News Roundup

Burhill Golf Club

• American Golf Acquires Stromberg

American Golf is proud to announce that it has purchased U.K. golf apparel brand Stromberg. The deal, which was completed on 11th September, sees the brand and business of Stromberg Holdings Ltd move to the newly formed American Golf Brands Ltd (AGBL), in a move that strengthens the nationwide retailer’s offer of high quality, affordable golf apparel.

Upon the announcement of the sale, outgoing Managing Director of Stromberg Rodney Taylor commented, “The acquisition by AGBL not only allows me to retire in an orderly manner, but also gives me gratification to see the legacy of the Stromberg brand continue through my son Richard, who has become a newly appointed Director of Business Development with American Golf Brands.  This is an exciting opportunity for the further development of the Stromberg brand and to expand to a wider market with a stronger base and greater diversity of product ranges.”

The decision to purchase Stromberg marks a new chapter for American Golf as a brand owner, under the new company American Golf Brands Limited (AGBL). AGBL will continue to supply Stromberg’s existing network of approximately 200 pro shops throughout the UK, a move that broadens the company’s penetration into the U.K. market. 

American Golf CEO Gary Favell is delighted with the addition of Stromberg to the American Golf portfolio and the opportunities that it presents. 

He said, “Rodney and Richard have built a fantastic business with high quality products and an impressive network of retailers. Stromberg is a great addition to the business and I’m delighted that Richard has agreed to come on board at AGBL to help further develop the Stromberg brand. His knowledge of the Pro Shop market, and the relationships required to make a success of those retail partnerships, will be invaluable as we look to increase our affiliate sales relationships and wholesale supply agreements.”

Existing and future orders from the Stromberg range will continue to be delivered directly from stock. All current pre-book orders placed through Stromberg’s network of sales agents for the Autumn/Winter season will shortly be delivered from recently arrived stock or will be arriving in the next few weeks. In the immediate future customers will see little change, but anyone wishing to discuss future arrangements should contact: 

Richard Taylor 

Leadbetter University Coaches Gain Head Start on Power of the Mind

The Leadbetter Golf University is a turbo boost for accelerated learning, according to one of its key contributors.
Dr Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist who has worked with some of the top performers in a variety of sports and beyond, and has provided a module for the new online platform, which uses the latest interactive training techniques to educate golf coaches.

With more than 40 years devoted to understanding psychology, Loehr is also co-founder of the Human Performance Institute, has written 16 books on mental approach, and has worked with Major champions Sir Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, Mark O’Meara, Lydia Ko, Michelle Wie and former world number ones in tennis – Jim Courier and Monica Seles – among his long list of elite clients in sport.

is bestselling book The Only Way to Win is also the title of his in-depth course on the Leadbetter Golf University platform ($159), which covers many of the theories and techniques he has learned down the years in helping athletes achieve maximum performance by developing their mental skills.

Loehr explained: “I think it’s a wonderful thing for coaches to get this kind of information in the early part of their coaching careers with Leadbetter Golf University. It took years for so many coaches to learn all of this themselves and this is a way to accelerate the learning process – it’s a huge shortcut and a chance for them to take that learning even further in the future.

“There is enough information there that if you are a student of golf, you will pick up some really valuable insight into how to manage the mental side of the game. I just wish I’d had that information 25-30 years ago, as it would have made a huge difference to my ability to learn about it.

“David (Leadbetter) can video a swing and can instantly see the problem. But it’s far more complicated to develop a clear understanding of what’s happening at the time someone loses focus, gets angry or is overwhelmed with nerves.

“We have had almost 300,000 people go through the Human Performance Institute – it’s a living laboratory.

“We’ve worked with people from Special Forces from the US military, surgeons, stunt pilots and elite athletes – you name it. But those different experiences and research has allowed us to get some real insight and the Leadbetter University is a distilled version of all of those years of work.”

While Loehr was one of the pioneers in the field back in the 1970s, sports psychologists are now a common part of an elite golfer’s support network. And he believes it can translate to a significant improvement in performance for professionals and amateurs alike.

He said: “When I started, there was virtually nobody doing the work that I did - I was pretty much out there by myself, but these days there is a lot more knowledge on the subject. Now it is very accepted, and everyone recognises the importance of the mental and emotional side of the game.

“I’m sure there are some top players who don’t work with psychologists. Some players seem to get it more naturally than others on how to prepare themselves and raise their games in those critical moments. Some athletes simply have more volatility, or might be more fragile in terms of confidence.

“But when they work with someone who can really connect with them, they would get a much bigger boost – somewhere between 20-30 per cent in terms of performance levels.

“In others, it wouldn’t be quite so much if they already have that type of mental approach but they could still see a big benefit to their performance, especially when those margins are so small at the elite level.

“I think every golfer can benefit from learning how to better communicate with yourself – something I call self-coaching. A lot of people are very critical of themselves and they beat themselves up. If you call yourself a choker or say to yourself ‘you are so stupid for hitting that shot’, the brain logs all of that information.

