England Golf has appointed Jeremy Bennett as the new lead coach for the national boys’ squad. He will take up his position in September.
Bennett is currently the Wales ladies’ coach and has worked with Major winners Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer, as well with Rory McIlroy and Oliver Fisher while they were part of Team Faldo and the Faldo Series. He is an Advanced Fellow of the PGA and is based at Windlesham Golf Club in Surrey.
In two other appointments Martyn Thompson of Dorset will become the coach for the girls’ South West regional U16 squad and Sam Johnston of Worcestershire will take up the same position with the West Midlands U16 girls’ squad.
Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Performance Director, commented: “England Golf is committed to providing excellent coaching to help our players develop the skills they need to perform at the highest level. We are delighted to welcome these coaches to our team and look forward to working with them to achieve even greater successes for our players.”
Jeremy Bennett has been the Wales ladies’ coach since 2008 and has steered them to three Home Internationals wins – after the team had won the title only one other time in 100 years.
He commented: “I have enjoyed every minute with Wales, bringing tears of joy and creating history which is my main goal. Now I am looking forward to the new challenge with the England U18s and I relish the chance to create more history with them.”
Bennett was an England international in his amateur days and went on to play on the European Tour for 11 years and was Rookie of the Year in 1981.
Since specialising in coaching he has worked with the Surrey county men’s team, steering them to two national championship wins, and spent four years with the elite players in Team Faldo. Three players he worked with – Oliver Fisher, Rory McIlroy and James Heath – all reached the top of the world amateur rankings.
Golf Union of Wales Director of Performance Ben Waterhouse commented: “We would like to thank Jeremy for his services to Welsh golf and wish him well with England Golf. He has achieved great success here and helped to bring out the talent in a lot of young players.”
Martyn Thompson, who becomes the coach to the South West regional U16 girls’ squad, is the head PGA professional at Parkstone Golf Club in Dorset. He is the head coach to the Bournemouth University golf teams and has held the same position with the Dorset Golf Partnership and the Dorset County Golf Union.
He coached Dorset teenager Georgia Hall during 2012/13 when she won British girls’ and ladies’ championships, two youth Olympic medals and was ranked top amateur in Europe and fourth in the world.
Sam Johnston, who has been appointed as coach to the West Midlands regional U16 girls’ squad, is the head PGA professional at Fulford Heath Golf Club in Worcestershire.
He is the lead County Academy coach for Worcestershire and Herefordshire and is responsible for the design and implementation of the programme. He is an assessor for members of England Golf U18 regional squads who are working towards the AASE qualification.