We offer young golfers a wonderful environment in which they are given every opportunity to drive their golfing abilities to their limits and beyond. This is a programme that offers continual guidance and mentoring from expert coaches who have many years of experience working with talented young golfers and who have a proven track record of success.
We don’t stop there. We ensure that our students have every opportunity to succeed in their chosen academic course, be it A-level, BTEC or one of the many other courses available at SGS.
Our philosophy puts the student in control of their learning. We aim to build resilience, commitment and acceptance in our students, giving them the life skills that will help them to maximise their golfing skills and also enhance their abilities to succeed in the modern world.
They will not only be a better golfer when they leave us, but a better person.
The golf programme
Our golf programme revolves around the daily contact our students have with our two PGA professionals. They are with the students for over 120 days a year and are able to offer not only their considerable coaching knowledge but importantly to work as mentors for the students.
The coaching takes place in a relaxed and friendly environment with a focus on working together cooperatively during sessions. They may well be paired up in order to offer encouragement and motivation to each other. It has to be said that golf is a solitary game, but we believe that we have the best of both worlds here at SGS, with high levels of competition between talented youngsters combined with a collaborative approach to their practice sessions.
Each student is encouraged to utilise technology to assist in the planning and reviewing of training sessions, along with test results to monitor practice effectiveness and guide areas for improvement. The fantastic Golf Metrics app gives a simple way of measuring performance and giving feedback in competition, where it really matters.
By regularly profiling each player with testing and on-course assessments, goals are discussed and set, producing a personalised plan for maximum progression.
Sessions take place three times a week at the clubs. All transport is provided to all sessions, matches and ICT events. Mondays and Fridays are our practice days, with Wednesdays reserved for playing. There are also added sessions on our indoor range.
The technical stuff
Providing a complete and unified support structure is key to giving the golfers clarity of focus and confidence to perform beyond their current level. Liaison with their current coaching and support network is essential to provide that seamless transition to college golf.
Our latest acquisition at SGS Golf is the Flightscope Launch Monitor. This really is an incredible piece of equipment which uses missile-tracking technology to give very accurate information about both ball flight characteristics and club head positions through impact. Flightscope technology can be used both indoors and out and is perfect for in-depth analysis in our indoor range. Guessing yardages with each club will be a thing of the past for the golf students at SGS – each will be able to check their yardages continually, an essential part of any good golfer's skill set.
We also have many golfing gadgets vetted by our coaches, which used correctly can be of great help with the technical areas of the game. These are available to use at each session under the expert eyes of our coaches.
The mental stuff
We believe in simplicity when it comes to the ever-more important area of the mental game: “Keep what works and get rid of the rest.” Gathering quality information to plan your shot and keeping the target central to your routine are ideas at the core of our philosophy. Simplifying your shot routine and maintaining a quiet mind are skills that require practice, and with the many hours of contact time you will have with our coaches, any problems can be talked through and ironed out quickly.
Strength and conditioning
A full programme of S&C, under the guidance of our full-time conditioning coaches, is available to the students. Due to growth spurts, students flexibility is often an issue. Golfers are screened for golf-specific flexibility and mobility when they first arrive, and given a programme of corrective exercises to ensure this doesn't limit their golfing development. They are tested for speed and power at intervals throughout the two years, enabling us to show the students’ progress over time. Our programme is periodised to fit in with the golfing season: strength and power work in the winter, moving into speed work in the spring and a maintenance programme through the playing season.
We have a full-time physiotherapist on staff that not only looks after any injury problems throughout the two years, but also delivers a pre-hab programme which includes elements of pilates and yoga. We believe this to be a very important part of the long-term development of our students and one that is often overlooked.
Our first-years are based at the Bristol GC, a short drive from the College. The Bristol GC has excellent facilities, which include the main course and a wonderful par-3 course. There is a floodlit driving range and a putting green – all the aspiring golfer needs to work on every area of their game.
Our second-years use the wonderful Players GC, also a short drive from the College. They have two 18-hole courses. The main course is named the Codrington and it has held many professional events, including the West Region Championships and EuroPro Championships, and this year it will hold the first round of the European Tour School. This course is a real challenge for any golfer. The second course, Stranahan, is a shorter course but requires excellent short game skills and has fantastic putting surfaces. Other facilities include a grass driving range and the exceptional Watergarden par-3 course, a short game area and three putting greens.
These two facilities are among the best in the area and we are delighted to have developed mutually beneficial long-term relationships with both clubs.
WISE Campus has become the home of the Bristol Academy of Sport and it boasts fantastic facilities. With an 8-lane running track, 4G and 3G pitches, a gym, 5-aside pitches, a sports hall and indoor astro (better known as the indoor range, to us golfers), there is nothing to stop you reaching your potential. Next to the Sports Academy building is the state-of-the-art all-weather putting green and our two outdoor nets, a great place to sit and eat lunch while practicing your putting or full swing skills.
Former student success & exit routes
With numerous PGA-qualified professionals among our alumni, over 30 university degrees and more than a dozen scholarships to American colleges, our students have a proven track record of success. There are many options for our students, from greenkeepers to club and resort management and retail, to the PGA and, of course, to playing professionals.
Here’s a look at the exit routes of some of our golf students.