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National honour for Hampshire golf coach
19th November 2013

National honour for Hampshire golf coach

Caption: Matt Robins (centre) with award sponsor Rob Hunt (right), the managing director of PowerBug, and rugby player Neil Back, the presenter for the evening. (Image: Pro Shop Europe)
Hampshire Academy golf coach Matt Robbins has been honoured nationally for his work to teach and encourage young players.

Matt, the head PGA professional at Southampton City Golf Course, was recognised at the Pro Shop Europe Trade Industry Awards at Wentworth, where he took third place in the Junior Coach of the Year category.

“I have no idea who nominated me and it was a complete surprise,” said Matt. “I feel very proud and hopefully this will help to draw attention to all the work which is going on to get more people – young and old – into golf.”

As well as teaching all-comers at Southampton City, Matt has been a County Academy coach for about three years. The programme, run by the Hampshire Golf Partnership, identifies and encourages promising players with the potential to go on to represent the county.

Already one of his pupils has enjoyed national success – at the tender age of nine! Drew MacKinnon has won his age group category in England Golf's National Skills Challenge for the past two years.

“I've always enjoyed junior coaching,” said Matt, who worked to get the GolfMark award for his club, in recognition of its junior and beginner-friendly facilities. “I try to make the golf club a friendly place for them to come and meet other people and to learn life skills through golf such as honesty, discipline and integrity.”

He also takes advantage of every opportunity to encourage people of all ages to try golf and is quick to take the game to school try-athons and to outdoor events. “We try to make ourselves prominent in the community to attract people of all ages,” he added.

A series of lessons for the over-50s, for example, proved a huge hit. “We started by offering two lessons a week and had to step up to nine sessions, with between six and eight people on each course. Many of them have turned into regular golfers and some have gone on to join the club.”

For more information about the Hampshire Academy and the Hampshire Golf Partnership and its work to grow the game visit www.hampshirecountygolfpartnership.org   It supports the national Get into golf campaign which inspires people to take up the game - to find out about low-cost coaching opportunities visit www.getintogolf.org

Editors' notes
The Hampshire Golf Partnership brings together the men's, women's and professionals' county organisations to grow the game in Hampshire. County Golf Partnerships are part of the England Golf Partnership's ‘Whole Sport Plan' for golf and an integral part of its vision to ‘Grow the Game'. The England Golf Partnership (EGP) is a partnership between the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the PGA, supported by the Golf Foundation and Sport England National Lottery funding. The Get into golf campaign, to encourage more people to play the game by offering low cost tasters and coaching, is organised by the EGP and run through its network of County Golf Partnerships.

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