Golf proves driving force for students

Shaun Hope (left) and Cliff Jackson
Shaun Hope (left) and Cliff Jackson

STUDENTS will be given extra drive after a college teamed up with a golf club.

Days after Rory McIlroy became the youngest winner of the US Open at just 22, Hartlepool College of Further Education announced it is starting a golf academy in a bid to support the stars of the future.

The new partnership between the Stockton Street college and Seaton Carew Golf Club is said to be the first of its kind in the North-East.

Students enrolling at the golf academy will receive coaching three times a week from Seaton Carew’s PGA professional Cliff Jackson, access to the college’s new sports fitness facilities, athlete support from sports therapists and nutritionists and access to Seaton’s highly-rated links course.

Michael Bretherick, principal and chief executive at the college, said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for talented golfers and ambitious students.

“This programme won’t be for everyone, but it is an outstanding opportunity for young people with the right combination of talent, aptitude and ambition.”

Shaun Hope, head of sport and public services at the college, added: “This academy has long been an ambition of the college as we are fully aware of the popularity of golf across the town and the Tees Valley.

“We are confident this can be another very successful addition to our academy offer.”

The aim of the scheme is to give students under the age of 19 and studying on a full-time course at the college the chance to develop their sporting skills alongside a successful education.

Cliff said: “This is a great opportunity for golf in the region.

“Obviously there are benefits for Seaton Carew with increased usage and exposure to the course and there is a benefit to all clubs if their junior players enrol at Hartlepool College and are accepted into the academy.

“I am sure each individual will improve from professional coaching three times a week and represent their clubs as a stronger member.”

For more information on the golf academy offer contact the college on (01429) 292888 or email