Blog, Lewis Clarke, Par Academy

PAR Academy and our College Programme… What are they?

Before we get started about the college course, I am going to dive into PAR Academy first and give you an insight to how we developed our programmes and pathway which lead to the College programme…

What is PAR Academy?

Here at Peter Field Golf, we are all passionate about growing and progressing golf in our region. Over the years we have developed our coaching brand “Par Academy”. This is the umbrella for our coaching services outside of 1-1 sessions.

Under PAR Academy, we have every age and level of golfer covered with our designed pyramid programme. From young golfers who have never hit golf balls before, to experienced teenagers looking to take their skill to the next level.

This year, we have developed our very own Performance Pathway. We want to provide and establish a designated pathway for junior golf. At the bottom is our weekend junior classes, in which we provide a fun, foundation level of coaching to young people. Our coaching team then select promising juniors who are showing not just talent, but a keen enthusiasm for the game of golf to progress into our junior academies. With a passion and drive for golf, students can then also apply to our PAR College programme.

Junior Performance Pathway

What we believe in:

  • To inspire the next generation of young people to love the game of golf
  • Being positive role models for young people
  • Develop life skills
  • Mix of technical (technique, positions) and skill based (targets, games) practice

PAR College Academy

The PAR Golf Academy is aimed at talented and enthusiastic young golfers who want to achieve their golf and educational potential. The college academy programme is built to allow junior golfers to advance their golfing knowledge and playing ability, whilst achieving an Extended Diploma in Sport with our academic partners Easton College.

What do we get up to?

Over the academic year, we have over 250 hours of coaching contact time focussed on improving golf performance. We do this in a variety of measures…

  • Practice sessions (range, short game area, putting green) – each with a defined purpose and goal of what we are working on and how we are going to improve.
  • PAR Lab – regular testing and learning in our Performance and Research Lab (picture below).
  • On course playing – bi-weekly full 18 holes round our own Bawburgh Golf Club, often in club competition so we can monitor scores and handicap changes
  • On course learning – alternate weeks to playing, we are on the course discussing and testing course management strategies, looking at routines and playing different formats such as worst ball.
  • Performance testing – measuring areas of golf performance throughout the year to monitor progress.
  • Performance profiling – completed by coach and performers, judgement-based ratings on all areas of golf performance including psychological and tactical areas – ie, the stuff we cant measure using a skill test.
  • Educational ‘hands on’ sessions – a deep dive into our technology…what it measures, what do the different numbers mean, how to effect different variables (for example club path, lead foot pressure, upper body side bend)

Also, with our partners Easton College, students also participate in weekly strength and conditioning sessions led by specialist movement and strength coaches. These sessions are so important for our students to help them understand how to move more functionally, recover more effectively and reduce the risk of injury.

Here is an example of what our Golf S & C sessions look like with our county performers…

So, you just play golf all year?

If only…!

Alongside our golf performance coaching, students will be studying for an Extended Diploma in Sport with our partners, Easton and Otley College. Here you extend on your current knowledge of sport, as well as exploring more advanced areas such as sport psychology, anatomy and physiology and sport coaching.

The course is equivalent to 3 A Levels, giving students the necessary educational knowledge to pursue further education if interested.

Where can this course take you?

Progression routes out of our golf education programme are much wider than most think…

For those wishing to pursue a career in playing golf, a scholarship is a fantastic way to make the next step. This can either be here, or abroad (USA Collegiate Scholarships are very popular). We recently did an interview with former scholarship athlete Ryan, check it out below.

The academic qualification you will achieve is equivalent to 3 A-Levels, meaning you can also progress onto Higher Education either at Easton College, or other nationwide Universities. This opens up any career pathway in sport, from journalism to strength and conditioning to performance analysis.

Also, being part of a college golf programme goes a long way on your CV if you are looking into working in the Golf industry. Our very own Sonny came from a college golf programme and it certainly helped him develop key skills we look for in our staff. Sonny went onto enrolling in the PGA Professional programme in which he will become a fully qualified golf teaching professional.

What do I need to apply?

Unlike other golf colleges, we accept a wide range of golf abilities… the only requirement for us is you are 100% passionate for golf! The reason we do not have a handicap limit is some of the most passionate golfers may not have had the playing experience to achieve a lower handicap. Some of out most successful students over the years (not just in golf, but in education and their respective careers) came into the programme off a higher handicap than others.

You must be over the age of 16 and depending on your GCSE results will depend on what BTEC programme the college encourages you to enrol on.

There is a cost to the programme as well, of which some is a deposit to secure your place.

How do I find out more?

Get in touch with me – I built the programme back up from the ground, after working in other college academies, so I should be in a good spot to answer any questions you have! We also have a designated page for the PAR College Academy, where you can also find a brochure (click here to be directed).

You can get me on email, or via social media @LClarkePCoach.