An emphasis on making golf fun is reaping rewards for a resourceful PGA Professional who is inspiring golfers across three different counties.
Adrienne Engleman (pictured), who is attached to four clubs across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, is spreading her passion for golf by taking beginners out on the course right from the off and ensuring it’s all done with a smile.
And, at a time when golf is struggling to attract new golfers, it’s an approach that is paying dividends with her Get into Golf starter classes achieving a 100 per cent sign up for follow on courses.
Engleman, a former Ladies European Tour player, adopted the change in approach, away from a technical to a more encouraging and supportive role, after attending a seminar with respected PGA coach Alistair Spink and feels it has struck a chord with many of the women beginners she teaches.
“With beginners I wanted to get away from all the technical stuff,” she explained. “I call it learning by doing and rather than having them stand on a range thrashing balls for six weeks, in the first lesson I take them out on the golf course.
“I find by encouraging and supporting, rather than technical coaching, they seem to be benefiting and improving far quicker than if they had been doing the more structured lessons.”
“And what is surprising me is that even though I’m not doing a tremendous amount of teaching, at the end of the course they are still looking like golfers. Of course I still give them advice on the fundamentals in the swing like posture, stance and grip but the most important thing is getting them to enjoy the experience out on the course.”
Engleman is raising her profile through attachments with Cambridge Golf Academy, Cambridge Meridian Golf Club and Hemmingford Abbotts Golf Club in Cambridgeshire, Colmworth Golf Club in North Bedfordshire and Delapre Golf Club in Northamptonshire.
She is also involved in other Get into Golf projects, teaches Tri Golf in primary schools, street golf in secondary schools while her role as the equality and diversity officer for the Cambridgeshire County Golf Partnership has seen her coach more disabled golfers.
Engleman is passionate about growing the game and has targeted local charities and associations through social media which is also slowly bearing fruit.
She has also contacted blind and deaf associations, a charity called Stepping Stone and another called Action for Children which has opened up further avenues.
Among her pupils is an autistic boy while another, John Willis, is the man behind Power to Inspire which aims to drive young people to succeed in Cambridgeshire.
Willis was born without properly formed legs or arms but is a Cambridge graduate, lawyer and has travelled the world. He’s now taken up golf and has been taking lessons with Engleman.
“He texted me the other day to say he had hit his longest ever drive (106 yards) which is fantastic and he’s just such an inspirational person.
“Through my quality and diversity role with the County Golf Partnership I’m looking to do more coaching with disabled golfers.
“I think by making golf fun and accessible to all we can tackle many of the problems golf is facing.”