Young golfers in the Hampshire region have been targeted as part of a revamped scheme to discover more talent.
Kevin Flynn, the head professional at Tournerbury Golf Club on Hayling Island, has overseen some major recent changes to the County Academy Programme (CAP).
He’s hoping the impact will be to produce more youngsters aged 10 and older for the Hampshire teams and to increase participation levels in the sport.
Flynn and his band of coaches will be taking golf around the schools in the region to try to unearth a few gems in early 2013, hoping to bolster the county squads with fresh talent.
He said: ‘The County Academy Programme needed shaking up a bit and we’re trying to raise the standard.
‘It wasn’t producing the number of players for the county teams that they were hoping for and now hopefully that will change.
‘But there are players out there we would be unaware of at the moment who have the potential to go on to become county players.
‘It has been running for a couple of years but not to this level. It needed tightening up with regards to the coaching.’
Flynn has appointed four lead coaches around the region in Tony Lloyd (Westridge), Sid Trench (Salisbury), Chris Farr and Kevin Caplehorn (both Paultons) with a fifth coach still to join the ranks.
But Caplehorn will work with the coaches at Portsmouth Golf Centre to help develop the region’s talent.
Flynn said: ‘Aside from working with elite players, we will hold talent days at clubs and schools.
‘Some kids will never have picked up a club before but will have some raw ability and it’s also about finding those who just have an interest in playing.
‘We will also be trying to get a lot more girls into golf.’
Flynn is eager to keep the local clubs on side to avoid any conflicting coaching techniques.
He said: ‘In the past, the clubs have been reluctant to release their juniors because they felt we were taking away their talented players and they would lose touch with them.
‘But we are working towards different areas of the game so we don’t tread on the toes of the home coaches or give out any conflicting technical information.
‘They will still work with home coaches but will come to the CAP coaches for fitness work or on-course management for a more holistic approach.
‘We’re also looking for some people to volunteer as zone managers who can go around to clubs and give them an outline on what we are trying to do.
‘That’s where we fell down a bit last year.
‘We need the club professionals to understand that we are trying to enhance their players’ golf.’
To volunteer or for more details send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org