Sandra breaks a club to get into golf!

SANDRA Brogan has good reason to never forget her first golf lesson – after breaking her club in two! The former civil servant from Wigan decided to take the plunge on a Get into golf beginners’ course after seeing an ad in her local paper.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShe went along to the Haigh Hall Golf Complex to sign up for a six-weeks’ coaching programme with John Merry, a PGA professional at the club.Never having played before, she turned up with no equipment and no glove – which resulted in her club slipping from her grip, landing on the driving range roof and splitting it in half.

Undaunted she returned and enjoyed it so much, she and her friends signed up for further lessons.And those friends are still meeting up at Haigh Hall to enjoy a weekly round – whatever the weather.

Sandra is also a member at Hindley GC and has developed a competitive love the game as well, which has seen her put her name on the club honours’ board by winning the Lady Captain’s prize. She has also enjoyed visiting other top courses such as Royal Birkdale, Hillside, and Southport and Ainsdale.

Of her time at Haigh Hall, Sandra, pictured centre with friend Barbara Lawson and professional John Merry, said: “John is a great coach and set me on the way to love my golf – even though I nearly hit him with my flying club at the first session.”

She has shown that it is never too late in life to take up a sport which offers a healthier lifestyle, the chance to extend your social life and become involved in a club as well, for those who are interested, introducing a competitive edge to your game, too.

And she admits it has helped her through a tough spell in her life, after losing her husband David to illness in 1999.

“I found it hard after David died. I was 49 and found I had so much time on my hands that when the opportunity to play golf came along I grabbed it and have never looked back. It has given me the social life which I had lost over the years I had looked after him,” she reflected.

“Going along to my first session with a group of friends was a great way to start and gave me the confidence to give golf a go. I’ve never regretted it. Now I feel fitter, while we catch up every week and can chat about what is happening in our lives as well as enjoying the exercise out on the course.

“I would thoroughly recommend golf as a great sport to anyone looking to improve their health and enjoy the social side of a game that takes you to some great places.”

Adam McAlister, development officer for the Lancashire Golf Development Group, said: “Sandra’s story shows how you are never too young or too old to give golf a go – and how you should not be put off if everything does not go right at the start.

“Thanks to the professional golf coaching Sandra and her friends received through the Get into golf programme, she is now reaping the benefits of a sport which offers so many health and social benefits.

“Throughout the year, golf clubs and driving ranges are offering the chance to try golf for the first time and then learn the skills needed to enjoy the sport to the full.”

NB:Get into golf is a national campaign to inspire adults to take up the game and is run by the England Golf Partnership through its network of County Golf Development Groups, supported by Sport England and National Lottery funding.

Get into golf opportunities include FREE taster sessions and low-cost beginner courses with PGA professionals. They are a fun and sociable way to start golf – and a great way to make new friends. To find your nearest centre visit getintogolf.org and look at the activity map or call 0800 118 2766

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