Golf Coach Richie Marsden amazed by friend Tommy Fleetwood’s rise after Ryder Cup success

Richie Marsden opens up about his relationship with Tommy Fleetwood. (Credit: Andrew Jones)

Friend of Tommy Fleetwood, Richie Marsden, admits it is incredible to see what the Southport-born golfer is achieving in the game.

It’s been an incredible journey for Fleetwood in the last few years as he has risen to the top of the game; and his most recent accomplishment was playing a key role in Team Europe’s Ryder Cup success, winning four points.

Marsden, the pro at Fleetwood’s first golf club, Formby Hall Golf Club, has spent plenty of time with the 27-year-old over the years playing and practising, as he explained:

“He used to live in Ainsdale and when he wasn’t away on tournament weeks he’d be here all the time or even before he turned pro as he was an amateur he’d be down here practising.”

Whilst emphasising that he didn’t coach Fleetwood, Marsden, 33, relived the time between 2014 and 2016 when he helped him in whatever way he could.

“There was a time when Tom had gone to work with Pete Cowan and during that time when he couldn’t see Pete he would come and practice here and I’d help him a little bit.

“I’d just kind of be his eyes and ears and help him out which was ace. As a young coach, to be able to help. I just videoed a few swings and showed them back to him, stuff like that, but I didn’t do anything to mess him up so I like to think I did alright,” he said.

Marsden attended the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles with Fleetwood to watch the Friday afternoon session. Did he think then that in four years’ time Fleetwood would be playing in it?

“I thought he would make it as a pro. I wasn’t sure if he would be top ten in the world. That’s gone above and beyond what I would have expected.

“We’re now comparing him with the best players in the world and he’s there holding his own every week. He’s right up there and beating most of them. It’s insanely impressive,” said Marsden.

He also admitted he had a chuckle watching Fleetwood celebrate.

He added: “I’ve never seen him that animated before because he’s normally quite reserved and quite contained so to see him running and jumping around on people was quite amusing.

“It will add to his confidence because he’s still growing in confidence. You can see that as simple as how he wears his hair. He just does it because that’s what he wants to do and he’s not bothered that’s just him.”

Fleetwood relocated to Knutsford so Marsden sees less of his friend but he did drop him a text after the Ryder Cup success to congratulate him on the victory.

He continued: “I messaged him on the Wednesday morning because I knew he would be inundated with messages.

“Typical Tommy, he said thanks and that he hoped the family was well and said to keep busy and to keep working on getting better every day. It sums up his mentality.”

Marsden coaches golfers of all ages. (Credit: Andrew Jones)

Marsden himself is now a full-time coach and whilst he still tries to find time to play the game he loves; his focus lies with his coaching. One of his students, Adam McLean, has just earned a call-up to the England U18 squad.

“Adam had barely picked up a club so I’ve taken him from there to this stage now. The U18 squad – and he’s only 14,” said Marsden.

“He’s made that level really quickly which is incredibly impressive and I can take some credit because I’ve helped guide him but that’s all it has been because he is incredibly hard-working.”

Married to wife Alix, Marsden became a father in June to a baby girl named Cora. His wife and daughter live in Northern Ireland with Marsden flying in to Liverpool from Belfast every week to coach.

Most would find balancing that personal and professional life tough but Marsden explained that it is in fact the opposite.

He said: “Home life is amazing! I fly in on a Wednesday morning. I coach Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning and then fly back Saturday afternoon. I’ve also got a venue over there.

“I’ve got a nice balance at the minute because when I’m here it’s full on into my coaching and the people I am seeing and then I go home to the wife and the baby.

“Coaches out on tour can be away for weeks. People see how glamorous it looks to be a superstar golfer but Tommy is away a lot of the year and he’s got a young lad himself, Frankie, so it must be quite tricky.”

Marsden has played alongside Tommy Fleetwood; now, he is looking to find the next one.