BOB TORRANCE, coach extraordinary, whose charges include triple Major Champion Padraig
Harrington , was among the four ProSport Media 5-Star Professionals announced at the
Annual Awards night and Gala Dinner in Murcia, Spain.
In the detailed citation of the Scot’s distinguished career, a man whose son, Sam, became a
great European Ryder Cup player and Captain, Bob Torrance was described as having been “A
PGA member for approaching 50 years during which time he has earned a place among the
world’s greatest coaches who could be likened to the greatest of them all, John Jacobs, with the
wisdom and simplicity of his teaching.
“One of this coach’s charges, namely Padraig Harrington, won three Major Championships, and
all the signs are that this sublime partnership has more such successes ahead.”
Another winner was the Frenchman Jean-Etienne Lafitte, who served for many years as a
director of the PGAs of Europe and as chairman of its Education Committee and: “one of the
most influential figures in both the development of professional golf in France over the past
couple of decades, and of The PGAs of Europe since 1989.
“During the same period he became one of those missionaries who, under the Golf
Development Programme funded by The R&A and implemented by The PGAs of Europe, has
been a consultant/teacher taking golf to faraway places including South America and Africa.
The PGA of France described how he created their education programme and is ‘maybe one of
the country’s best teachers.’ ”
Germany’s Günther Kessler, coach of the country’s current No.1 player, Martin Kaymer was
another recipient whose accolade recorded his “36 years experience in the coaching of players
of both genders and all ages and whose knowledge and experience have benefited a whole
procession of golfers of varying abilities.
“Among the ranks of The PGA of Germany he has reached the highest qualification level of G1…
and was voted Youth Coach of the Year in 2004 and Teacher of the Year in 2006 and 2007.”
The fourth winner, Timo Rauhala of Finland is also the coach of his nation’s finest players,
Mikko Ilonen and Minea Blomqvist…“but it is not just his influence at the elite end of golf that
earns him this award, he stages also, annual coaching clinics for the PGA of Finland for both
trainees and qualified pros.”
The Board of the PGA of Finland, describes him as ‘showing a passion for the education of our
members and wanting them to become better teachers themselves in every way, never
hesitating to share his knowledge with all.’