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Alex Long

Alex Long O2 Guru

Be Inspired Series

Michael McCrudden

Golf Professional
Roe Park Resort


Michael grew up playing a lot of golf and after studying in Manchester he returned home to the Assistant Professional Job at Royal Portrush Golf Club where he worked for five years.  From there he has worked hard on taking coaching into schools and the community and recently took up the position as Pro at Roe Park Resort. His highlight has been coaching his brother Patrick McCrudden to victory at the North of Ireland Amateur Championship in 2011. 

The alarm clock goes off, time to rise and shine and get myself ready for what the day ahead holds in store. I’m used to the early starts as I’ve been rising early since my teens to get up and play golf and I can’t really complain because my job is my favourite hobby.

I call into the local supermarket to grab a bite to eat and normally it’s a sandwich – not the norm for a morning meal but I need something I can eat in the car on the way to work. As the wife and I work different hours we don't see each other in the mornings so breakfast isn’t really a big deal – I don’t even get a cup of tea most days.

I jump in the car and it's off to Roe Park Resort, Limavady, desperately trying to beat the morning traffic. The drive up to the hotel through the golf course and country park really is a spectacular sight first thing in the morning – it reminds me how lucky I am to work at such a first class golf resort. With the great surroundings, fantastic staff, top quality restaurants and bars as well as swimming facilities and spa treatments it isn’t a surprise that Roe Park is the only four star golfing resort in the North Coast.

I arrive at the golf reception and speak to Katie, Jamie or Wallace, our receptionists, to find out what the day ahead holds. The golf club has been a hive of activity recently with the just launched golf academy which is making golf lessons very exciting for my pupils. The Roe Park Resort is another perfect example of how the North Coast has some of the best golf courses in the world and further justifies our desires to bring the Open Championship back the Northern Ireland!

The first lesson of the day is always exciting, hearing the lawn mowers going in the background and the ‘thwack’ of the golf club hitting that first golf ball, it’s music to my ears. A lot of people at 9am are depressed that they have the entire working day ahead of them so I’m lucky that I get to do a job that I truly love.

The lessons run throughout the morning, maybe it’s a group of ladies up to learn how to play and get a spa treatment after, or a junior golfer, keen to be the next Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke or Graham McDowell. Occasionally I’ll get a regular player who is looking to improve his technique or change it due to an injury that has compromised his regular swing. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of the job.

I often go back to Portrush for a couple of hours or so for some SNAG Golf Coaching at a local school, this is a great modified golfing system allowing beginner golfers to play indoor and outdoor.

It’s a fantastic way to get young people interested in golf at such an exciting time for the sport in Northern Ireland with four majors from three different golfers in just two years.

This is lunchtime, usually another quick sandwich and a cup of tea gulped down whilst trying to do a little work on my own golf game at the driving range for an hour, I still love playing golf and have to stay competitive!

I also love the driving range here at Roe Park, it is the only Floodlit 18 bay driving range in the North Coast, and completely unlike any other driving range you'll find in Northern Ireland – integrated into the beautiful walls which border the golf course and the Coach House Restaurant, with great automatic tees which make playing at the range all the bit easier as your ball repeatedly gets set up for your next shot.

Now I could be back to Roe Park, often for a custom golf club fitting session using the very cool Flightscope Launch Monitor, which shows the customer what exactly is happening with their golf ball, it can measure the speed and spin of the ball as well as measuring the angles of the club face as it hits the ball which could show you what you need to improve on.

With these first class facilities and with the golf academy that we are opening here it may not be long until we’re celebrating a new golfing prodigy from this part of the world.

Time to hit the road and go home, with any luck to be greeted by a nice dinner! Then it's a couple of hours of DIY around our new home, or more often than not a long walk around the seaside with my wife.

It’s great to spend some quality time with her after we’ve both finished our working days. Then we usually relax with a cup of tea and a DVD.

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