The Ryder Cup wasn’t just a roaring success for Paul McGinley and Europe with a team of PGA pros smashing through the one thousand free lessons barrier at Gleneagles.
Indeed such was the demand for coaching that hundreds had to be turned away daily from the PGA Swing Zone as spectators eagerly sought the chance to get swing and putting advice.
And while the majority of the 40,000 plus spectators swarming over the PGA Centenary Course were Scottish, there was a melting pot of nationalities visiting the PGA Swing Zone including Americans, Canadians, Mexicans and Europeans.
Among the PGA pros dispensing lessons was Dalmahoy-based teaching pro John Murray – a Scotland-based Dubliner.
“It’s a great week, and you get all sorts coming in for lessons,” he said.
“I had an eight year old from Blairgowrie with an unbelievable swing who hit the ball fantastically and was just very naturally talented. One of the best I’ve ever seen.
“At the other of the spectrum I had a rugby player who’d never picked up a club in his life but his rugby days are coming to an end and after trying golf decided this was going to be his new sport.”
Heather Gaunt, coach education and development manager for Scotland, branded the exercise a huge hit and is already looking forward to next year’s Open Championship at St Andrews were PGA pros will again be on hand to give free lessons.
“It’s been a really positive experience, we’ve had everything from absolute beginners through to golfers who play off scratch and just wanted to work on a few things such as posture and alignment,” she said.
“The quality of the coaching has been fantastic and bar the odd break to go and watch a bit of the golf they’ve been working from eight to seven. Their enthusiasm and energy has been incredible and I just want to thank the PGA pros for giving up their time and making it such a success.
“The feedback from the public has been tremendous, we even had people coming back day after day for a lesson.
“We also a dad and his son came to see one of the pros, George Boswell, who a few years ago had told this dad his son really need to get some proper coaching, which he’d done, and had just finished in the top 10 in a European junior event and they just wanted to come and say thank you to George which was nice.”
The 12 PGA pros helping the Ryder Cup go with a swing were Andrew Munro (Elie Sports Centre), Lesley Mackay (Lesley Mackay Complete Golf), Gavin Cook (Elie Sports Centre), John Mulgrew (Airdrie Golf Club), Ian Muir (Ian Muir Golf Ltd), Bob Collinson (Bearsden Golf Range), Gordon McLeod (Monifieth Golf Links), Ryan Scott (Loretto School Golf Academy), George Boswell (Mearns Castle), Nicola Melville (Nicola Melville Golf), John Murray (Dalmahoy) and Allan Martin (Buchanan Castle).