PGA Profile – Amy Taylor, Hinckley Golf Club
Recently we spoke with Amy Taylor, PGA Professional based out of the fantastic Hinckley Golf Club in the East Midlands about lockdown, golf and in particular junior golf.
Tell us about yourself!
I’ve played golf for as long as I can remember as my dad also played golf and so we played together a lot! I was into a lot of sports at school and played in many different teams, like football, netball and swimming but I always had a love for golf that outweighed the others and so turned all my attention to that. I joined Hinckley Golf Club as a junior member at around the age of 9 and have been there ever since! I joined on to our clubs junior academy at the time which was the Young Masters Golf programme and I loved getting all my certificates and working my way through the grades – I still have my YMG folders full with everything we learnt now! Once I’d completed this, I regularly represented my club in the juniors and then progressed to play for Leicestershire in the County Girls & Ladies teams.
I always knew that I wanted to have a career in golf, as this was a huge passion of mine, and so after finishing my A-Levels I started working in the Pro Shop at the weekends and in 2015 I decided to enrol onto the PGA Foundation Degree and started my Professional career. I completed my degree alongside working in the shop where I started helping out our head professional with the junior coaching and knew straight away that working with juniors was exactly what I wanted to do!
What’s your first golfing memory?
I have so many memories from when I was younger but I remember from a really young age always having my putter out in the living room, practicing with my dad on our putting mat. We are very competitive and so used to have little competitions on it all the time.. We also spent so much time on the driving range and on the golf course too, we’d be up there for hours and hours playing different target games and of course always trying to beat each other!
How has 2020 impacted your day to day life as a golf coach?
2020 was a stressful one, that’s for sure! However, it’s definitely taught me to be adaptable to the situation you’re surrounded by and enjoy every moment of my journey. I love my job and that I get to be a part of growing the game and so I’ve used this time to better myself as coach, increase my knowledge and put together some exciting relaunch plans for 2021!
How would you recommend children hone their golf skills whilst at home?
I think playing games or challenges at home is a great way for kids to keep practicing their skills at home. They could set up crazy golf holes in the garden or around the home, challenge the family to some putting games on the carpet or chipping games in the garden with buckets or targets. Let them get creative and have fun!
At what point should parents encourage their children to seek coaching?
I believe that as soon as your child shows a greater interest in golf and is asking more about it, you should seek out your local junior coaching groups and get them started. That way they can learn with a coach alongside them, teaching them the basics, preventing any bad habits from occurring. Group lessons are a great way to get into golf for juniors, as well as learning the game, they will also make more golfing friends to enjoy the game with too!
Before a child sees a coach, what three tips would you give?
Always keep the experience FUN! Find a coach that your junior has a good connection with as this will keep them happy and engaged and help them enjoy learning golf even more. As a parent, always be supportive… Golf is not the easiest of sports to get into so it’s important to remind them that sometimes sessions will be great and other times not so. Help them to laugh at the bad shots and always encourage them to keep trying.
What advice would you give to parents whose children have just shown an interest in golf?
Let them have fun with it! Take them to the driving range or your local mini/crazy golf and let them enjoy it. Once they’ve got a little bug for it, find your local coach with a good junior coaching programme and let them try it out with them. Make sure they’re able to have fun with the coach and enjoy the learning process – this is key!
Working with children presents a unique challenge. How do you approach coaching with different ages and ability levels?
I teach a variety of different aged juniors ranging from 3-14 years old and so approach each class differently – no two juniors are the same. Listening to them and understanding their needs and interests can really help you to make sure you give them all an experience that they enjoy and want to keep coming back to! I also feel grouping juniors together to suit both age and ability is really important for their development. You don’t want to intimidate any new juniors with skills/lessons that they won’t be able to complete straight away.
What’s the best thing about coaching juniors?
Coaching juniors is super rewarding! For me it’s definitely the look on their faces when they get something right, whether that’s winning a game, hitting a shot in the air for the first time or learning a new skill… It’s priceless seeing the excitement in their faces. No two sessions are ever the same, they never fail to make you laugh and always want to get you involved with the challenge too.
Who would be your dream Four-ball?
Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lewis (my boyfriend)
Where can we find you?
Instagram, Facebook & Twitter – @amytaylorgolf
Hinckley GC – @hinckleygc
Website – www.amytaylorgolf.com
Thank you for taking the time to speak with us Amy. We wish you every success in 2021 and the coming years.
Be sure to give Amy and Hinckley Golf Club a follow on social media!