“Most of golf is between shots. You have all this time to get into your head during a four-hour round. How much of that time are you actually striking the ball? Very, very little.

“So in golf, I would say it is one of the sports that benefits most from sports psychology. It’s a game where dealing with those demons between your ears is much more important.”

For more information on Leadbetter University, visit: https://university.leadbetter.com/

• Dramatic new imagery of The Queen’s Course at Gleneagles showcases ‘new’ holes on this James Braid classic 

Gleneagles, the world-famous Scottish hotel, sporting estate and host venue of The Solheim Cup, has commissioned critically acclaimed golf photographer, David Cannon, to capture the re-invention of two much-loved Par 3 holes on its James Braid designed Queen’s Course.
In a suite of rich, striking imagery, Cannon celebrates the completion of the detailed works to the Par 3, 13th and 14th holes, showcasing the construction of new strategically-placed tee boxes and the introduction of native Scottish heather.
The Queen’s is one of the UK’s finest Par 68 golf courses, a regular feature of many Top 100 ranking lists, and this detailed transformation, which started last winter, has seen the same team of five greenkeepers complete the project from beginning to end.
The 140-yard 13th hole, now benefits from an additional tee to the left of the original (which is still in play), but perhaps more strikingly, the approaches to the tight, well-protected putting surface approximately 130 yards away, are now bathed in native Scottish heather, with walkways intersecting passage to the green.
On the 14th hole - unusually the course has back-to-back Par 3s - a series of new tee positions have been created to the right of a picturesque loch, bringing the water directly into play, and giving golfers access to the green, via a new, sympathetically-designed footbridge.
Director of Golf at Gleneagles, Gary Silcock, commented: “These significant enhancements to already beautiful holes, are part of our ongoing plans to elevate the golfer experience at Gleneagles, not only on The Queen’s Course, but across all three championship courses.

“Our members and guests are already enjoying the new challenge these great holes create and also, from a practical perspective, it is also giving our greenkeeping team the ability to switch play between existing and new tees, when necessary, to ensure conditions remain first class.”

Introducing Scottish heather to the 13th hole is part of a wider project at Gleneagles being overseen by Director of Agronomy and Estates, Scott Fenwick, a 39-year veteran at The Glen, and Golf Courses Manager, Craig Haldane.
Gary added: “As part of their research work, Scott and Craig have visited some of Surrey’s classic heathland courses to learn more about how heather is managed and grown on these sites and we now plan to gradually re-introduce it to areas of The Queen’s and The King’s golf courses, lining walkways in particular, over the coming years and adding to the ‘inland links’ feel.”

Extensive restoration works to The Queen’s Course actually commenced in 2016 with all 89 bunkers being lined with specialist Capillary Concrete to help maintain perfect playing conditions and drainage. The course also saw its fairway lines taken back to architect James Braid’s original designs of 1919, after the team studied historic photographs in the Gleneagles archive.
This month Gleneagles, which is currently celebrating its golfing centenary, welcomed The Solheim Cup on its Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course, the same venue that hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup. 
The 850-acre Perthshire estate becomes the only venue in Europe to have hosted golf’s blue riband professional team events for men and women.
For further information about Gleneagles, visit: www.gleneagles.com

• Eden Golf Club awarded with a prestigious industry standard

Eden Golf Club has been awarded the SafeGolf safeguarding standard by England Golf. The standard has been awarded to the golf club due to its measures in safeguarding junior members and its promotion of the welfare of children and young people in golf.  To gain the standard, Eden Golf Club has had to implement rigorous safeguarding policies and procedures. It has also appointed a welfare office, Erica Wellings who will oversee the continuation of these standards and act as the point of contact for any welfare and safeguarding queries. The club’s PGA professional, Thomas Hodgson has also been accredited as a SafeGolf Coach.  Eden Golf Club has a strong cohort of junior players, with 40 juniors regularly attending coaching sessions, making the SafeGolf safeguarding standard pivotal for the club. The junior County League squad from Eden Golf Club is made up of four girls girls and three boys ranging from ages 11 to 17.  The squad won the County Final against Kendal last week.  SafeGolf consists of members from the golfing bodies across Great Britain & Ireland and has been established to help golf respond to the issue of child protection in sport. Its mission is to safeguard the welfare of children and young people, as well as adults at risk, in the sport of golf.  The partnership has created the SafeGolf safeguarding standard with England Golf to ensure clubs provide a safe and positive experience to children and young people whilst playing golf. The PGA is also using the standards to apply to all their PGA professional Coaches. Members of SafeGolf include; England Golf, Wales Golf, Scottish Golf, Confederation of Golf in Ireland, The Professional Golfers’ Association, Ladies European Tour, The Golf Foundation, Golf Club Managers’ Association, the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association and The R&A. To find out more visit: http://www.edengolf.co.uk/