With my new found love of golf in tow, I embarked upon life as an Ambassador in the PGA’s new program ‘The Club’. The program was designed to lift the profile of golf amongst the younger crew given that in some circles, golf is seen as ‘an old man’s sport’.
Originally the Club consisted on myself, Scott McGregor and Lil Romano and since then Ricky Ponting, Sam Fisher, Brendan Goddard, Livinia Nixon, James Tobin and Brodie Harper have been added to the ranks.
To start with, part of the program was to get us to work with a pro to improve our games and in turn understand how we could start to help grow the game.
Those of us who were based in Melbourne were sent to Sandhurst golf course where the PGA calls home.
There at the Learning Centre we met our new coach and guru Stuart Leong and it quickly became apparent to all of us that this relationship was going to be successful and enjoyable.
To those who know Stu it will come as no surprise when I describe him as genuinely affable and interesting. Added to which he’s smart. Not normal every day kind of smart, but deep thinking and analytical smart.
Stu is considered amongst the best teachers in the country and possibly elsewhere given he runs a coaching program in one of the most golf obsessed countries of the world: China.
Needless to say I appreciate we are incredibly lucky to be able to work with someone as credentialed as Stu and I wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by.
Given I’m someone who likes to understand how things work given my science background at uni, Stu and I instantly hit it off and always enjoy talking about the analysis of the game from an anatomical and physical standpoint.
We also just have a laugh about life and the like given when all’s said and done golf is a game to be enjoyed in a relaxed manner given most of us play it in a social sense.
The second part of the club was for us to play in pro-ams and use our profiles to try and promote the game.
Clearly some of the ambassadors have larger profiles than others.
‘What’ I hear you say, ‘you’re as big as Ricky Ponting Shura…’, umm yeh maybe only in my dreams!
Either way the goal is collectively to do whatever it is we can regardless of the size of our profiles.
The thing about the PGA learning centre at Sandhurst is they have state-of-the-art training equipment that you need to experience to believe.
We’re talking balance plates, hitting screens, cameras at every given angle, putting monitors and more.
You start to appreciate why the pros have such a great understanding of their game.
But also you see the benefits the talented youngsters get when they train with the PGA to improve their golf.
As with any golf lesson, to begin with it’s about determining the deficiencies in your game and then finding the solution to move forward and improve.
It’s just at the Learning Centre you have far more tools at your disposal to find those deficiencies. And as you’d imagine…..I have many.
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