Sheffield golf: coaches attain PGA master pro status

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Peter Ball and Graham Walker have attained the PGA’s highest honour – the status of Master Professional.

They were presented with a commemorative plaque recognising their status by PGA captain John Heggarty during the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

Ball, who is based at Moor View Driving Range in Sheffield, put major winner Danny Willett on the road to stardom and specialises in giving youngsters, many from disadvantage backgrounds, the opportunity to play golf.

“He’s passionate about working with children” said Dr Kyle Phillpots, PGA executive director. “Not just middle class children but all children, especially those who are disadvantaged. Some of them are violent and dangerous and Peter has had to make them hand in knives. Not all of them are violent or bad.”

Ball said: “I’m very proud – not just for myself but all the other coaches who I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from. I’m just a junior coach who tries to inspire kids. Graham (former head professional at Hillsborough Golf Club) takes them to the next level and has done a superb job.

Walker won the county’s Open Championship three times and the Yorkshire PGA championship once.

But it is as a coach he has excelled. He now runs his own academy at the Oaks Golf Club, near Selby.