Coach SpotLight: Mark Sawford

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Last in the series of articles about our coaches is Mark Sawford.

My love and passion for golf started at an early age. My grandad was the PGA Professional at Rowlands Castle Golf Club and my dad was a very good golfer with a handicap of 5. I started hitting balls around the garden with a plastic club from when I could walk. I joined Rowlands castle golf club at the age of 10 with a starting handicap of 36.

I’ve been very lucky to have represented Hampshire at every level from u14’s to the men’s first team and won five different Hampshire championships. These rank among my greatest golfing achievements along with winning the Rowlands Castle GC Club Championship aged 16 years old. My lowest handicap was +1 before turning professional off scratch (0).

In 2015 I was given the opportunity to start working at Portsmouth Golf Centre with a view of turning professional and starting my PGA foundation degree. It had taken me a long time to find an opening into the professional game and was grateful for the opportunity. After three long and stressful years I became a qualified PGA professional in 2018 and graduated from the University of Birmingham. In 2019 I won my first professional tournament winning the race to Rowlands tour championship, hopefully with many more to come.

I thoroughly enjoy coaching all levels of golfers from juniors and beginners to low handicap golfers. Helping them achieve their goals the same way as I did. I enjoy seeing progress in their game and also building relationships and friendships with all my clients. To keep learning and progressing as a coach, I regularly go to seminars including trackman and going to the Ping UK headquarters in Gainsborough last year where I met, Marty Jertson, who is the vice president of club fitting and performance for Ping in the US.

Away from the golf course I occasionally play hockey for Havant hockey club who I have played for since I was 8 and also represented Hampshire. I enjoy days out and walking my dog. I have recently purchased my first home which is something I’ve been working towards for quite a while.
I hope we get all get through this current situation safe and healthy and get back to the things we love doing, playing golf.

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