GOLF: Ladies driving golf academy forward

Dorset Echo: ON THE TEE: Fern Grimshaw gives advice to young golfers ON THE TEE: Fern Grimshaw gives advice to young golfers

GOLF beginners in Dorset are playing a part in the drive to help promising youngsters reach county standard.

The Dorset Ladies’ Tour for beginners, which was launched earlier last year, is helping to fund the Dorset Golf Partnership’s County Academy Programme, providing winter coaching for 95 talented young players.

The tour, run by the partnership, gives women who have taken Get into Golf courses the chance to get together, make friends and play a series of nine-hole events to improve their skills. It is now developing to also offer mixed events.

The beginners pay a small fee each time they play, with part going to the host club and part into golf development in the county.

Their contribution has been combined with support from England Golf and the Dorset County Golf Union to back the County Academy Programme, which nurtures young players with the potential to become county players.

The 95 youngsters selected for this winter’s coaching are aged from eight to 18 and will attend sessions until May at one of five venues across the county.

Dee Wood, Dorset’s County Development Officer, said: “I have been very impressed with the standard of the children who applied this year and it’s thanks to contributions from England Golf, the Dorset County Golf Union, and the Dorset Tour that we have been able to accommodate 95 players in the County Academy.”

The programme is now in its fifth year and includes girls’ only sessions at Crane Valley Golf Club which involve PGA professional Fern Grimshaw of Wessex Golf Centre.

Grimshaw, who has just joined the academy’s team of coaches, was a Dorset county junior and first team player and studied at university in the USA before turning professional.

She is taking the girls’ sessions alongside experienced academy coach Darrel Ranson of Crane Valley.

Also new to the academy coaching team is Craig Gale, of Remedy Oak Golf Club, who is working with Dave Cooper, head professional at Canford Magna Golf Club.

The academy’s head coach is Duncan Driver of Lyme Regis Golf Club and the other members of the coaching set-up are Dave Parsons (Bridport & West Dorset), Des Lochrie (Weymouth), Mike Dodd (Sturminster Marshall), Darren Stratman (Ferndown Forest) and Adam Sawyer (Dudsbury).

For more information on the academy and the work going on there, visit dorsetgolfpartnership.org.uk.

And for details about the Get into Golf campaign and low-cost taster sessions and beginner courses go to getintogolf.org

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