Johnny Powell is the longest standing PGA Golf Pro at Hampton Court Palace Golf Club – he’s been teaching golf there for over 10 years.

Hampton Court Palace Golf Club resides within the 750-acre grounds of Home Park (also known as Hampton Court Park). Home Park is situated between Kingston and Hampton Court Palace and is managed by the Historic Royal Palaces. Henry VIII used to hunt deer in Home Park, and the original golf course dates back to 1895.

I asked Johnny when and how he ‘found’ golf and he explains, “I was introduced to the game of golf by my parents when I was 11 years old. They had played for years but have never held handicaps, so it was a fun few months as I learnt, trying to get as good as them. What got me hooked was that I had my first hole-in-one after just 6 months of playing. I remember it so well - especially the Cornetto I received for the accomplishment!”

Pondering on whether Johnny was sporty all-round, and what was so inspiring about golf, Johnny said “I always enjoyed all the sports I played, whether it was football, cricket, tennis or golf. What I loved about golf most, was that every shot gave me the opportunity to have the sensation of scoring a goal in football. The challenge of executing every style of shot (driving, chipping, putting) and doing it well gave me a sense of achievement. Furthermore, what I liked even more was that ‘bad’ shots sometimes were my best performing ones. The hole-in-one I mentioned earlier was probably one of my worst shots in my life but when it went in the hole it certainly didn’t feel like it!”

Johnny says, the term ‘good at golf’ is relative, stating it didn’t take long to enjoy the game and once you are hooked and you keep playing, getting good doesn't take a long time – there is hope!

Johnny is a PGA Professional, and I asked him what this actually is and how one could achieve this status. “A PGA Professional means that you are a member of the Professional Golfers Association. To get this accreditation you must have attended Birmingham University and achieved a degree in golf. This would mean passing theory and practical exams on coaching, rules and tournament organisation, equipment technology, sports science, business management, and your playing ability. If you wanted to become a PGA, you can find out the requirements and how to enrol on The PGA website.” 

I know Johnny as a golf teacher (I’ve been having occasional lessons since I was six years old), but I was keen to find out if he still entered competitions himself, and he said “I used to play tournaments in my early professional career, but as a father of two young children, my time has switched from practicing and playing to having fun with my kids. I do miss the adrenaline rush of playing professionally so when they are both of school age, I will get a day off back to myself and the practice needed to compete at a consistent level will resume.”

So, how does a hole-in-one feel….?! “As mentioned earlier, I got one in my first six months of playing but I have been lucky enough to get another two. They felt great! Some would argue there is a degree of luck, which my first certainly was, but the other two were perfect shots. A member at Hampton Court has thirteen! Definitely the most I’ve known anyone to have.”

So how much do you love teaching golf and seeing people improve their skills and game? “I am very fortunate to have a job I love, where I make people smile and help them achieve their goals. Knowing I’m doing this is very rewarding and keeps me motivated to help the very competent professional golfer or the first-time golfer. The challenge is always the same, helping to lower their scores and helping create more confident happier golfers.”

You can book a lesson with Johnny here - he offers all first-time enquiries a HALF PRICE one-hour lesson, a great way to see how your golfing ambitions can be achieved.