Five golf coaches who go the extra mile to support their players and squads have been recognised by England Golf with new awards to mark their outstanding contribution during 2014.
Mark Day from Hertfordshire, Ryan Fenwick from Sussex, Lysa Jones and Graham Walker from Yorkshire, and Andrew Nicholson from Co Durham, are all coaches to England Golf squads.
The received their awards at this week’s England Golf Coaching Conference at St George’s Park, the FA’s national football centre. Now, all five will be considered for the 'Coach of the Year' award which will be announced in April 2015.
England Golf Performance Director Nigel Edwards commented: “We know that the players who succeed have talent and ability, together with resilience and the desire to work hard and to achieve.
“But we all also know that around successful players there is always a team of people who encourage and guide and support them during both the good and bad times. So, for the first time this year, England Golf is recognising individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to coaching during 2014.
“The nominations were received from volunteers and managers, the people who see the work behind the scenes, and the awards are being presented to coaches who have gone the extra mile to support the players and squads they are working with.”
The award winners:
Mark Day of Whipsnade Park Golf Club, Hertfordshire
Coach to the England Golf Thames Valley U16 girls’ squad
Mark has transformed the junior talent pathway for girls and boys within Hertfordshire. He established The Futures Tour and then worked with others in the county to develop the pathway with the iTour, ensuring players get their handicap and are encouraged to play in the local Junior Opens. Young players are encouraged into Academy groups for extra coaching and well over 100 are now involved.
Mark coaches the England Golf Thames Valley U16 girls’ squad, is also involved with the Hertfordshire boys’ U16 squad and works with Hertfordshire University, developing Strength and Conditioning classes for golfers. His individual pupils include Harry Bigham (Redbourn, Hertfordshire) who won the 2014 English U14 boys’ championship for the Reid Trophy and has been selected for an England Golf regional U16 squad.
Ryan Fenwick, Golf at Goodwood, Sussex
Coach to the England Golf South East U18 squad
Ryan has been involved with AASE – the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence – for many years, inspiring and supporting many students to improve their golf and complete the NVQ Level 3 course.
His students have included Jack Floydd of Sussex, who has gone on to study at university in the USA, and George Mullins of Kent, who won the South East Group junior championship and set a course record at Moor Park, Hertfordshire, in the English boys’ U18 championship.
Ryan has a great reputation for developing excellent young players and is well respected by the Sussex County Golf Union and the Sussex Ladies’ County Golf Association. He regularly coaches county golfers at all levels.
Lysa Jones, The Oaks Golf Club, Yorkshire
Coach to the England Golf East Midlands U16 boys’ squad
Lysa is a highly regarded member of the coaching community and her skill, enthusiasm and passion for coaching is seen at every group and individual session she manages. Her quest for extending her golfing knowledge spreads far and wide and this year she travelled to the USA to further her short game credentials.
During 2014 four members of the East Midlands boys’ squad were selected to play for the national U16 team, reaching the pinnacle for their age group. Several of the squad players have also chosen to see Lysa for individual coaching
Always practical by example, Lysa leads from the front and coordinates all round support to the players she works with.
Andrew Nicholson, Wynyard Golf Club, Co Durham
Coach to the England Golf Yorkshire U16 girls’ squad
Andrew has been coaching, mentoring and providing professional support to international, national and county golfers over the past 12 months. Among them is Yorkshire’s Nick Marsh, who he has coached for many years and who is now the English amateur champion and England’s top placed player in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
Andrew coaches the Durham County Boys’ squad, who had their best ever finish at 2014 Boys’ County Finals, and the England Golf Yorkshire girls’ squad, who were undefeated this year. One member, Megan Clarke, beat a professional field when she won on the WPGA one day series. Andrew also works with professionals including Chris Paisley who recently secured his European Tour card for 2015.
Graham Walker, The Oaks Golf Club, Yorkshire
Coach to the England Golf men’s squad
Graham has had successes at every level, coaching beginners, aspiring young golfers, club members, elite amateurs and tournament professionals who have won on the European Tour.
He is also devoted to helping develop the coaches that have worked with him at his academy. He sets the highest standards and the coaches respond and are motivated to improve by the environment he creates.
His player success list over just the last two years includes being coach to: the 2014 English Girls’ and Scottish Lady Junior Champion; 2013 Deloitte Ladies Open Champion on the Ladies European Tour; 2013 European Men’s Team Champions and Home Internationals Champions and 2013 British Amateur Champion.
He has been England Golf Men’s Lead Coach since 2011 and before that was the England Boys’ Coach.
Photograph caption: From left, Mark Day, Lysa Jones, Graham Walker, Ryan Fenwick and Andrew Nicholson
Image © Leaderboard Photography