Coach Spotlight: Simon Andrews

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Third in our series of articles is written by Simon Andrews PGA professional.

Did I want to be a pro golfer….. no! I grew up loving football and enjoying my time in the Royal Marine Cadets reaching the rank of WO2, I wanted to join the Royal Marines.

Approaching the last year of school aged 15 someone suggested golf, having represented my school at pretty much every sport I thought I’d give it ago, I grew up less than a mile from the golf centre but didn’t even know it existed. After that first game I was hooked, me and my best friend would head for the course at literally every spare moment.  My passion for sport had moved my career thoughts to becoming a physio, A levels in PE, Biology and Geography were the goal. Golf was now becoming a distraction and my handicap was falling, April 1998 I was sat on the bench inside the shop entrance when Terry Healy asked if I was interested in a job marshalling the course! I accepted and after a couple of months on the course, I became a shop assistant this was when Terry asked had I thought about becoming a PGA pro. Becoming a physio was now not the goal, PGA pro was!

I set out a plan with one of the senior coaches at the time to reduce my handicap by May 2001 I had lowered my handicap to 1.6 and entered the PGA training programme graduating in 2004 with a distinction in coaching. Over this time I’d also won twice as a pro. I’d spent a long time with the goal of being the best player I could be, but as I learnt more about coaching I knew it was the direction I wanted.

Over the following years I attended many conferences and seminars all over the world increasing my knowledge. This led to me going back to night school and achieving a Certificate In Education with Portsmouth University making me a qualified higher education lecturer. This allowed me to work with Southdowns College golf academy where we achieved success in reaching the finals of the British College Championship at St Andrews. In this group we’re two local lads Scott Gregory and Billy McKenzie who both at the time were off of 1 handicaps who I still coach today who have gone on to represent GB&I and England men’s teams. I’m very proud to say many of the lads from this college group have gone on to work within the golf industry in some form.

In 2016 Scott Gregory won the British Amateur Championship, 1 month later I’m standing on the range at The Open Championship! Was it daunting yes! Exciting yes! This was what I’d worked for!But there was a bigger prize to come there are very few coaches who will ever be able to say they coached at the The Masters, Augusta National. The whole experience is unbelievable and I can’t wait to get back there again! The US Open followed which was also brilliant.

The successes of my students has led to me working with players from the European tour, Challenge Tour and Europro Tours. In 2018 a goal that was set in 2011 was ticked I’d helped a junior golfer work his way from being a club golfer to gaining his card on the European Tour, hard work does pay off if you follow a plan.Having never represented the county at golf I am very proud to say I was made the Hampshire Mens 1st team coach in 2018 which I still am today.

What does the future hold, all I can say is I’ll be working hard to continue to improve……whether your aiming to break 100 for the first time or start the journey to the European tour we can achieve your goals together.

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