By Gareth Bennett
Morgan, from Hereford, is a very talented young golfer. Still only 16 years old, he currently studies at The Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, but he already has a phenomenal list of achievements.
His natural talent for golf was spotted at the age of eight when his father Steve, also a keen golfer, took him to Herefordshire Golf Club at Wormsley, to try out a fun activity together. Morgan appeared to be a natural, even the way he held the club was just instinctive.
The staff at the club were blown away at how good he was at the sport, and they have all helped to coach and mentor him over the years. Morgan’s parents Steve and Ali are extremely grateful for all the support Herefordshire Golf Club have given Morgan.
The young sportsman’s dedication to his sport has led to some amazing accomplishments on the golf course, starting with winning the Herefordshire & Shropshire County Pee Wee Tour when he was just nine years old. This is like a Junior PGA, and Morgan won it three times in a row.
A year later he came 2nd in the qualifiers for the World Championship in San Diego. Unfortunately, he came down with tonsillitis, but it was still a great experience. By the age of 12 Morgan was playing in the under 14’s County League, entering and winning men’s events locally.
His success was noticed by England Golf, the governing body for the sport, and he was quickly snapped up to join the squad aged 14. Morgan goes away on talent camps about three times a year, where he gets extra coaching from elite level coaches, and once a month he trains at the Belfry Golf Club. As well as the training with England Golf, he also plays tournaments for England, the latest of which was one in Madrid last March, where Morgan won two out of his four games.
By the age of 15 Morgan was classed as a Scratch Golfer, which in golf terminology means you are a very accomplished golfer. Most budding adult golfers would struggle to achieve this level!
The latest in Morgan’s long list of achievements took place on 21st October, when Morgan came 2nd in the 10 Counties Championship at Radcliffe Golf Club. He only missed 1st place by one shot, which means he has qualified for the under 17’s Championship in Spain next year. This tournament will be televised on Sky Sports.
Future progression for Morgan
Morgan has a few options open to him in regards to his education and progression in his sport when he finishes secondary school in a year’s time. His first choice is Hartpury College in The West Midlands, a specialist sports college much like Loughborough, which is dedicated to sports at university level. He has also been approached by several division 1 colleges in America with offers of two-year scholarships, so there are a few very exciting options to choose from. Then the ultimate goal is to turn professional!
From a strength coach point of view
As Morgan’s strength & conditioning coach, not only do I feel privileged to have such an inspiring athlete in my portfolio, I am also very lucky as years of playing golf in an adult environment makes it really easy to coach him. He has a great movement pattern already, he understands and adapts to complex movements and instructions, which makes my job a lot easier.
One challenge we have been working on is his posture. It may be related to the fact that as a student he sits at a desk for at least six hours a day, which has made him quite kyphotic – kyphosis is an excessive convex curve in the thoracic and sacral region of the spine. This can be fixed by the correct application of exercises and we are already seeing improvements in this area.
When I was first approached by Steve to help Morgan with his training, his golf performance had started to plateau a bit and his father felt he was at the right age to start resistance training. Within four months of strength training Morgan has made incredible progress in the gym, and is now on par with some of the adult athletes I train.
His golf performance shot back up, he is driving the ball about 10 per cent further and he feels more in control of his club due to better grip. The work we have been doing on his balance and posture has given him more confidence on the golf course, but the big one for me is that
Morgan feels more mentally focused which in turn means he is back to his winning ways. Hopefully we will all see this talented young sportsman in the Ryder Cup one day!
Gareth Bennett is a Personal Trainer and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Team GB Paralympic Goalball Team. Home visits and one-to-one sessions are also available. Tel: 07429 132 276 Facebook: Train-GB
Email: email@example.com www.train-gb.co.uk
Founder and editor of FitNet.
Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.