Award winning inclusive golf coaching
success at the recent Golf Foundation awards
Leamington and County Golf Club along with The Paul Mitchell Golf Academy have been celebrating their success at the recent Golf Foundation awards. Both clubs were honoured for their dedication to disability golf through their Inclusive Golf Academies.
Leamington and County Golf Club set up an Inclusive Golf Academy at their golf club and invited teachers from Special Schools to attend an open day, at which four schools signed up to take part in inclusive coaching.
Paul Aitken, PGA coach, now teaches around 70 children with disabilities or limitations each week. There is no cost to the Special Schools as the club raised money to support the coaching, and provide adapted equipment suitable for children with different needs. A ramp was built to allow free movement for children in wheelchairs and an upgraded indoor academy means that sessions can run all year round.
Paul is the first British Sign Language (BSL) qualified golf coach in the country and incorporates deaf and hard of hearing children within main group coaching sessions.
A head teacher from a local SEN schools described Paul as:
“one of the best [coaches] I have come across, a real natural with special needs showing a great understanding of how to introduce children to golf in a fun, informative way excepting their different learning styles whether on a one to one basis or as part of a group”.
The Paul Mitchell Golf Academy
In 2013 the Paul Mitchell Golf Academy at Bristol and Clifton Golf Club embarked on the specific task of improving its disability provision. So far over 300 disabled people have been given the opportunity to play golf since the programme started.
To begin with the academy staff were sent on inclusion courses, in order to increase awareness and understanding of the participants’ considerations. Local special schools were subsequently invited to attend free sessions at the golf club and 10 youngsters from Kingsweston Special School were the first to take part in the programme.
Growing interest and generous donations from clubs and individuals have enabled the academy to purchase equipment (e.g. Golf Xtreme and Tri-Golf) and offer free coaching to more schools. The golf club supports the inclusive provision by allowing disability sessions to have exclusive use of the driving range, and there are plans to further improve facilities by adapting a practice ground area into a 6 hole academy course suitable for disabled attendees.
•The club is truly inclusive; it accepts ANY type of impairment with carer assistance
•There is no age limit for the groups, ages 3 to 65 years are all welcome
•Saturday morning inclusive golf sessions are regularly attended by 24 disabled children
"My son loved his sessions at the golf academy, the staff were patient and sensitive to his needs which really helped his self-confidence. He loves having the opportunity to try all the different activities and the friendly, fun atmosphere.”
Sally Hare, parent of an inclusive golf coaching participant.
For further information on both the academies, visit their websites.
Leamington and County Golf Club
The Paul Mitchell Golf Academy