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Students from Walsall College sign up for golf
28th May 2012


CAPTION: Students from Walsall College enjoying their taster session at the John Letters Academy and Calderfields Golf and Country Club

STUDENTS in Staffordshire are taking on course work with a difference.

A group from Walsall College has signed up for a six-week introduction to the game of golf.

It is now hoped that students from other colleges and universities in the county will also take the chance to give golf a try or continue their interest in the sport while studying away from home.

The course is being run at The John Letters Golf Academy Walsall, based at Calderfields Golf and Country Club, and follows an introductory taster session held with the support of the Staffordshire County Golf Partnership.

Says Academy Director Paul Hebdon, a PGA professional: "During the six-week course we will work on all the basic skills needed to enjoy the game of golf and then offer pathways into becoming involved with the golf club itself.

"While it is important that we introduce people to the game of golf, it is equally important that we retain their interest which will hopefully lead to future golf club membership.

"The student age range is one of those where young people can be lost to the game of golf, either through moving away from their regular golfing choices, their own changing priorities or having the money and time to play.

"But it is important that we continue to offer young people a route into golf or ways in which they can continue playing without it affecting their studies or hitting them too hard in the pocket."

As part of the scheme, which is being supported by Sportivate funding, students will be offered reduced green and membership fees. It is hoped to offer a similar course to students at Wolverhampton University. The coaching team is also busy introducing golf into local schools at both primary and secondary level.

Says Sean Hammill, county development officer for the Staffordshire County Golf Partnership: "This kind of partnership between a driving range, where so many people hit golf balls for the first time, and a golf club is crucial to the future development of the sport and golf's ability to recruit and retain players."

The Academy has already received RangeMark - a national award for driving ranges at the forefront of developing the game which recognises junior and beginner-friendly facilities - while Calderfields has attained high achiever status within the GolfMark scheme.

The John Letters centres across the country are involved in a number of other golf projects including Golf Factor's search for hidden talent, the Future Stars programme to help young children into the sport, and supporting the work of the Chris Gill Foundation.

The John Letters Golf Academy Walsall has a 28 bay floodlit driving range and putting green while work is starting on a new short game area.

Further details available from

The England Golf Partnership is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders in the sport including England Golf - the organisation formed by the merger of the English Golf Union and The English Women's Golf Association - the PGA, the Golf Foundation and Sport England.

In Staffordshire the partnership is supported by the Staffordshire Ladies County Golf Association, the Staffordshire Union of Golf Clubs and the Staffordshire PGA.

For more details of the activities in Staffordshire visit .

For more information on the work of the Staffordshire Golf Partnership contact Sean Hammill, County Development Officer, Staffordshire County Golf Partnership.


Mobile: 07771 794193




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