Four Ashes Provides Student Golf Coaching

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Four Ashes Golf Centre Links Up With University College Birmingham

Here at Four Ashes Golf Centre, we are always looking at new and innovative ways to bring golf to new and existing audiences. We work with community groups to provide fundraising opportunities through our adventure golf course as well as offering golf coaching and lessons for all age groups and abilities through the driving range and other facilities at the centre.

Now, in a unique partnership with University College Birmingham (UCB) we have developed a coaching scheme that works with their students and engages them in their sports studies. We are working with BTEC Sports students on a six-week programme that takes the students and teaches them the fundamentals of golf. The key element to the partnership is that the majority, if not all, of the students, are not studying golf in their BTEC Sports course. The principle theory is that the coaching techniques and learning of golf can be applied to any sport and situation in that sport so while the students are learning how to play golf they can use the techniques in their own sport.

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Six Week Programme

The course is a six-week programme that consists of a two-hour session each week and is led by our golf pro Ronnie Spalding and our Touring golf pro Daanyal Spalding. The sessions consist of the students working in pairs where they offer encouragement and support to each other in learning what is often a new sport to them.

One of the key elements to the coaching course is that you don’t have to be studying golf on the course or even have played before to get the benefit of what the course is providing. One of the core principles is relating the repetition of drills and technique learning to any other sport – in this case, the relative sports that the students are learning. Course leader at Four Ashes Golf Centre is Ronnie Spalding who explains:

“This course with UCB is a fantastic learning experience for the students. Although, in this case, golf is the sport that we are coaching we are actually teaching the students conscious technique learning that can be applied to almost any sport. We have students who are hockey players, basketball players, rugby players and more but they can apply the techniques to situations in their sports.”

“All that we say is that students approach the sessions with an open mind and be prepared to learn. We offer a really welcoming environment and along with Daanyal, we have found that even if the students aren’t particularly keen on golf, to begin with, the coaching style of fun and technique usually means that we have golf converts by the end of the programme.”

The course is structured so that there are different elements of golf each week for the students to focus on and all aspects of Four Ashes Golf Centre are utilised so that everything from putting to the long and short games is covered whether it be on the driving range, the putting area or the adventure golf course. In addition to the technical elements of the game, student feedback has shown that the fun side of golf has really shone through in the sessions and there has been a huge improvement in confidence for the students as we deliver a unique combination of practical and study based learning.

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Complements Existing College Courses

At the end of each session, there is a review of that session and a pointer towards the following week’s session which can be easily integrated into existing learning programmes that colleges already have.

The whole course is designed to be a complimentary addition to college’s and university’s existing course structures.

“What we have found is that by the second or third session, the students start to take the lead themselves to a certain extent,” Ronnie adds.

“Their natural competitive instinct take over and they compete amongst themselves to improve and be the best in their group. It generates more participation and self feedback that they all respond to as well. This then makes the course even more enjoyable, not just for them but for myself and Daanyal too, because the students are fully engaged in the programme. The positive effect of that is it then translates into their studies away from the golf course.”

Four Ashes Golf Centre’s student discount also allows for the students to come back in their own time or after the course has finished and continue to play and enjoy the golfing techniques they have learned.

We are looking to partner with other colleges and universities to deliver this course to their students and we will work with the course leaders to see how it can be integrated into existing course programmes. The most important element of this is that it engages with students in a way that may not have initially been considered because it appears that the focus is golf. However, golf is just the vehicle that delivers essential learning and techniques that can applied to almost any sport and is a valuable tool for students of all sports.

For more information please contact Ronnie at Four Ashes Golf Centre on ronnie.spalding@yahoo.co.uk

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