PGA pros set to coach at the Open

RORY McIlroy might have scored an own goal by missing the Open Championship through a football injury but a team of PGA pros is set to score a winner with thousands of spectators at St Andrews.

The Swing Zone: a magnet for kids

The Swing Zone: a magnet for kids

The 22-strong group of coaches will be delivering upwards of 3,000 coaching sessions at the R&A Swing Zone throughout the week – from Sunday through to Sunday.Golfers of all ages and abilities are welcome to grab a free 15 minutes session, on all aspects of the game from the swing through to the short game with the all-weather Huxley putting green a welcome addition to the six coaching bays.

The R&A Swing Zone has been a popular feature of Open week for more than a decade and has been instrumental in helping thousands of golfers take that next step to better and more enjoyable golf.

Among the coaches is Peter Ball, a PGA Advanced Fellow Professional, who unearthed current European Tour star Danny Willett as a young kid while next week will very much be a home from home for Garry Forrester from the St Andrews Golf School.

Heather Gaunt, Scotland’s PGA Coach Education and Development Manager, said: “The R&A Swing Zone is always a hive of activity and a very fun and relaxed way for anybody to get involved with golf and receive 15 minutes of expert coaching from a PGA Professional.

“We get golfers of all abilities – from complete novices to scratch players and it’s a great experience not just for the spectators but the pros as well.

“We also get a fair few famous names passing through and it’s always a memorable experience for all concerned.”

The swing zone coaches won’t be the only PGA pros running the rule over swings at the Open though, with a number patrolling the practice areas helping the world’s best players hit peak form.

These include PGA Master Professionals Denis Pugh, David Leadbetter and Pete Cowen plus the likes of putting specialist Phil Kenyon and Mike Walker who has recently teamed up with Chris Wood.

The swing zone is open from Sunday, July 12 and runs through to the final Sunday. To book a session simply turn up on the day and reserve a slot.

The list of PGA pros coaching is as follows: Pete Ball (Balborough Links), Alan Bradshaw (Bootle), James Crawford (West Sussex), Jamie Cundy (Dudley), Lee Day (Holme Hall), Geraint Dixon (Bedfordshire), Garry Forrester (St Andrews), Tom Gibbs (Three Hammers), Martin Goldie (Bishopbriggs), Denise Hastings (Denise Hastings Golf School), Sam Johnson (Fulford Heath), Ben Jones (Garon Park), Graham Mackay (Melville), Allan Martin (Buchanan Castle), James Morrow (Chartham Park), John Mulgrew (Airdrie), Julie Otto (Elie), Steve Scott- Bowen (The Bristol), Andrew Simmonds (South Buckinghamshire Academy), Mark Taylor (Alvaston), Darren Turner (Ingrebourne) and Ron Wallace.

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