Lee Valley are delighted to have Pro Golfer Ian Stafford as part of the team. Ian is now offering coaching and training here at Lee Valley. He’s available to teach everyone from the absolute beginner, who has never even held a golf club, to passionate golfers seeking to turn pro.
Curious to know more? So were we! We pulled Ian aside and asked him a few questions…
When did you first swing a club?
I always had an interest in golf but started properly when I got a set of junior clubs for christmas when I was 9
How did you become a PGA Pro?
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a PGA Professional, as soon as I finished school and played my final season of boys golf I started my 4 year PGA apprenticeship. I did the first 2 years under Paddy O Boyle in Bandon and the last 2 under Ger Broderick in Kinsale Golf Club.
What’s your favourite aspect about coaching?
That would have to be meeting new people all the time and also the satisfaction in helping people to improve. I especially enjoy getting a text message from a customer after a good round!
You have a great record at producing top quality junior golfers. What is the secret to your success?
If I told you it wouldn’t be a secret!! For me its all about creating the right learning environment and being open and accesible as a coach. Having been at one stage the junior golfer desperate to get better every day I played I know the importance of having someone who can guide you in the right direction and I just try to be that person.
What’s your favourite course in Ireland and why?
Lee Valley of course! My father brought me along to the official opening here in 1993 when I was 11 years old and it was an experience I’ll never forget to see Christy and Fred play alongside Eileen Rose and Eavan. I didnt ever think at the time I would be back here as teaching professional and im delighted that I am!
What is your proudest golfing moment?
As a player it would have been representing Ireland in 1999 and as a coach would be seeing some of the players I have coached achieve the same. Hopefully in a few years time we will have a photo in the clubhouse of a Lee Valley Junior wearing the green blazer of Ireland
If you weren’t golf Pro what would you like to do?
You mean what would I do if I had to do a real job? Not sure about that….. it would have to be mainly outdoors anyway!
Outside of the teaching, what do you like to do?
We have 2 children under 4 so they take up most of my time at the moment but I wouldnt have it any other way. I love the sport of rugby and try to see Munster play everytime they are in Cork.