With six-time major winner Nick Faldo stopping by to conduct a clinic, it’s just a matter of time before Galloping Hill Golf Course, including a new home for the New Jersey State Golf Association, and the TaylorMade Performance Lab, becomes the golf hub of the state.

Faldo and Golf Channel host Charlie Rymer conducted a two-hour clinic for The First Tee of Raritan Valley on Wednesday (August 22) at the new TaylorMade Performance Lab (TMPL) at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth. In celebration of the new TMPL at Galloping Hill, one of only 16 facilities nationwide, TaylorMade donated $5,000 to The First Tee of Raritan Valley.

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Galloping Hill, which is owned by Union County and managed by KemperSports, will be the site of the 2016 NJSGA Open, the first time the State Open will be conducted at a public course.Together with TaylorMade, Union County and KemperSports have transformed a popular municipal golf course into a modern teaching facility with 27 holes of golf, and created a new home for public golf in New Jersey.The NJSGA is expected to move into the new 40,000-square foot clubhouse at Galloping Hill early in 2013.

“Who would have ever thought that 10 years ago, a golfer the magnitude of a Nick Faldo would be visiting Galloping Hill,” asked Armando Sanchez, Union County director of golf operations. “This marksa transformation of Galloping Hill to a facility where all golfers can come and play. To have a six-time major champion come here and work with kids is the ultimate. A lot of our older golferswould never have dreamed of this kind of opportunity.”

Thomas McGovern, NJSGA president, was equally impressed.

“This is now one of the best facilities of its kind in the country. We are very excited about our new headquarters coming to Galloping Hill,” McGovern said. “In the last two years, Galloping Hill has come so far, to a place that everyone is talking about. Having golfers the caliber of Charlie Rymer and Nick Faldo coming here is great. There is so much going on here. It is a partnership we are proud to be a part of.”

Faldo, in 1996, created the Faldo Series to give young people opportunity through golf and to help identify and nurture the next generation of champions. Some 38 annual tournaments now take place in 28 countries worldwide, spanning the UK, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. Boys and girls aged 12 to 21 take part.

“I remember watching golf on a black-and-white TV as a child. When I saw the 1971 Masters on our first color television, I fell in love with the sport,” Faldo told an audience of 500 onlookers of all ages at Galloping Hill.“I went out every day and hit balls from dawn to dusk. I tried all sorts of things. If I could start all over again, I’d like to learn golf this way. I was a tinkerer,” said Faldo, who turned 55 in July.

Faldo turned pro in 1976 after one year at the University of Houston.With no major titles, he revamped his swing under David Ledbetter in the mid-80s after a series of collapses in major tournments. By 1987, Faldo had won his first of three British Opens. He has also won three Masters.

“The Faldo Series has impacted 7,000 kids all over the world. We give young kids a chance to learn. I get good feedback from the kids I try to help. I was fortunate to get opportunities when I was a teenager.

"The thing about golf is it doesn’t matter of you are a beginner or the No. 1 golfer in the world. You still have to put in the time and think about your balance, alignment and grip,” Faldo added.

“The kids here did well today. They are very adaptable. We gave them a couple of ideas out there. It’s a fun thing to get kids to learn the game the right way.”

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