The Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs has appointed its first director of coaching.
Craig Lea – head PGA advanced golf pro and coach at Myerscough College and the UCLan in Preston for the last 12 years – will take up the role with the organistaion which oversees the men’s game across the 140 clubs in the region.
Lea, who has seen the Myerscough side finish as national champions in six out of the last nine years, said: “The programme which I have installed has evolved with a huge emphasis surrounding scoring and performance-based coaching to stand up under pressure.
“Obviously I don’t want to give too many secrets away, but basically this revolves around implementing technical improvements into a game-based environment to take into tournament play.
“Creating players to deal with one-shot situations under pressure rather than just focusing on swinging the golf club.
“Everything I work towards in coaching has measureable results for each individual player, which creates a clear action plan of improvement.”
Lea, 37, has worked with a number of players who have gone on to join the professional ranks, with Chris Hanson and Tom Murray, who are on the European and Challenge Tour at the moment, coming through the Myerscough coaching programme, as well as Paul Kinnear, who qualified for the Open in 2015.
Additionally, Lea is the author of a number of coaching guides, which have been published in 30 countries worldwide.
Phil Harvey, secretary of the LUGC said: “Lancashire has been very successful over the past decade at the elite level and our county coaching programmes have expanded greatly in the past five years.
“We feel it’s the right time to bring in a new role as director of coaching to help knit all the elements of our programme together and also to keep us at the leading edge of player performance and continuing to develop winning teams at all age groups.”
Lancashire has an enviable track record, having won eight national titles in the past 12 years at seniors’, men’s and boys’ level, while more than 200 players are involved in county coaching programmes, from age 12 up.
Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood from Southport – who is hosting the British Masters at Hillside next year – is one of the notable players to have come through the Red Rose ranks.
Added Harvey: “The existing county coaches will continue to be involved and will work closely with Craig to build on our existing work and develop a new coaching and mentoring environment, which we hope will continue Lancashire’s history of success at the highest levels.
“Craig will bring drive and attention to finer golfing details to the role, creating an understanding of how a player works in the heat of a battle and how to get the best out of them.”