UCKFIELD, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: Kevin Harper of Sidmouth Golf Club during Day Three of Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship Final at East Sussex National Golf Resort and Spa on August 12, 2011 in Uckfield, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Thursday, May 3, 2012
A golf ace has credited the PGA training programme with rekindling his love for the game ahead of his latest quest to land the PGA Powerade Assistants’ Championship in association with FootJoy.
Sidmouth Golf Club’s Kevin Harper, twice a runner up in the last two finals is among the qualifiers in action at Honiton Golf Club in Devon on May 10.
At stake is a place in the £32,500 grand final which is again being held at East Sussex National on June 13-15.
For 30-year-old Harper the Honiton event will be a homecoming as it is the club where he began playing golf as a junior.
And Harper will have a similar amount of enthusiasm as when he first started playing the game there as a 12-year-old, thanks to his golf studies as part of the three-year PGA degree programme.
“I won the PGA Europro Tour Order of Merit in 2006 and then went on to the European Challenge Tour,” he explained.
“But in about 2008, I kind of fell out of love with the game and started to doubt whether I’d made the right choices.
“So I looked at taking the PGA training course and I found I was falling back in love again. It’s so in-depth and deals with all aspects of the game. It’s regarded as one of the world’s best golf qualifications and I’m really pleased I decided to do it now.”
Harper is also looking forward to going back to his old stamping ground at Honiton for the qualifier.
“This is where I started out as a 12-year-old and I stayed there until I was 18,” he added. “It’s a very tight course and I don’t think there were many low scores there last year.”
Harper, who has also been practising at Exeter Golf & Country Club this year, is hoping to go one better if he reaches the final.
He added: “After two second placed finishes it would be nice to win at what would be my final attempt.”
Other players in action at Honiton include Fern Grimshaw (Wessex Golf Centre), Steven Buzza (Exeter Golf & Country Club), James Pickard (Honiton Golf Club), Jack Stevenson (St Mellion Golf & Country Club) and Luke Fraser (Bristol and Clifton).
Coca Cola account manager Paul Dronfield commented: “Powerade enjoys a close working relationship with many pros at their facilities and we are delighted to be associated with such a prestigious event as the PGA Assistants’ Championship at East Sussex National.
“With the next generation of PGA professionals gaining an increased knowledge and understanding of sports science through their degree education programme, they recognise the importance that rehydration plays in achieving maximum performance.”