Cheshire golf coach wins national award

Matthew Turnock

Cheshire’s Matthew Turnock, who inspires and supports countless new golfers, has won England Golf’s Coach of the Year Award, sponsored by the PGA.  Turnock, from Mottram Hall Golf Club, was recognised at last night’s England Golf Awards, sponsored by Bridgestone, which celebrated all that’s great about golf in England.

The PGA professional was applauded by almost 500 guests at the Royal Lancaster London for his passion for growing the game by introducing children and adults to the sport and working with disability groups.

The judges were impressed by the scale of Turnock’s work, commenting: “He carries out a huge amount of outreach work with obvious enthusiasm and the schools work is amazing.”

“It was a very big surprise to be nominated for this award,” said Turnock. “It’s great to be recognised by your peers.”

Turnock’s inspirations are his own family. His mother was disabled by severe arthritis after she was involved in a motor cycle accident when in her 20s. Despite that, she was skilled at needlecrafts and he commented: “She was my main motivation in terms of starting to coach people with disabilities.”

Over the past five years he has worked with four different groups and when this activity was threatened by a funding cut he turned to crowdfunding – and was so successful he is now also able to deliver additional sessions to stroke survivors.

“It’s quite amazing, I think I’m just doing something normal but its seems to help so many people come out of their shell and to gain confidence,” said Turnock.

His enthusiasm for promoting junior golf began when his son took up the game – and Josh Turnock is now a 17-year-old scratch golfer who captains the Cheshire U18s and is in an England Golf regional U18 squad.

Over the years, Turnock has taken golf into around 50 schools in the Macclesfield area and given thousands of children the chance to try the game. Those who want to take it further are invited to Mottram Hall and can then sign up for coaching sessions – and for the club’s free membership for U18s.

Free membership was Turnock’s idea and he comments: “The club are very supportive and will try anything I suggest – and we want to be junior and family friendly.”

Many adults also benefit from Turnock’s coaching. He reckons he has introduced over 500 people to the game through his Get into Golf courses, teaching the basics of the game and then helping them to gain experience on the course. “I enjoy helping people and seeing them improve,” he said. “When they do well and send me a message it makes it all worthwhile.”

As well as coaching Turnock runs the club’s junior section – which he’s keen to expand – and is Mottram Hall’s competition secretary, offering a range of formats to appeal to all sections of the club. He also meets regularly with a members’ group, helping to keep them informed of club activities and gaining their feedback.

Caption: Matthew Turnock (right) receives his award from Robert Maxfield, chief executive of the sponsors, The PGA.

The runners-up were Phil Akers of The Belfry, Warwickshire; Aaron Lansberry of Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, Warwickshire; and Anders Mankert of Cosby Golf Club, Leicestershire.