The R&A supports coaching in Ghana

Golf in Ghana continues to benefit from The R&A’s Working for Golf programme with the arrival of PGA Master Professional Alasdair Barr in the country.

The renowned golf coach, who has worked with many leading players including Luke Donald and Ian Poulter, is visiting Ghana for a week to lead instructional sessions for Ghanaian coaches.

Barr will share his teaching methods and best practices and will spend time coaching junior golfers. He has also worked on behalf of The R&A in a similar capacity in Colombia, Ecuador and Zambia.  

There are currently 18 golf courses in Ghana and The R&A is supporting the Ghana Golf Development Board (GGDB) with a €100,000 (£81,000) contribution per annum over three years.

This has enabled Tom Kennedy, originally from Ireland, to take up a national Director of Golf position within Ghana. Earlier this year, he attended The R&A’s Tournament and Referees School held in St Andrews.

The GGDB was established as a joint initiative between The R&A, Paul McGinley Golf Design (Africa), Tullow Oil and the Ghana Golf Association. It was created to help develop the game in Ghana through school and community golf programmes, and to assist Ghana’s golf clubs to become self-sufficient.

McGinley, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain, has redesigned the golf course at Achimota Golf Club in the capital city Accra with the support of Tullow Oil. The project includes a complete reconstruction of the playing surfaces with a focus on maintaining the natural African landscape and distinctive red soil on the site.

The redesigned course will be the first of its kind in Ghana and will open later this year as part of the Club’s 80th anniversary celebrations.

Duncan Weir, The R&A’s Executive Director – Working for Golf, visited Achimota in June 2013 along with McGinley, project manager Joe Bedford, Kevin Quinn of Tullow Oil and Ronnie Hanna, past Chairman of The R&A’s Golf Development Committee.

“The R&A views Ghana as a leading golf-playing nation in West Africa and we are pleased to support the golf development initiatives that the GGDB is implementing, including the redesign of the golf course at Achimota Golf Club,” said Weir.

“The Working for Golf programme is funded by revenue generated by The Open Championship and this development programmes in Ghana could pave the way for a Ghanaian golfer to play in The Open in the future.”

The Ghana Golf Association will send one boy to the Junior Open at West Lancs in England this July. The biennial event sees male and female junior golfers from around the world coming together to compete during Open week.