Cheshire County Ladies Golf Association

Cheshire Coach Targets top award

Mark Johnson from Styal Golf Club is one of four finalists for the Coach of the Year Award, sponsored by The PGA. 

The winner will be announced at a gala dinner, hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker, at the Royal Lancaster London on Thursday, 21 March.

Johnson is inspirational in many ways, not least for meeting the challenge of two kidney transplants. Professionally, he raises the bar on running a junior section and freely shares his knowledge with other clubs and coaches. 

He works with golfers of all ages, but has inspired juniors at Styal for 18 years and helped the club achieve GolfMark and SafeGolf. 

Johnson runs junior coaching, finds sponsorship, organises matches and competitions, including the David Horsey Styal Junior Open. Horsey, a former club junior and now a four-time European Tour winner, attends the event. 

Johnson is also a great fundraiser, running an annual ‘Lads v Dads’ day for charities including Kidneys for Life and raising almost £12,000 so far. 

He commented: “It’s an honour to be nominated for the award and really nice to be recognised and appreciated for my efforts over the years. Whether I win or not, it’s a great achievement to be a finalist.”

His challengers for the award are two West Midlands coaches, Philip Akers from The Belfry and Aaron Lansberry from Hatchford Brook Golf Centre, and Stuart Disney from Mendip Golf Club, Somerset. 

England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: “Coaches are so important to our enjoyment of this great game. They inspire beginners, keep us going when we hit a bad patch and celebrate with us when we listen to their advice and it all comes together! These amazing finalists really are heroes of the game and go above and beyond to share their pleasure in golf.”

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