Belfry appoints academy director

Belfry appoints academy director

Apr 2, 2016

PGA Professional Rob Spurrier has exciting plans for The Belfry’s golfers after being unveiled as academy director at the resort’s PGA Golf Academy.

Spurrier will develop the structure and coaching at academy while also implementing his own GLF.Locker Academy management software to create a new, comprehensive website for the facility.

The 41 year old has a strong background in golf academy management since qualifying as a PGA Professional having played a key role in player development at Crown Golf from 2007–2013 as well as further roles in the USA.

Spurrier aims to reinvigorate the Belfry Golf Academy as the centre for golf coaching and custom fitting in the UK.

The Academy has also launched a new comprehensive website, which utilises the GLF.Locker software, pioneered by Spurrier which creates a much simpler online platform that allows coaches and students to book in lessons, track progress and trends, or manage marketing promotions.

The new system will save time for the Academy staff and help provide a broader base of programming that can easily set-up group lessons, junior academies and golf schools.

Spurrier commented: “The Belfry Golf Academy has always been renowned for its impressive facilities in the heart of the country, but I feel there is a great opportunity to take this on to the level, aligning ourselves with the first class standards set across the wider Belfry resort during recent years.

“We have an incredibly talented team here and my aim is to put suitable structures in place to harness all of this knowledge, creating the best team of golf experts that can provide the highest levels of coaching and custom fitting expertise for golfers at every level of the game.

“We have received a wealth of great feedback on the GLF.Locker platform from golf academies across the UK and USA since it was launched in autumn last year, and I can’t wait to see how it will revolutionise the systems here.

“It is going to make it so much easier for the team to manage lessons and golf schools, and create a dedicated programme for each student.

“Our aim is to ultimately make The Belfry Golf Academy into the ideal place for anyone to learn and develop their golf, no matter whether they are from the local area, visiting the resort, or want to travel from further afield to use our outstanding facilities.”

To further help kick start the 2016 golfing season, The Belfry Golf Academy is also launching a series of brand specific fitting events throughout February and March.

Utilising the dedicated custom fitting suites at the Academy, these events will provide the opportunity for golfers to experience the latest products from leading brands such as Titleist, Callaway, Ping, TaylorMade and Nike.

Tyrrell aiming to boost Hampshire pro-ams

Tyrrell aiming to boost Hampshire pro-ams

Feb 24, 2016

The PGA in Hampshire’s incoming captain Chris Tyrrell is set to place a new emphasis on the county’s pro-am schedule.

Tyrrell, 36, is keen to increase the popularity of the county’s long-standing events and anxious to make them must play events for PGA Professionals and amateurs alike.

The head PGA Professional and general manager at New Forest GC said: “I want to connect with the pros and get to as many events as possible. I also want to get their feedback on pro-ams and learn from it and try to get the pro-ams back to where they were in the past.”

“We have to try to find a way to address getting pros to play with their club members and clients in our events – as they are really great days out – not just for this year but future years.”

Tyrrell says there is “an issue” with slow play which needs to be addressed, not necessarily in PGA tournaments but certainly among clubs and with the golf watched by club golfers on TV. And he believes legendary Open champion Tom Morris would be “turning in his grave” at the amount of time it takes some golfers to complete a round.

Tyrrell said: “I am reading a book called Tommy’s Honour. Tom Morris used to go out at first light and play 18 holes in two hours! Whilst we are not going to achieve that we have got to do something about slow play.

“You see guys on TV taking a long time and it has a knock on affect as juniors for one tend to follow suit.”

Tyrrell, in his fifth year at New Forest, is still pinching himself at replacing Weybrook Park’s Andrew Cloke as captain. After graduating from Dorset county juniors to the first team, he started out as a pro at neighbouring Brockenhurst.

The Barton-on-Sea man said: “My dad tells me I am an established pro but I still consider myself to be a new boy. I want to do the job properly and lead by example. It is a massive honour and the club are very proud of me, which I really appreciate. It is amazing really.”

In addition to playing on the Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Channel Islands circuit, he intends to compete in Open qualifying and the Titleist & FootJoy PGA Professional Championship as well as occasional PGA South Region events.

“It is a case of striking a work/life balance,” said Tyrrell, who is engaged to Becky and father to one-year-old Charlotte. And to add to his work load, he is in the process of moving house.

