PGA Professional Andy Little has been honoured as a Top 50 Kids Coach at the 2020 PGA Show in Orlando. He is just one of five non-American award winners in 2020.
Based at Sandown Park Golf Centre, Little started his Little Golfers coaching club 12 years ago, running his kids sessions both at Sandown and at various local schools as an after-school class. Over that time, his success in terms of the numbers of children he’s introduced to golf is measured in the thousands but as Little explains, he does it for the fun that he and the kids get from his coaching.
“I’m truly honoured and very humbled to receive this award, especially as I’m the only one from the England to receive it. It’s great to be recognised, but it’s all about having fun really.”
Little continues: “I’ve taught kids from two years old to 14 and the vast majority just love having fun with golf for an hour a week. One little boy who was just 26 months old was kept entertained for ages just replacing a ball on a PowerTee system!”
“I’m currently teaching around 200 kids a week, but in the run up to the London Olympics when funding was available, I was visiting 55 schools a week throughout Surrey! Probably 90% simply enjoy the golf-oriented games I set up for them, while maybe 10% then want to carry on to the 10-level US Kids programme with badges for passing each level.”
“For me, it’s meant going out to North Carolina to do the US Kids Level One and Level Two training. I’m the only UK-based PGA Professional who’s done that, and as it was in the Pinehurst area, one of the perks was to have lunch at Pinehurst itself.”
He adds: “Apparently hundreds of coaches apply for the Top 50 recognition, so to find myself being invited to the PGA Show in Orlando to receive my award was amazing. When you’re taking kids on at such a young age and letting them go in their early teens, you rarely learn of their progress, but I know of six that did to become PGA Professionals, and one of them nearly got a LET card this year.