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Farleigh Showcases Athletic Approach to Junior Golf

By: Golfshake Editor | Tue 25 May 2021 | Comments

Overseen by PGA Professional, Shain Johnson, Surrey's Farleigh Golf Club has showcased its approach to drawing the next generation into the game, starting kids young through regular weekend classes that focus on athleticism and movement before the technical aspects of golf are covered.

Johnson, a former competitor on the Sunshine Tour in his native Zimbabwe, is now a Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) certified coach and holds Golf Level Two and Junior Level Two advanced status with the organisation dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing.

He explained: “Junior coaching has changed a lot over the past 10 years or so. It’s gone from just hitting golf balls on the range to performing other exercises and for the kids to grow as an athlete first while learning basic sport skills, although we’re still getting them to swing the club.

“As a coach working with younger kids, you are looking to encourage that explosive power and to enhance speed. Of course, with that approach, you can’t be too worried about where the ball is going – you are just looking to create speed. But you get on to the coordination, sequencing of the swing and the technique a little more as you progress.

“Using TPI, I have a whole programme where I can start teaching kids every week from the age of four up to the age of 17, so it’s quite in-depth. Body development, movement and using those powerful muscles is so vital.”

Junior Golf

As a graduate and former player at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, Johnson earned a degree in sport science and has also used that knowledge in a previous role as a gym manager so understands the effects of fitness, strength and conditioning on golf.

But he also knows that some youngsters simply have a natural talent.

He said: “You do get those naturally-talented individuals, who just instantly understand it. I’m working with one young girl who just makes the golf swing look effortless.

“But you also need to learn those skills and motor functions too. It’s like swimming – if they haven’t learnt early, they struggle more when they are older.

“Even as an adult, try throwing a ball with your other hand and see how bad you are at it. It’s not that we can’t do it, it’s just because we have never learnt how to do it properly.”

Farleigh Golf Club

Aside from expert tuition, the 27-hole venue in Warlingham has everything required to learn those skills with driving range, putting green and short game area to work on all aspects of the game.

Johnson said: “We have everything they need to learn the game. It’s just about getting them to enjoy it and to get them hooked on golf from an early age.”

For more information on the junior golf at Farleigh, email [email protected] or visit www.farleighfox.co.uk.

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