|Paula Perez Cubinas, Catalunya Youth Golf Championship, with PGA Catalunya Resort Head Professional Enric Lopez|
Since its launch in 2012, when the Ryder Cup star opened his first-ever coaching school in collaboration with Fundación Sergio Garcia at Spain’s number one golf course*, the Academy has grown from strength to strength and currently welcomes as many as 30 juniors to its Saturday morning sessions, some as young as five years old.
“Paula’s recent victory, along with the progress many of our other academy members have made since it was established, are a sign we continue to use teaching techniques that are making a real difference to the juniors and will hopefully lead to the development of some of Spain’s next golf stars.”
The Academy caters for a wide range of ages and abilities and uses the globally recognized TPI teaching program, which centers on long-term athletic development as its guiding principle. This focuses on juniors performing age-appropriate drills designed to maximize their full athletic potential, not just their golf swing.
The curriculum is specifically tailored to focus on different aspects of the game, according to their age group and physical development. Enric explains: “The youngest group, which consists of five to 10-year-olds, plays very little golf. At this age, we focus more on their physical development, encouraging levels of athleticism that will help their golf game as they grow.
“Children aged 10 and above move on to the second group where we start introducing elements of competitiveness and mental training. From the age of 12, juniors can progress into the top group where there is a greater focus on competition and we introduce technology, such as video analysis, to the coaching.
“It is enormously rewarding to take these children on a journey from complete beginners to accomplished golfers who enjoy the sport. The beauty of the Sergio Garcia Junior Golf Academy being based at PGA Catalunya Resort is that the children can learn throughout the year, while taking advantage of our fantastic short game practice area.
Julio Delgado, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort, said: “Although PGA Catalunya Resort is known among The Tour professionals and international elite, we want to put it on the map for our future golf stars and encourage juniors to come and use Europe’s best practice facilities to learn and improve.
“The recent victory at the Catalunya Youth Golf Championship is a fitting tribute to the Sergio Garcia Junior Academy and the hard work and dedication of Enric and his team. We remain committed to attracting more juniors into golf and ensuring the next generation of Spanish golfers are inspired and excited about taking up this fantastic sport.”
*by influential rankings website, Top100GolfCourses.co.uk.