Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Eighteen months ago Aberdonian David Pocock travelled from the North-east to South Wales, to land his first job as head PGA professional at a golf club – Rhondda.
In that short space of time, David has worked so hard and done so well that he has been named the Welsh Golf Club Professional of the Year. He received the award and trophy at the Golf Union of Wales annual awards function at the Ryder Cup venue of Celtic Manor.
He earned the recognition for the outstanding amount of work he does to help juniors.
Golf Development Wales chairman Andy Morgan, who presented the award, said:
“Professionals can lead their clubs in a positive way – and David has certainly achieved that at Rhondda Golf Club. He has a remarkable list of achievements with a reach all over Europe, while still putting in a huge amount of positive work at home.
“There is a vast amount of positive work going into grass roots golf all around Wales under the umbrella of Golf Development Wales, but David Pocock’s contribution is certainly as outstanding example of what can be done with a high degree of skill and enthusiasm.
“David has achieved a lot in terms of increasing participation, but has also shown great skill in developing the elite end with the success of his junior teams. We look forward to seeing further progress on both counts.”
Rhondda Valley Golf Club took a big gamble in appointing David, to them an unknown Scot, to be their club pro but it has paid off beyond their wildest dreams  – a bit like a golf club winning a golfing Lottery.
After only 18 months in the job, Pocock has already made a massive impact on golf in the Rhondda Valley area (between Swansea and Cardiff), providing coaching at 30 schools and coaching more than 100 juniors at Rhondda GC.
“We have done a lot with the kids this year and it is nice to see them developing,” said Pocock who did his PGA training under Hamish Love at Oldmeldrum Golf Club, Aberdeenshire.
His first job after that was at the Pine Lodge driving range at Kemnay. Then he spent a few years working at the Kingscliff Sporting Lodge for corporate group actitivities at Methlick.
“Then I saw the Rhondda Golf Club job advertised and I applied for it, got it and here I am today, working hard and enjoying life tremendously hundreds of miles away from the North-east down in South Wales,” said David.
“The junior committee have been brilliant to work with.”
Golf is in the Pocock genes. David’s uncle Mike Pocock is president of the North-east of Scotland District Association of the Scottish Golf Union and his cousin Donna Pocock is the Aberdeenshire women’s county champion.
 “We have all got the same passion for developing the kids, and the help from Golf Development Wales makes it really easy. They provide advice, funding and support. “At Rhondda Golf Club we have now got the biggest junior academy in Wales. It will be the most productive junior section in the country within three years. We aim to achieve this by utilising our biggest assets - a large population of children and the best junior facility in Wales
“There is a lot of negativity about the Welsh Valleys but this shows that the kids can achieve their golf dreams. It just demonstrates what can be done with a little bit of hard work, the right facilities and an abundance of kids.”
The programme has proved so successful in its early stages that David has been appointed Glamorgan county coach for the Under-12s.
Pocock has delivered six Junior Leader Workshops for Golf Development Wales and local clubs, along with several Tri-Golf activator courses for GDW.
He has also co-organised 40 children from France, Poland, Germany and Wales in an International Youth Exchange. These children created business plans at the Rhondda Junior Golf Academy and also took part in a Tri-Golf activators and Junior Leader Workshop and they are now delivering coaching courses in their home countries.
The seemingly tireless Pocock has also embarked on a charitable project with the Valley’s Kids organisation whereby two teenagers are being mentored to deliver level one coaching to less privileged children in the local area.
David, who works closely with fitness professionals and physiotherapists and is a trained mind-factor coach, is the coach to the Rhondda Golf Club junior team which won the Glamorgan county championship. He started development squads at under-13 and 15 level and provided three months of free coaching to around 60 children and 10 free lessons to 30 beginner women as part of a business partnership with Hutchings Vauxhall.
Around 20 of these beginner women have taken up membership at Rhondda Golf Club as part of the club's new female membership offer.



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