If Pete Cowen’s golf academy was somewhere in America and not in Rotherham, the top coach is sure it would be a mecca for fans of the game.
Cowen is recognised as one of the world’s elite teaching professionals and is based at his own academy at Kimberworth. He has coached the likes of Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Paul McGinley, David Howell, Henrik Stenson and Danny Willett.
On his new YouTube channel with Worldwide Golf, the coach discusses a number of issues, including working with Rory McIlroy and the rise of big drivers like Bryson DeChambeau.
An out-of-form McIlroy has recently added Cowen to his coaching set up. On the former world number 1, Cowen said: “With a talent like that it just takes a little bit of time and a bit of application. So, it’s work in progress.”
Cowen also talks about the impact of the Covid pandemic on his business in Rotherham. The coach has invested millions into the facility over the years and it now includes a driving range and bays, apitching facility, mini golf putting course and a clubhouse and pro shop. Professionals are employed, teaching members of the public and working to get juniors playing golf.
Cowen said in the video: “Over the last year I think, in total, we’ve been shut down for almost seven and a half months so we’ve lost a lot of revenue.
“People have been frustrated with not being able to come to work so what we’ve been able to do is revamp the range, put new targets, redone the synthetic green, done the short game area. The lads have worked pretty hard trying to get it ready to open.”
The globe-trotting coach also set up operations in Dubai and is unique in having a performance-based fee structure for the professionals that he works with. If they finish in the top 10, he gets a percentage of the winnings. If they don’t finish in the top 10, he doesn’t get paid.
On his setup in Rotherham and the talent in South Yorkshire, Cowen said that he doesn’t think the local community or the North of England recognises just how big the likes of Willett, Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick are in the world of golf.
He added: “They know who Westwood is and Willett is but they are not really big fans, so it has an affect but not a massive affect like it would be if we were in America say, and all those players were brought up from one particular town. All of a sudden it would be a golfing mecca of America.
“Not so much here. When I’m here behind the bar serving a pint, people ask me: “Does Pete Cowen come here very often?!”
Images: Pete Cowen Golf Academy / YouTube