Kenwick Park Golf Club pro Paul Spence named Midlands Coach of the Year

Paul (centre) collects his Midlands PGA award from Robert Maxfield, chief executive of the PGA, and his mentor Eric Sharp EMN-190131-114745002
Paul (centre) collects his Midlands PGA award from Robert Maxfield, chief executive of the PGA, and his mentor Eric Sharp EMN-190131-114745002

Kenwick Park Golf Club professional Paul Spence has been recognised for a superb 2018 by being named Midlands PGA Coach of the Year.

The hard-working coach was put forward for the Midlands shortlist after winning the Lincolnshire PGA coaching award earlier this month.

Paul Spence has worked with Ashton Turner (right) for 16 years

Paul Spence has worked with Ashton Turner (right) for 16 years

The accolade was reward for more than 18 years of knowledge gained through the PGA, self-funded training, and countless hours on the driving range.

“I was delighted to be considered, let alone win,” Spence said.

“There are so many highly-respected coaches across the region, it is an honour to be thought about in the same way and it means a lot that they have voted for me.

“I’m lucky to have been involved with some fantastic players that have done the hard bit though!”

Spence was mentored by former club professional Eric Sharp, himself a renowned coach who received Honorary Life Membership of the PGA for his work.

Mike Langford, Kenwick Park director of golf, said: “Paul possesses many of Eric’s attributes as a leading coach, one of them is an unassuming personality which perhaps means he doesn’t realise quite how talented he is.”

After injury forced him off the golf course as a gutsy competitor, Spence has devoted his time to helping others, and works on developing strong minds as well as a technique to match.

He has helped golfers of all calibres, but has perhaps gained most recognition for his work with Kenwick Park prodigy Ashton Turner.

Spence has worked with Turner since he was four, and has looked on as he represented his country at every level.

Turner joined the professional ranks late in 2016 and last year they shared the excitement of qualifying for The Open at Carnoustie.

Forever the student, Spence immersed himself in the unique environment of The Open Championship.

While Turner took some time away from the limelight, the coach slipped off to the driving range to watch some of the world’s leading coaches in action, such as Sean Foley and Pete Cowan.

“Myself and Paul have been working together for 16 years now and he’s been there for me 100 per cent of the way,” said Turner.

“I’ve gone from strength to strength and it has undoubtedly been down to his expertise and coaching.

“In my opinion it was never an ‘if’ but rather a ‘when’ Paul would win this award.

“No-one deserves it more and it’s a pleasure to see him receive this recognition for his great achievements.”

Turner is the obvious example of Spence’s coaching talents, but he has helped countless others, reaching as far as the American Collegiate scene and has been part of Lincolnshire PGA’s county men’s and women’s coaching set-up for almost a decade.

Just this month he saw a second of his pupils gain a full England cap when Sam Done made his debut for the men’s team in the Costa Ballena Octagonal international match in Spain.