One date firmly pencilled in his diary is the annual match against the County Golf Union on April 10, adding: “I am already looking to pick a team – maybe we will have a team bonding session beforehand as we are up against top amateurs. That’s how much I want to win.”

Asbri heads Stateside

Asbri heads Stateside

Feb 12, 2016

1202AsbriGolfGolf accessory brand Asbri Golf is setting out to conquer America following the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida.

The South Wales based company, who were official licensees to The 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor, already export to over 25 countries worldwide and has now reached a new agreement with a US partner to target the largest golf market in the world.

The Welsh company, formed in 2003, first exhibited at the show in 2005 as a joint venture with Ryder Cup Wales and Visit Wales. Now, in their 12th year at the show, the company has built up a reputation as one of the leading logo accessory brands worldwide, supplying over 1500 golf shops and resorts.

Eryl Williams, managing director at Asbri Golf, commented: “The PGA Merchandise Show is by far the most important dates in our diary. It gives us the opportunity to sit down with existing global distributors and present new ranges to them as well as meeting new customers.

“In past years at the show we have processed significant business across Europe but only small amounts of business in the US.

“Having reached this new agreement we are extremely excited and confident that we have found the right partner to represent and distribute our brand across all states in the USA and confident their team of 23 sales reps will have good success.”

Asbri Golf is proud title sponsors of the Welsh National PGA Championships which this year will be held at Tenby Golf Club, July 5-6.

Three cheers for Lee-on-the-Solent trio

Three cheers for Lee-on-the-Solent trio

Feb 11, 2016

Three cheers are in order for a trio of Lee-on-the-Solent pros who topped their respective Order of Merits last year, writes Ken Gaunt.

James Ablett (Virgin Atlantic PGA South), Jon Barnes (The PGA in Hampshire) and Jack Coulbert (The PGA in Hampshire Trainees) will each be celebrated during The PGA in Hampshire’s annual dinner at Weybrook Park, Basingstoke.

While Barnes and Coulbert will both be in attendance, Ablett is in America, taking part in the Scottsdale Classic Pro-Am.

Ablett, who plays full-time, won the PGA Surrey Open, the PGA Kent Open and the Keith MacDonald Matchplay on his way to finishing top in the south for the second time in six years.

He recorded 14 wins, eight second placed finishes and secured 11 top five slots in a successful season locally. In 71 rounds, his average score was an impressive 69.4. And he has made no secret of the fact he wants to advance to a higher level.

Barnes said: “The tour school is a bit of a lottery and James fell away last year, which was a shame. It is so tough at that level.

“There is no doubt he has plenty of ability as he proved by winning the South region again. He is a very good player, a talented lad.”

Lee-on-the Solent boasts a former Ryder Cup player in Steven Richardson and is a special place, according to Barnes, who won the OOM for the ninth time, going back to 1996.

Now 18 months into his spell as head pro, he said: “I love it here. It is a wonderful environment to play golf. That’s down to head greenkeeper Jason Diment, who does a great job.

“It is such a nice course and is always in brilliant condition, no matter how bad the weather gets. That’s why it is so popular and the membership are very enthusiastic.

“I enjoy all aspects of the job, the shop, coaching and playing in regional tournaments. It is always special to win the OOM and I finished in the top 20 in South Region as well, which was pleasing.”

Barnes is predicting a bright future for his assistant Coulbert, who turned pro two years ago after winning the club championship at the age of 15.

Coulbert, 26, is known for his long driving, averaging over 300 yards, but his boss reckons there is more to his game than that.

Barnes said: “He has got a lot of potential and is beginning to realise that. He is showing good signs of improvement and came close last season to winning a big tournament.”

Father-of three Coulbert added: “I have felt a lot more comfortable since Jon came in. He has been a massive help to me.

“He never scrutinises my game, is never negative and I appreciate that. My aim this season is to player in some bigger regional events and try to climb the Order of Merit.”

Hurrah for Huxley after Dan’s Dubai delight

0702DanWillettDanny Willett, who sank a 15 foot putt at the weekend to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, is no doubt reaping the benefits of a Huxley Golf putting green installed in a purpose built practice studio at his home near Sheffield.

The Yorkshireman’s new permanent indoor putting green was created using Huxley Golf Premier Putting Turf with infill on a timber base.

