Portarlington Golf Club joins exciting Offaly Junior Academy

Last week, Offaly Junior Golf Academy launched its 2022 coaching program at Portarlington Golf Club. The Offaly Junior Golf Academy was founded in 2018, with the overall aim of developing junior golf in Offaly by providing support to junior coaches at golf clubs in Offaly. Since then the Academy has gone from strength to strength and established itself as one of Ireland’s leading junior golf academies.

Brian Monaghan, Academy Chairman, said: “Our vision has always been to develop our junior golfers at Offaly and provide additional support to our golf clubs to strengthen their junior programmes. Since 2018, our program has expanded and the Academy now has a very impressive team of professionals who provide professional golf coaching, strength and conditioning, and sports psychology.

“We were delighted to induct Portarlington Golf Club into the Academy this year. We were approached by Sinead Scully, Portarlington Junior Coordinator, asking for our help and we were only too happy to get on board. We were truly impressed with what Portarlington was striving to achieve with their junior program and we were only too thrilled to induct
the club in our established Academy.

Sinead Scully and the Portarlington Senior Committee are committed to developing junior golf at their club; in 2019 the Junior Portarlington Golf Club Academy was established with 25 children. The children had golf sessions on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, this continued until early 2020 before Covid.

In March 2021, with the reopening of the golf clubs, contact was made with the parents of the children who played golf in 2019. During the summer months, their number peaked at 45 children attending the sessions. Portarlington hopes to increase this with the help of the Academy and believes the Academy provides a goal for its juniors to strive for and motivates them to participate in their junior program.

Sinead added: “Families are an essential part of the Club. The role played by family members in helping their child’s development through the junior golf program has been invaluable, and the Academy’s approach to family involvement and the atmosphere relaxed fits well with our visions as well. We now have 6 juniors registered with the Offaly Junior Golf Academy, and I am sure many more will strive to be selected to become Academy coaches in the future.

This year, the Academy took Peter O’Keeffe of “Golf Strong” on board as their strength and conditioning coach. Peter is a highly decorated Irish international golfer and current holder of the Irish Amateur Open.

Brian Monaghan added: “I contacted Peter towards the end of last year and pitched the idea to him. He was more than willing to join our team, and his extensive knowledge of the game of golf along with his unique approach to online coaching was just what we needed.

Classes begin February 5th and promise to be fun and challenging and prepare our juniors for the training season ahead. “As a continuation of the 2021 season, we have also brought back Dr Mark Campbell, from the University of Limerick, to our team. Mark himself was a highly decorated amateur golfer representing Ireland and winning major national events and international as an amateur.

Dr. Campbell introduced our juniors to the importance of positive thinking and self-management while playing and practicing the game of golf. He will again feature interactive online sessions helping our juniors understand how to manage their emotions and harness a positive attitude while playing and practicing the game of golf, a skill set that will help our juniors in any sport they they practice and even in life. himself.

“Our two professional coaches, Eamonn O’Flanagan and Corey Doherty remain with the Academy and have been pivotal in shaping the progression of the Academy.”

Eamonn has worked since 2007 as a provincial coach for the Leinster branch of the GUI and coached some of the most promising golf talent in the country. Currently he is the Pathway Manager for Golfing Ireland’s High Performance Training Program for Midlands East.

He also continues to coach within the HP program for Golf Ireland, working with players at regional development level through to national representative players. Eamonn always provides private coaching to players to help them improve their performance and enjoyment at all levels of the game.

Eamonn commented: “As a coach within the academy, it is a great privilege to help advance the unique talents of junior golfers and to see their golf experiences and skills grow.”

Corey Doherty qualified as a PGA Professional in 2016, he spent time coaching overseas before taking up the club professional job at Tullamore Golf Club in March 2020 in a bid to make it big as one of the best coaches in the region and to develop junior golf in Offaly. . Corey graduated with a Masters in Training Science from UCD in June 2020, which has helped him develop his knowledge of sports psychology as well as strength and conditioning.

Corey also began his tenure as Golf Ireland Region Development Coach in 2021, working simultaneously with talented junior golfers from the Midlands-East and South-East regions.

Corey said, “The OJGA is a unique and pioneering project that I am privileged to be part of. There is a wonderful team atmosphere in the academy as talented junior golfers from across Offaly can come together to learn and develop their skills whilst representing both their individual clubs and their counties.

Brian Monaghan thanked all sponsors.

“It goes without saying that none of this would be possible without the financial support of local businesses. Our sponsors have been fantastic and have supported our development since the beginning of this adventure. We are always on the lookout for additional support and without these companies we would not be able to provide such a comprehensive coaching program.

“Our main sponsor, who has really been the catalyst for this project, remains committed to this academy, and with people like Roger Guiney, Dolans Pharmacies, Austin Handy from Trade Safety and the folks at the Offaly Sports Partnership supporting this endeavor, we We will continue to grow and evolve.

“We are always looking to improve our Academy and the coaching we offer and anyone who loves what we do is always welcome.”

This year, the academy begins with a strength and conditioning program from February 5, followed by six spring coaching sessions that take juniors to May 2022. Dr. Mark Campbell will present his classes in June that prepare juniors for the upcoming summer, with additional short game practices and a season-ending Academy Junior Golf Tournament in August.

“We are so proud of what we have achieved so far,” smiled Monaghan. “Our hard working committee and dedicated sponsors, along with this wonderful team of professionals, have collectively developed this academy into one of the best in Ireland and bodes well for the future of the game in our county.”

A testament to the Academy’s hard work can be seen first hand in Offaly’s representation on Golf Ireland’s high performance panels. Offaly has no less than 13 junior golfers, boys and girls, on Golf Ireland’s development panels. Eight of those juniors started their golf at their local clubs and went on to the Academy where they progressed from there.
on Golf Ireland signs.

“Who knows, maybe we still have a Leona Maguire or Shane Lowry,” concluded Brian Monaghan.

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