PGA Professional Q&A – Tony Davies
This week we spoke with PGA Professional and England Academy Coach Tony Davies, based out at Foregolf, Chester in the North West, on all things golf, lockdown tips and to get some great advice for parents and junior golfers.
Tell us about yourself
I turned professional in 1995 at Wallasey Golf Club, and was fully qualified in 1998. Since then I have been specializing in coaching, I am currently a PGA professional coach at Foregolf Chester, where I coach a broad spectrum of players from beginners to professionals.
I’ve been an England Academy coach for 7 years, working with Cheshire’s young elite, and have been successful in coaching juniors to several county championship and compete in World Junior Championships, this is where my passion for coaching is developing young golfers to play their best golf whether it be with their family for the golf club or county or nationally.
How did you first get into golf?
My older brother got me interested as a 10 year old, I loved all sports and decided to give golf a try and since that day I got the golfing bug. My first ever round was at Arrowe Park Golf Course. I then joined my local municipal aged 12 at Ellesmere Port Golf Club.
What’s your first golfing memory?
Watching the Ryder Cup in 1985 watching Sam Torrance hole the putt on 18th at The Belfry to win for Europe, it was an amazing day. This is what inspired me to practice every day and compete and a few years later turn professional myself.
What advice would you give to parents whose children have just shown an interest in golf?
I would find a group coaching class that is suitable for the child’s age and let them have fun with other kids playing, learning games and having fun. Give them as much encouragement as possible, but let the coach, coach them the techniques and skills.
Before a child sees a coach, what three tips would you give?
Ensure the coach is PGA qualified and DBS checked.
Reputable coach for juniors, previous experience.
Chat with the coach before the session. Find out whether they’ve had any experience and what other sports, interests they have.
How would you recommend children hone their golf skills whilst at home during lockdown?
I would set up putting games either on a putting matt or carpet, chipping games in the garden into a net or bucket, if possible a practice net, really make it fun for them.
Working with children presents a unique challenge. How do you approach coaching with different ages and ability levels?
Every child is very unique in their abilities and learning. Usually with some games you can see who is competitive and less competitive and who needs more attention in certain skills, repetition of games and warm up routines helps them develop as well as lots of encouragement to practice.
What’s the best thing about coaching juniors?
It’s the look on their face when they hit the ball in the air for the first time or hole a long putt, it’s priceless. Also, years later seeing them as adults still playing and loving the game!