Colombian pros learn from the best thanks to The R&A

Colombia has become the latest country to benefit from The R&A’s Working for Golf programme with a recent visit from PGA Master Professional Alasdair Barr.

The 64-year-old from Lavender Park Golf Centre, near Ascot, Berkshire, recently spent 12 days in the capital city of Bogota in a country that has 52 courses but only 12 professionals.

Barr, who has also worked in Ecuador promoting golf as an R&A ambassador, explained his role during his latest venture to South America.

"I am working with the pros and explaining how they can communicate and teach through their skills and to help with their junior programme,” he explained.

"They have already established a good junior programme through the work of Natalia Nicholls, who has done a magnificent job since setting it up. After being with the pros I observed them teach over two days as they taught two groups of 44 kids aged between four and 15.

"It was run at a public course which has had a lot of investment from Taylor Made, so the facilities are excellent. It was very satisfying to see the pros and the kids working together on the junior programme because football is the big passion. There are some role models like Camilo Villegas, who is a global golf star, but pros in Colombia don't earn a lot of money, which is why a programme like this helps them."

Barr's first undertook his role with the R&A in 2002 and has since been across the world promoting golf in his role with the PGAs of Europe.

PGAs of Europe chief executive Ian Randell said: "The PGAs of Europe are extremely proud to partner with The R&A to provide the expertise in delivery of their Golf Development Programme.

"PGA Professionals are leading the way around the globe and utilising their skills, not only as coaches, but as all round golf development experts to work with National bodies to advance the sport in their countries.

"Alasdair is joined by 27 other Golf Development Professionals in our pool of experts, ensuring that whatever the priorities of a country, we can provide the appropriate skills and knowledge to assist them in meeting their aims."