A world-class facility in Scotland opened by Rory McIlroy is proving popular with new women golfers due to the fact they are getting the chance to be taught away from the public glare.
The Nike Perfomance Fitting Centre at Archerfield Links in East Lothian is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. It was opened by McIlroy on the eve of the 2014 Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen and reached being 500 days’ old with over 600 club fittings having been undertaken.
“The Nike Performance Fitting Centre allows golfers of all standards to come for a fitting or tuition in complete privacy and this is also making it easier for people to be introduced to the game in a friendly and relaxed environment,” said Tom Younger, chief executive of Archerfield Links. “Golfers can rapidly see improvement through the use of the best technology available.”
TPEGS, a company run by Andrew Coltart and Gary Nicol, delivers the majority of the tuition at the facility, but the growing useage by women has just led to Heather MacRae, one of Scotland’s leading professionals, to become attached to Archerfield.
“Lady golfers, especially beginners, can worry about who is watching them,” said MacRae, who had a spell at Gullane during her PGA training and has since played on both the LET and the Tartan Tour. “Golf can be a difficult sport when you are starting out and it is nice that we have three secluded teaching bays here where a pupil has total privacy with their coach. The covered bays inside are all separate as well, so you have a nice private facility for practising, which is good.”
MacRae, a former Ladies British Open Stroke-Play champion, intends to make most of “one of the best facilities in Scotland” herself. After the disappointment of securing just eight starts, three of which were invitations, from the LET card she won 12 months ago, she is not returning to the Qualifying School in Morocco next week. “I have a few invites for next year, and it is an ideal situation for me as Archerfield are supportive of me wanting to still play a bit. It is a no-brainer for me as it’s a great place for me to be moving into the teaching side and also getting to use the Nike facility.”
Angus Moir, general manager of Nike Golf EMEA, described the success of that so far as “wonderful” and Younger added: “Golf clubs need to move with the times and broaden their offering. We have a world-class facility through our partnership with Nike and we will continue to look at ways to make the game more enjoyable.”