite squads during two months of the closed season, and players from the England men’s and ‘A’ squads had the chance to enjoy the resort’s array of five-star facilities during two recent training camps.

The primary focus of the warm-weather breaks was to work on improving each player’s scoring skills, with squad members being put through a series of daily activities in addition to practising on the course, and the coaches of the two groups have been quick to hail the camps as an overwhelming success.Graham Walker, coach of the England Men’s Squad, said: “It was a great benefit to be able to play and practice on championship-standard courses throughout the winter.

“The courses were a pleasure to play and all the players enjoyed them. The other facilities at Quinta do Lago including the food were top of the range and the staff were very accommodating, allowing us to concentrate on our work.”

Featuring three 18-hole championship courses – including its widely acclaimed, award-winning North Course – outstanding practice facilities at its Paul McGinley Academy, a TaylorMade Performance Centre and extensive leisure activities and facilities, Quinta do Lago has everything needed to guarantee a first-class golf experience.

As well as working on swing techniques, daily activities for the players included sessions on fitness, the short game, wedge play, ball-flight control, game management and the mental side of the game.

Paul Ashwell, coach of the England ‘A’ Squad, added: “The players were all tasked with working towards their own personal development plans, which are individual to each team member and cover a broad range of skills.

“They really liked playing the South Course, which was in very good condition, and the squad enjoyed the variety of shots that they could practice in the squad practice area, which had been newly constructed.

“All the players benefited from a week of good, hard practice in winter sunshine and have gained the experience of playing on one of the best courses in Europe. We’re looking forward to our next visit.”

The England Golf players who visited Quinta do Lago were:

 

  • England Men’s Squad: Dan Brown, Adam Chapman, Joe Dean, Paul Howard, Luke Johnson, Paul Kinnear, Jimmy Mullen, Michael Saunders and Dan Wasteney.
  • England ‘A’ Squad: Ben Amor, Jamie Bower, Jamie Dick, Tom Gandy, Oscar Granstrom-Livesey, Scott Gregory, Bobby Keeble, Sean Towndrow, Ashton Turner and Andrew Wilson.

 

Under the terms of the new agreement, England Golf squads will stay at Quinta do Lago and use its driving range and practice facilities as well as having access to both the South and North courses.

In addition, each group will also utilise the swing analysis with a launch monitor, biomechanics golf fitness training sessions whilst being fully catered for with a daily breakfast and lunch also provided.

The England Golf National Performance Programme supports around 50 of the best amateur players within the England national squads and a further talented 160 players within boys and girls regional squads. This programme aims to support players to break into the top 10 of the World Amateur World Golf Rankings and to transition into the professional ranks, following in the footsteps of successful amateurs such as Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Charlie Hull.

 

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