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Professional golf coach Thomas Muchmore is running a junior academy for beginners at Ashford Golf Club

With a successful ladies’ academy up and running, Ashford Golf Club professional Thomas Muchmore has now turned to the younger generation.

A junior golf academy was started in October to assess the interest and it’s been another hit - with 30 youngsters already signed up to a programme that is designed to take anyone from five years upwards on to becoming a club member.

Thomas Muchmore, left, launched his junior academy in October and 30 youngsters have already signed up for coaching
Thomas Muchmore, left, launched his junior academy in October and 30 youngsters have already signed up for coaching

With equipment provided and a free taster session available, there’s been a steady stream taking up the sport.

Muchmore said: “I started slow, with a couple of classes on a Saturday morning, with three or four kids in each and a free taster to any new enquiry. Now four months in, we have around 30 kids coming through the door each week.

“Participation numbers are still growing in golf since the pandemic. I was a little surprised at the numbers but knew there was a market for it and the big thing for me was to build a pathway.

“Just hitting balls in a lesson is very different to playing. Outside of an hour’s lesson I was trying to put something together where there is a progression from lessons into actually becoming a member of the club.

“We have a scheme where, once they get to a certain level, they can apply to be part of a junior team set-up, a way for them to go from never playing to when they show signs of ability they can move onto being on the course.”

Lessons for starters run from 8.30am on a Saturday for ages eight to 12 and a later session at 11.30am for seven and under, the youngest being five.

“As long as they are interested and can hold an attention span for an hour then they can start whenever they like,” said the coach, who has been pleased to see the number of young girls taking up the sport. In early 2023 he started to build an all-women academy at the club.

Equipment is included with clubs of all sizes for the juniors.

Muchmore said: “We don’t need the kids to come with anything other than being dressed for the elements.

“The classes are good fun, there is no obligation to carry on. If they like it they can carry on, if not then that’s fine.”

For more details email tommuchmore@live.com or call 07867 430899.

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