Kevin Flynn is ready to continue his globe-trotting after his success in spreading the golfing gospel in Libya.
The advanced PGA professional at Tournerbury Golf Club, Hayling island, spent a week in Tripoli educating coaches recently as part of the Royal and Ancient’s mission to develop the game in all corners of the world.
Working with the European PGA, Flynn held seminars and specific sessions to educate the local coaches in the African country, with an exam at the end of the week to test their skills.
And even though there is just one grass course in the whole of the country, with the rest sand-based, Flynn believes there is a passion for the sport in Libya, with just investment needed.
He explained: ‘It was a fantastic experience. I was treated like royalty out there.
‘The coaches out there are of a really good standard.
‘They had a real passion and good knowledge, although they worked too much on swing shape and not how the swing shape would effect impact and ball flight.
‘My mission description for Libya was to set up a simple coach education programme to educate the coaches on the golf swing, help structure the PGA of Libya and also to get them ready to apply to the PGAs of Europe for their membership in due course.
‘But there were a lot of youngsters who were keen to play and it was also nice to see so many girls playing the sport out there.’
While Libya may not have the facilities just yet, they certainly have the potential as Flynn discovered on his trip to Tajoura Golf Club.
He said: ‘Everywhere was just sand – you are shattered after nine holes.
‘But the course itself was spectacular.
‘If they can get the funding to turn it into a grass course, it would be championship standard, no question.
‘The R&A have said they will spend £50,000 to help get it on track because they have little irrigation out there.
‘But it comes down to getting someone in the government interested in playing golf.
‘If you got one of Colonel Gadaffi’s sons playing, you would see the investment instantly.’
While some courses require a mat to play from the sand fairways, Flynn faced the difficulties at first hand.
He said: ‘On some of the courses, you don’t even have a mat.
‘When you get to 75 yards inwards, it’s hopeless trying to hit a delicate chip shot.
‘It’s also hard getting to grips with hitting a shot into a green.
‘It’s hard sand and just bounces through, but if it’s short, it just stops dead. So it’s difficult to play.’
While Flynn will take his level two exam for Plane Truth instruction next month in Houston, USA, he is set for another stint overseas later this year in the next phase of his quest.
He said: ‘The R & A invest in developing golf in other countries around the world.
‘My skill set is about teaching coaches and I could be heading to Argentina or Trinidad next.’