Millfield, the independent school in Street, Somerset, has named the Desert Springs Resort and Golf Club in the Almeria region of south-east Spain as the official Spanish home for its golf academy.
Next month (December) 15 pupils – 11 boys and four girls aged between 13 and 18 – will be the first to make a four-day visit to the resort to develop their individual golfing skills in warm weather while experiencing a golf course which offers a challenge to players at all levels.
Widely recognised as a school with one of the most extensive range of sporting facilities in Britain – including two 18-hole golf courses and a driving range – Millfield established its golf academy in 1998. Today it is used by 35 pupils, a number which rises during the summer term. They include three England internationals – two boys and a girl.
Pupils are taught by the two PGA golf professionals employed by Millfield. They are its director of golf, Karen Nicholls, and Stuart Wells.
Says Karen: “The unique golf programme we offer at Millfield covers all aspects of the game including technical training, fitness, golf psychology, competitive golf, on course observation and analysis. Our excellent on-site facilities give the pupils the scope to practice all aspects of their game every day of the school year.”
Karen, who with the master in charge of golf, Phil Cookson, initiated the arrangement for a Spanish home for the golf academy, says that they chose Desert Springs because it offers the opportunity for all pupils to benefit from warm weather coaching using quality short game, long game facilities and a challenging golf course to improve their games.
|“The self discipline and self regulation required for success on the golf course provides a model of behaviour that underpins success in all facets of life,” says Millfield School’s headmaster, Craig Considine, pictured here.|
Commenting on the importance and value of golf in schools, and the benefits it brings to the education of pupils, Millfield’s headmaster Craig Considine said: “Golf is a signature sport at Millfield. It provides challenges for our most able and a ‘life skill’ for those who wish to play recreationally. The self discipline and self regulation required for success on the golf course provides a model of behaviour that underpins success in all facets of life.”
During their stay at Desert Springs, the Millfield pupils will play on the resort’s 18-hole Indiana golf course designed by former Great Britain and Ireland Golf Captain Peter McEvoy. They will also benefit from one-to-one tuition in the resort’s golf academy.
Accommodation for the pupils and three staff accompanying them will be in the apartments and villas available for holidays and short breaks at Desert Springs. Meals will be served in the resort’s Croc Restaurant, part of the family-friendly Crocodile Club which is geared up for a wide variety of leisure activities.
Golf at Millfield
|Millfield, the independent school in Street, Somerset, which has named the Desert Springs Resort and Golf Club in the Almeria region of south-east Spain as the official Spanish home for its golf academy.|
For pupils in Millfield’s golf academy, golf lessons are fitted into their timetables and they have the opportunity to play local golf courses twice a week. They compete against some of the country’s top golf clubs including Woburn, Walton Heath, East Devon, Woodbury, Long Ashton and Saunton.
Millfield has chalked up an enviable record of successes during recent inter-school tournaments, including winning the ISGA Home International, HMC Foursomes, World Schools Team and ISGA Schools Matchplay 2007/2008 competitions. The school also won the World Schools Individual Girls Tournament and was runner-up in the Individual Boys’ competition.
Alumni who started playing golf at Millfield and now are big names on the international golf circuit include Brian Barnes, Martin Gregson, Ruth Barry, Pip Barry, Garth McGimpsey, Michael King, Mark Mouland, Alex Marshall, Ben Evans and Luke Collins.
Warm weather winter training camps at Desert Springs
|The golf academy practice grounds at Desert Springs which will be used by 15 of Millfield’s teenage pupils in December to develop their individual golfing skills.|
Desert Springs, Europe’s only international award-winning luxury family resort and championship desert golf course, is proving to be one of the most popular destinations for warm weather winter training camps among the growing number of schools with their own golf academies and teams, currently estimated at around 90 in the UK. Visiting groups have included golfing pupils from Reading Blue Coat School at Sonning-on-Thames, King Edward’s School in Bath and Loretto School at Musselburgh near Edinburgh.
All school golf trips to Desert Springs are bespoke. If desired, the programme can include time away from the golf course for some local sightseeing in what many regard as ‘the real Spain.’
During their stay pupils have opportunities to swim, play tennis and use the gymnasium, trim trail, jogging tracks, paddle tennis and beach volley ball courts.
Desert Springs is easy to reach from the UK, thanks to three international airports. They are: Almeria Airport, around 40 minutes away by road; Murcia Airport, 80 minutes by car, and Alicante Airport which is a drive of less than two hours. Airlines currently flying to the region from the UK include easyJet, Monarch, Ryanair, Jet2, Jetair Fly and Thomas Cook.
Already well-known as a resort specialising in family holidays, Desert Springs is gaining popularity as a centre for warm-weather training for cricketers and footballers, as well as golfers.
A spokesman for Desert Springs said that, depending on the size of the group and its requirements, the total cost of a four-day trip for warm weather training, including flights, would work out at between £350 and £400 per person.
For details of training camps, sporting breaks – including three-day tuition packages with a professional, some including health and beauty treatments in the Day Spa – and family holidays, call the Cheltenham-based Almanzora Group.
For further information contact: The Almanzora Group
Telephone: +44 (0) 1242 680 299