AS THE world’s elite golfers descend on Muirfield next week, PGA coach Alan Bradshaw will reach his own Open milestone at the East Lothian course.
The Liverpool-based PGA Professional, who is one of 23 coaches offering free tuition and expert advice to all ages and abilities at the popular R&A Swing Zone, will have coached at every course on the Open rota.
He will help give in the region of 2,000 lessons between 14-21 July with each coach having been specially selected to ensure they fit in with the PGA’s coaching vision of Right Coach, Right Place, Right Time.
They will help to improve the experience for spectators by developing their understanding of the game while the likes of Rory McIlroy and newly crowned US Open champion Justin Rose take to the fairways.
Bradshaw, who coaches at Bootle Golf Club, is looking forward to experiencing all that Muirfield has to offer.
He said: “I really enjoy all aspects of working at the Open, I like to be able to give something back both to other coaches and the people that come for lessons.
“It is absolutely fantastic (to have coached at each Open venue) and I have enjoyed every minute of it. It’s great to work with all the other coaches and we always find that we learn from each other throughout the week.”
Bradshaw has developed a successful career in golf, which was kick-started after he received a piece of medical advice while working for a car manufacturer.
“I used to work as a vehicle technician” he said, “but due to the indoor fumes I was advised to seek outdoor work.
“My family has been attached to West Lancashire Golf Club for 115 years, my grandfather and father have both worked there and so I decided to make the move.”
Since he made the decision, Bradshaw has gone on to have an exciting career which has taken him to the other side of the Atlantic.
He explained: “I spent some time in Florida where I coached a French international golfer at the Leadbetter academy. I enjoyed watching him improve and helping him to work on his swing.”
The golf swing is one area of the game that Bradshaw is keen to help all golfers who come to him for coaching.
“The swing itself is quite simple, but players often make it more difficult for themselves than they need to,” he said.
“People who are picking up the sport need to remember to avoid complicating it.”
He will now look forward to passing on these techniques to spectators at the Open, and he has one key tip for those who want to emulate their heroes on show at Muirfield.
“Make sure you find the right club and the right coach,” he said, “then you have to go out and work hard, practice is the key to everything.”
Heather Gaunt, Coach Education and Development Manager for The PGA in Scotland said: “Our coaches will deliver high quality and professional golf sessions to in excess of 3,000 participants.
“We hope the sessions will inspire them to increase the amount they play and their progression in the sport, as well as showcase the value and expertise of the PGA Professional.”