Norfolk professional Tungate enjoys his Open Championship experience
PUBLISHED: 09:18 04 August 2017
Jordan Spieth was not the only professional golfer to have a memorable week at the Open Championship – Norfolk’s Mark Tungate also had the time of his life at Royal Birkdale.
The teaching pro from Caldecott Hall Golf Club wasn’t competing at the year’s third Major, but he was very much part of it as a member of the PGA’s coaching team who were there to pass on their expertise to some of the 235,000 spectators at the event,
The 34-year-old was one of 22 professionals on duty at the Open’s Swingzone, where thousands of free 15-minute lessons were given over the course of eight days, and had a whale of time at one of the biggest’s events in world sport.
“It was a big honour to be selected to coach at Royal Birkdale and being part of the Swing Zone certainly lived up to my expectations,” said Tungate.
“It was a brilliant experience, one I will never forget, even though I was exhausted at the end of it! It was hard work – but very enjoyable work at the same time.
“All sorts of people came along, from complete beginners to good standard players who wanted a bit of advice. Our job was to try and help them all.
“Hopefully we helped some players to improve their game – and encouraged others to take it up, which was one of the main aims. There were a lot of youngsters getting involved, which was good to see.”
Tungate was based in Liverpool during his stay, commuting in on the train each morning to the Open venue.
“We started work on the Sunday before the Championship and wrapped things up early on the final day. That gave us a chance to beat the traffic and get home at a reasonable time.
“I drove back and listened to the action on the radio rather than being there myself.
“But I did get the opportunity to see a bit of golf and also had access to the driving range, which meant I could watch the players warming up, which was an impressive sight.”
Tungate is now back coaching at Caldecott Hall and anyone wanting lessons can call him on 07557479967 or visit his Facebook page.