Foster to mastermind Verdura Golf Academy redevelopment

Tom Foster and Maria Verchenova
Leading European coach Tom Foster is preparing to embark on a new chapter in his golf career after being named as the new director of instruction at Verdura Resort in Sicily.
Foster has worked in a number of specialist roles at some of Europe’s top venues since first qualifying as a PGA professional in 1993 including Terre Blanche Hotel Spa Golf Resort in France, Crans sur Sierre in Switzerland, and spending five years as an advisor and coach on the Ladies’ European Tour (LET).

The 46-year-old – who has helped train numerous top players including Maria Verchenova, the first Russian player to become a full-time member of the LET, and India’s Sharmila Nicollet – will take up his new position at Verdura in the new year, and one of his main roles will be to oversee the redevelopment of the resort’s golf academy.

From January, Foster will work closely with Verdura’s golf manager Gianluca di Biase to create a new coaching philosophy and tuition programme at the teaching facility, which will include the installation of the latest Trackman launch monitor, 3-D motion force plates and SAM PuttLab technology.

“We are very excited that Tom is going to be joining us, and to have recruited someone of his experience, reputation and vast teaching knowledge is a real coup for the resort,” said di Biase.

“His addition to the Verdura team means that we will not only be in a position to offer a first-class teaching service to our members and guests, but also be able to change our approach to coaching by offering a range of new programmes. This will allow us to not only focus on key areas such as the long game, short game and club fitting, but also optimise each individual’s game with respect to their own physiological capabilities, as well as help improve their general and specific golf fitness.”

Foster said: “I am really thrilled to be a part of the Verdura family. The golf and resort facilities here are already first class, and the plans for the future development along with the energy and drive of the owner, management and staff made my decision very easy. I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to help turn the academy into one of the finest golf learning centres in Europe.”

Host of the Sicilian Open in 2012 and nestling adjacent to the Mediterranean in 230 hectares of stunning landscape, Verdura, a Rocco Forte hotel, is ideal for a golf break and features two outstanding 18-hole championship courses – the East Course and West Course – as well as a par-three nine hole course, double-ended driving range and excellent golf academy.

Designed by top architect Kyle Phillips and built to the highest specifications, Verdura’s three links-style layouts offer a golf experience to remember, with tee times arranged at 12-minute intervals to ensure free-flowing play, five sets of tees making the courses playable for golfers of all abilities and one of its courses dedicated daily to two-ball play only.

Verdura has enjoyed an impressive last 12 months with bookings increasing dramatically across its golfing sectors in 2016, and its success on the course has been reflected off it with the resort winning a number of top international accolades including, most recently, being named as Italy’s number one golf venue in a recent Golf World list of continental Europe’s top 100 golf resorts.

Situated on Sicily’s southern coast between Agrigento and the fishing city of Sciacca, an 80-minute drive from Trapani and Palermo airports, Verdura Resort features 203 rooms and suites – all with a sea view.

Away from the fairways, the resort features an array of other luxury sports. spa and lifestyle facilities while guests also have the opportunity to sample a taste of the gastronomy, wine, history and culture that has made Sicily famous across the world.