Flynn goes out of Africa

Tournerbury Golf Club's Kevin Flynn
Tournerbury Golf Club's Kevin Flynn
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Kevin Flynn is going out of Africa on his next golfing mission.

The Tournerbury professional is heading to Cameroon in west Africa as part of the Working For Golf programme, funded by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club – the game’s governing body outside of USA and Mexico.

The R&A distributes around £5m per year to help develop the game around the world.

That covers grassroots initiatives, through coaching and regional championships, to professional tours all over the world in developing golfing nations.

And Flynn has already embarked on trips to Burma, Chile, Estonia, Libya, USA, Italy and Brazil – as well as several programmes on home soil.

But next month he will set off on a fact-finding mission to a country that has just two known 18-hole courses to help improve the coaches and also work with some of Cameroon’s up-and-coming young talents.

Flynn said: ‘As a country, Cameroon hasn’t been active in golf for that long but they have applied to the R&A for some help with coaching their coaches out there.

‘From the information I have been given, there are six knowledgeable coaches out there and 20 who have played the game to a good level but don’t have the greatest coaching skills yet.

‘So I’m going into the unknown a bit on this one.

‘It will be a fact-finding mission, as well as helping the coaches to improve while we are there.

‘I’ve got to find out what sort of standard the coaching is at and the players and then report that back.’

Although facilities are sometimes basic in countries without a golfing heritage, the enthusiasm for the sport is huge around the globe.

And Flynn’s work alongside the other coaches has seen some big improvements in a short space of time.

He said: ‘You can see the difference but it’s down to how much time you can spend with them.

‘It’s about trying to implement a few things with the coaches to see players improve more quickly.

‘If you go out for seven days and never return, you won’t see much impact.

‘But all of the trips I have done, apart from Libya, I have returned to see the impact and they have all made great strides.’

It’s the start of another busy year for Flynn – a Level 2 Plane Truth coach.

He will continue his work with the Hampshire Ladies team that lifted the England Golf Women’s County Championship last year, and he will also make returns to Chile and Estonia.

‘I went to Chile last year and I’m going back at some point this year to do a follow-up,’ added Flynn.

‘There are some good quality coaches out there.

‘I will be going back there in April.

‘Then I will be making a couple of trips to Estonia to coach the national team.

‘In my opinion, they are on the verge of a golfing boom.

‘There is big investment going on and, if you go out there, the courses are geared up for developing juniors and the practice facilities are excellent.

‘They are very proactive. They have already got Mari Suursalu and she is the first Estonian to make it on to the Women’s Tour.

‘But she will be the first of a few to come through in the coming years.’