PGA News

Dillon takes on top PGA role in Ireland

Conor Dillon knows he will have a hard act to follow when he succeeds long-serving Michael McCumiskey at the helm of The PGA in Ireland.

Conor DillonMcCumiskey will retire from his role as the Irish regional manager at the end of April having spent more than three decades helping to grow the game in the country.

“I am delighted to have been appointed the new manager of The PGA In Ireland,” said Dillon, a PGA Professional who hails from Cork and began working alongside McCumiskey at the beginning of March. “I can’t wait until the COVID-19 restrictions ease so I can personally meet PGA Members.

“Michael has represented the region exceptionally well over a long period of time and has been very generous sharing his knowledge during the transition. I’m very gratefulfro that.

“I’ve enjoyed close business relationships with The PGA’s marketing and training teams for many years and have been impressed with the people and the vision communicated. Therefore I felt it was a very exciting time to be joining.”

Dillon was first introduced to golf at the age of 10 when he caddied for his father. Although not instantly drawn to golf, he soon became passionate about and pursued a career in the game.

After completing his PGA training with the help of Garry Nicholson at Douglas Golf Club and Leonard Owens at Royal Dublin, Dillon soon developed a keen interest in the commercial side of the industry.

“I moved to Germany after qualifying where I had the role of Central Europe custom-fitting manager for Mizuno,” he explained.

“I then relocated to England to work for PGA Partners, Golf Pride. I began by managing sales for the UK and Europe and my role expanded to lead sales, marketing and operations for the UK, Europe, Middle East and Africa.”

Asked what his vision for The PGA in Ireland is, Dillon added: “In my previous roles, I have always had a strong emphasis on servicing my customers with excellence, with my new role, I will strive to increase and improve the quality of member engagement.

“I will draw on the many experiences I have learnt from throughout my career to promote continued success within The PGA.

“I will of course bring a different style to the role but will continue to actively engage with Members, create good content to promote tournaments as well as the business services that our full membership provides.”

The PGA and PING extend 25-year partnership

Leading golf equipment manufacturer, PING, has extended its long-standing relationship with The PGA past a quarter of a century after becoming a Principal Partner.

The two parties have enjoyed a close association dating back to 1996 when PING became the official sponsor of The PGA’s Training Academy at its Belfry headquarters.

Since then, PING has continued to support and help develop the next generation of PGA Professionals as a much-valued ‘Education Partner’. 

As part of the new five-year agreement, PING will also continue to provide engaging, educational content for The PGA’s world-renowned education programme and ongoing CPD platform PGA Learn, while also supporting the Association’s Foundation Degree course.

“PING has enjoyed an excellent relationship with The PGA for over a quarter of a century and the support of the PGA Member has played a significant part in the strength and success of the brand over that period,” said Lisa Lovatt, PING Europe managing director.

“In 2019, we celebrated the 60th anniversary since our inception and we are looking forward to many more years of success with the support of The PGA, in what is an exciting time in the organisation’s development. 

“We look forward to pushing on and working closely with PGA Members in the years to come, as we continue to help golfers to play their best through educational support and an unwavering commitment to pioneering product engineering and custom fitting.”

Richard Barker, PGA executive director – business development, commented: “The PGA is delighted to extend its partnership with PING – one that is among the longest-standing in our history. 

“PING continues to be a fantastic partner for our Association and for the last 25 years has played a key role in the training and development of thousands of PGA Professionals who have come through our training programme at the training academy - known to everybody here as PING House.

“We look forward to working with Lisa Lovatt and her team as she embarks on an exciting new chapter in PING’s history as its new managing directormmand we welcome them onto our PGA Principal Partner programme.”

Paul Wiseman, The PGA’s executive director – education, commented: “PING is an iconic brand in the world of golf and as such is an ideal partner for The PGA Training Academy which is recognised globally as world-leading.  I am delighted to see this partnership renewed and enhanced with The PGA and the trainees benefitting in many ways from this continued association and friendship between PING and The PGA.” 

PGA pro chips in to beat breast cancer

Short game specialist Stuart Smith is chipping in to help Breast Cancer UK  by giving the charity some of the proceeds from sales of the latest addition to his range of Heavenly Hybrid clubs.

Smith, an advanced PGA Professional based at Thetford Golf Club, Norfolk, has invented a club that is designed to help golfers when their ball is just short of the putting surface.

Known as the Chipper, the club comes in Breast Cancer UK orange and grey livery – the grip and clubhead is orange and the shaft is grey. In addition, the charity’s logo is featured on the shaft and the club’s head cover.

“We will give a generous donation to Breast Cancer UK from every Chipper sold,” said Smith.

“A close relative has been diagnosed with the disease and we’re doing our bit in the battle to beat it.”

As well as supporting Breast Cancer UK, the Chipper has the potential to help golfers slash their scores by improving their short game.

“Many golfers struggle around the greens and even more so when there is a bunker in the way,” Smith added.

“Most other chippers out in the market have a 37-40° loft, which is perfect for little bump and runs. But the Heavenly Hybrid Chipper has a 50° loft, which allows you to chip over bunkers and mounds with ease.“

The Chipper, like the others in the range is also 100 per cent shank-proof.

Commenting on the fundraising initiative, Breast Cancer UK CEO Thalie Martin said: “We are delighted that Heavenly Hybrid has chosen to support Breast Cancer UK through sales of its Chipper.

“This partnership follows our very successful Putt for Prevention campaign, which we launched in October 2020. Many golfers and golf clubs across the country participated in the campaign, raising money to help support our vital breast cancer prevention work.   

“The Heavenly Hybrid Chipper has been designed in our corporate colours of orange and grey, making it stand out, whether in the bag or on the golf course.

“We hope many golfers purchase and enjoy the club, which will help lower their handicaps, whilst generating much needed funds for our important breast cancer prevention work.

“Thank you to everyone at Heavenly Hybrid for their generous support.”