With a three per cent slope and measuring 12ft (3.6m) x 7ft (2.1m), it gives Willett the option to practise privately at any time, day or night.

The Huxley Golf tournament quality surface is specially designed to mirror natural golf greens and was specified in this case because it offers the most consistent ball roll.

“The flexibility that this will give me as part of my training regime is fantastic, and the surface seems great – just like putting on natural grass tournament greens but in the privacy of my own home,” said Willett

Dr Paul Hurrion, who specialises in putting analysis and advice and has been working with Willett to perfect his putting, suggested the installation.

He commented: “Huxley Golf has installed a number of putting greens both for me at my own clinic and at my request for my clients. I consider the Huxley range of all-weather surfaces to be the best available and I have no hesitation recommending them for training and practice purposes.”

Paul Chester, general manager at Huxley Golf which is a PGA Official Supplier, added: “Huxley Golf Premier Putting Turf is amongst a range of bespoke and modular solutions that we have designed to enable indoor and outdoor golf practice at home.

“Our clients appreciate the fact that Huxley Golf surfaces are not only rubber stamped by The PGA but that they are chosen time and again by the best golfers and clubs in the industry.”

Willett is part of an expanding list of the world’s legendary golfers, pros and celebrities who have chosen Huxley Golf greens for practice at home.

Sir Nick Faldo MBE and the British Ladies number one Catriona Matthew MBE are amongst those who have installed private practice areas.

Huxley Golf provides premier all-weather surfaces for golf around the world. Clients include training and coaching establishments, golf resorts, ranges and academies as well as many well-known golf courses.

Scotcraig pro wins TGI honour

0402CraigMackieRightCraig Mackie, (right) head PGA Professional at Scotscraig GC took the top honour at the TGI Golf Partnership awards night when he collected the Partner of the Year title from 2014 winner Mike Bradley (Notts).

The annual event, this year staged at The Belfry, brought together partners of golf’s leading retail services group and influential figures from the golf industry to celebrate those who had excelled over the last 12 months.

PING took the evening’s other top award – Partner Supplier of the Year – in a hotly contested category that included both Acushnet brands Titleist and FootJoy.

Mackie, who has been a partner of TGI Golf since 2005, saw off competition from fellow nominees Ryan Pudney (Mundesley), Paul Stevenson (Portadown) and Richard Lambert (Crosland Heath).

The 37-year-old from Tayport attended every one of the group’s events in 2015, including travelling as first reserve for the Ashworth Cup, where he supported his team-mates from the side as they took on rivals Foremost.

He said: “Thank you to all the TGI Golf Partners, the staff and our suppliers who have all been extremely supportive. All partners are worthy of this award, it’s difficult out there for everyone, and so to win is an incredible honour.

“Without the support of TGI Golf and the staff, business would be a lot harder, we are all incredibly thankful for their hard work, professionalism and ‘can do attitude’.”

Eddie Reid, TGI Golf’s managing director, who sat on the judging panel along with senior management and the group’s retail consultants, added: “Craig fully deserves to join this illustrious list of partners who have won this award. He embraces everything TGI Golf has to offer.

“He has been a true ambassador for the group, encouraging any PGA Professionals he is connected with to join TGI Golf and make the most of the same benefits he has.”

PING claimed its second Supplier of the Year crown having collected the award two years ago. It was the only double winner on the night as the PING G30 picked up a second successive Product of the Year award.

Steve Carter, PING European sales director, collected the award saying: “In 1959, when PING started, the PGA Professional was at the heart of the business. While the industry has evolved since then, our support of Pros remains very strong.

“We appreciate everything that you, as PGA Professionals, and TGI Golf as a group, do for us and we will focus on everything we do to ensure we earn your support, year after year.”

The supplier awards are voted for by TGI Golf’s 480 PGA Professionals across the UK & Ireland through its annual supplier survey, where partners score suppliers in a range of categories.

A total of eight awards were presented over the course of the evening with other winners including Pro Shop of the Year – Ronnie Bolton (Burnham Beeches), Most Improved Business went to Andy Rhodes (Keighley) and Paul Vaughan of Ardglass GC was New Partner of the Year.

Supplier awards also went to Titleist (Hardware Supplier of the Year) and FootJoy (Apparel Supplier of the Year).

For further information on TGI Golf visit