Level Par Coaches: Tara Delaney

​​Level Par is a four pillar programme for golf inspired by the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Policy that centres on establishing fairness for all in Leadership and Governance, Coaching and Officiating, Active Participation and Visibility

  • 06 December 2019

​Caption: Tara Delaney during the 106th Irish PGA Championship (Image by Golffile)

Tara Delaney’s golf resume would not be out of place among some of the world’s best players’. Hailing from Co. Carlow, the Irish Girls’ Close Championship in 2004 was her first big golf win nationally but Packie Bonner and the Italia ’90 hysteria are her earliest memories of sport. 

‘A Nation held its breath,’ she remembers. 

Delaney received her first set of golf clubs at 10 years of age from Santa, and she hopes that many more young children will be influenced to do the same as she continues her golf journey as a PGA Professional Coach. 

A story which began at Carlow Golf Club with her family, evolved to the International stage, Curtis Cup and Vagliano Trophy Teams, three individual NCAA Career wins for Kent State University and, ultimately, to the Ladies European Tour (LET). 

Although making the decision to hang up her competitive playing spikes, her high achievements have not stalled. She is a fully qualified Class A PGA Professional and was awarded The PGA in Ireland Year 2 Trainee of the Year title in 2019. 

Delaney is one of six female PGA Professionals involved in the Level Par Coaching Programme. Research has shown that, where a female coach is involved, the number of junior girls at that club or facility doubles. Just thirteen of 600 PGA Professionals in Ireland are female, therefore, in order to safeguard the future of the sport, more female coaches are necessary. 

What are your hopes for the Level Par coaching programme?
I would like to increase the awareness surrounding the benefits female PGA Professionals can bring to the golf industry. I would also like to encourage more people trying, playing and participating in the game, women and girls in particular. 

On a personal level, I would like to further develop my own skills, knowledge and abilities to better assist and benefit those I come into contact with daily.  

Who was your role model growing up? Who do you look up to now?
Annika Sorenstam really put female golf on the map when I was growing up. She opened my eyes to what possibilities were out there. 

I admire Tiger Woods for what he has done for the game of golf in general and his incredible ability throughout the years to be able to pull off the shots when he really needed to.   

Do you have a favourite quote?
‘Shoot for the moon...if you happen to miss you’ll still land amongst the stars!’

Three learnings I have taken from the programme to date are:
1. Don’t be afraid to be different. Put your own unique spin and personality into what you do. 
2. There are a wide variety of paths to take, one size does not fit all, understanding what applies to me and identifying my own trajectory based upon that is significant.   
3. Through opening up and sharing in a group I believe this has stimulated thought and self-reflection regarding a wide variety of topics. Many of us have had the same or very similar experiences, concerns and biases, unbeknownst to one another. Discussing and reviewing such matters I believe better allows for change to be planned and realised.    
What does sport/golf mean to you?
I believe the experiences I have had to date in sport, and most particularly in golf, have shaped who I am as a person today. I have experienced the highs, the lows and public trials of participating in sport but sport has also afforded me the opportunity to travel to places I most likely never would have seen and meet people who have helped me created many memories and taught me many lessons about life, deference and respect.  

I am passionate about the game of golf and would like to see more people trying the game. I truly believe the opportunities it can bring, provides young people in particular with an outlet in which the skills necessary to navigate life with some success are surreptitiously taught. 

What advice would you give to young boys or girls who are considering a) playing golf, b) coaching golf?
(a) Try it! Ask a parent, grandparent or someone you trust who plays golf to take you out to the range or golf course a few times. One suitable club and a few balls is all it takes. Now more than ever there is access to more and more cost effective, non-traditional forms of golf and the equipment to do so can be readily got within budget. 

(b) Understand what causes particular ball flights inside out from the start. The internet provides access to the ideas and teachings of a variety of coaches Spend some time and watch their YouTube/Instagram videos and clips, learn from them and develop your own ideas and style but also be very careful the information you are looking at online is reputable and is correct. 

Borrow other people’s ingredients, but make your own recipes!!

Outside of golf (work), what are your hobbies?
Watching movies
Listening to podcasts
Completing logic puzzles and games 
Hiking/ Walking Trails
Coast-eering & Sea Kayaking 

If you could wave a magic wand, what one thing (if anything) would you change about golf? 
I would love if the culture/environment of golf clubs could become even more inclusive. 

Anything else you would like to share?
If you want to do or try something, find a way to do it. If it feels right, go with the flow. If it feels wrong, don’t think about it, just walk away. It’s not failure if it taught you something! 

A book recommendation:
Best Golf Book I’ve Read: Quantum Golf: The Path to Golf Mastery by Kjell Enhager

A podcast recommendation: 
Podcasts: The Drop Zone-GOLF.com Podcast, Me and My Golf, Sky Sports Golf Podcast, The Fitting Room, Feherty.
107th Irish PGA Championship 2017 BH8A3636.JPG
Image by Golffile

Tara Delaney Notable Playing Achievements: 
- Irish Girls Close Champion (2004)
- Irish Open Stroke Play Champion (2004 & 2005) 
- Irish International 2004-2009
- Curtis Cup, Bandon Dunes, USA (2006)
- Vagliano Trophy, Fairmont St Andrews (2007)
- Kent State University 4 Year Golf Scholarship 2004-2008 which included three individual career wins, ten team titles and twenty-one top 10 finishes. Also named Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year (2005) and received an All-American Honorable Mention (2007).
- Ladies European Tour & LET Access Tour Player (2009-2015), Career highlights inlcude a T15 finish at the French Open, and a T9 finish at the LET Access Costablanca Open.
- PGA Irish Region Circuit Individual Career Highlights include; 3rd at the Nuremore Irish PGA Assistants' Championship (2019), T1 at The Kellys Resort Rosslare Pro Am (2017), T1 at the Blackbush Ladies Assistants Pro Am (2017), 2nd at the Nuremore Irish PGA Assistants' Championship (2017) and 2nd at The Conor O'Dwyer Charity Pro-Am (2017).

Notable Coaching Achievements 
- Fully Qualified Class A PGA Professional 
- ASQ Level 1 &  2 Certified Coach
- Awarded The PGA in Ireland TGI Year 2 Trainee of the Year 2019
- Ranked Top 5 PGA Rookie Trainee within my class - UK & Ireland 2018 
- SNAG (Starting New At Golf) Certified Coach (2012)