Europe’s best golf coach burgled for sixth time

Pete Cowen's Rotherham-based academy "trashed".

A Yorkshire golf coach who has trained some of the game’s best players was the victim of a robbery at the weekend, for the sixth time in as many months.

Pete Cowen is so respected in the golfing world that 11 of the 12 players who formed Team Europe at last year’s Ryder Cup were coached by Cowen or asked for his help at some point.

On Sunday, just hours after more than 100 youngsters were involved in lessons at the Rotherham-based academy, thugs broke into the centre and, in Cowen’s words, “trashed the place”.

Since the first break-in, six months ago, Cowen has appealed to Rotherham council for support and help securing the centre, but his appeals have fallen on deaf ears. 

‘My fear is golf is dying at grassroots level’ In recent years the academy has produced Tour professionals such as Matt Fitzpatrick and Danny Willett, who currently tops the Race to Dubai, but the latest break in has left Cowen considering his future.

“I’ve been in touch with the various bodies but when you ask for help it falls on deaf ears,” unfortunately, said Cowen. “I’m not looking for any massive handouts as I don’t think you produce great sportsmen and women that way. But we do need a helping hand.

“My fear is golf is dying at grassroots level. If places like mine are forced to close, what hope is there?”

Cowen said he wrote to both the minister for sport, Helen Grant, and local government minister Eric Pickles, without reply. A further letter to the Prime Minister’s office did receive a response, saying that David Cameron “shared his concerns”.

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