PGA News

PGA looking to recruit the next generation of golf professionals

The PGA has launched a fresh recruitment campaign to find and inspire the next generation of PGA Professionals.

The campaign – #PGADraft2021 - calls on the experiences of its Members to help bring to life the huge array of career options available through a career with The PGA.

From launching a golf retail and custom fitting outfit in Qatar, to owning a golf club and running a hugely successful YouTube channel, PGA Members are supporting the campaign to showcase the wealth of rewarding careers both at home and abroad.

PGA Professionals are employed in more than 80 countries and #PGADraft2021talks to those working around the world in areas including coaching, administration, retail and management.

Members interviewed this year include PGA Captain-Elect Sarah Bennett, highly respected performance coach Dr Nicky Lumb, content creator/YouTube star Chris Ryan and junior coach Darren Griffiths, who is based in the Algarve, Portugal.

Closer to home, the campaign explores the career paths of head professionals, club managers and even golf club owners.

Despite the broad spectrum of roles their PGA qualifications have led to, all of them have three things in common. One is the letters PGA after their names – a trio of letters representing a universally recognised qualification that is respected and valued the world over; another is completion of the training programme that set them on their career path.

And, importantly, all were mentored or received guidance from qualified PGA Professionals while training.

Dr Paul Wiseman, PGA executive director – education, said: “The training programme we deliver is recognised globally as world-leading and is the foundation upon which The PGA is built.

“It has been developed over the last 50 years to become a sophisticated education programme delivered in partnership with two leading universities plus tutors and coaches who are experts in their field.

“Having worked in education for over 30 years, I can vouch for the quality and uniqueness of the training programme.”

The PGA offers three routes to qualification: a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf and Applied Golf Management Studies, both in association with the University of Birmingham, and the Diploma in Higher Education in Professional Golf in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

The next intake for all three courses will be in October 2021 and applications are open now.

CLICK HERE to find out more about #PGADraft2021

Gleneagles welcomes new female golfers for love.golf experience

Playing at Gleneagles, the iconic Scottish hotel and global luxury destination, is on many a golfer’s bucket list, but a group of 19 female newcomers to the sport have already chalked it off thanks to a love.golf taster event. 

love.golf, an empowering group coaching experience for women which takes place on the golf course, and Gleneagles, teamed up to offer the fun-filled experience, which sold out within 12 hours of being advertised.

It was led by Gleneagles’ PGA National Academy manager, Matthew Reid, and PGA Professional, Gilbert Hepburn. There was even a surprise visit from Catriona Matthew, returning to the 850-acre Perthshire estate, scene of the famous European Solheim Cup victory she orchestrated as captain in 2019.

Andrew Jowett, Gleneagles’ PGA head of golf, said: “love.golf is a fantastic concept which is perfectly aligned with one of Gleneagles’ wider objectives to give more women, families and children an enjoyable and accessible route into the game.

“Every woman who took part has signed up to a follow-on programme, which is the best feedback we could have wished for.”

Alastair Spink, head coach and founder of love.golf, added: “Our taster events introduce women to the game in a safe, outdoor, distanced environment with supportive, like-minded people, which puts participants at ease. And what better place to try the game than the incredible location of Gleneagles.”

Gleneagles plans to host more love.golf taster events in the near future, ahead of ongoing programmes to welcome more women to the iconic venue and provide a progressive gateway into the game.

Licensed to skill – Bond becomes a SkyCaddie convert

Liam Bond has embarked on his career as a senior by including a new weapon in his golfing armoury – a rangefinder from PGA Partners SkyCaddie.

Bond, the inventor of the in-demand TRS training aid, won the Senior PGA Professional Championship at West Essex by posting a seven under par total of 135 for the 36 holes to finish two shots ahead of Barry Austin.

And he did so by forsaking his usual yardage charts and using a SkyCaddie SX500 GPS loaded with each day’s exact pin positions.

“I’ve always been a yardage book man, and am comfortable with a laser,” said Bond, 50.

“But the SkyCaddie is now the new weapon in my armoury. I honestly didn’t realise the SkyCaddie was this good!”

“It was only my second tournament using the SkyCaddie, but I used it from the first tee to the last. I hadn’t played West Essex before, and it has lots of dog legs which you hit across, but the SkyCaddie told me not only what my carry distances were, it also gave me run-out yardages to the rough and hazards on the other side of the fairway.

“I will look at my SkyCaddie on every hole from now on. Laser simply doesn’t give you the information you need. A SkyCaddie does.”

Like most other elite competitors, Bond has previously sworn by a laser + yardage book combination when playing tournament golf. But SkyCaddie’s new next-generation GPS rangefinders have changed Bond’s habits, as they have for over half the field on the Legends Tour.

“SkyCaddie’s pre-loaded pin yardages are spot on, I checked them against my laser,” he added.

“And with the SkyCaddie I can now aim to a specific landing point for every shot from tee to green, rather than simply lasering to the top of a bunker or to the pin itself.

“I have been playing competitive golf for decades, but after just two events using a SkyCaddie it has completely changed my tee shot routine.

“For carries, runouts, landing points, layups and shots to the green, the SkyCaddie is simply unbeatable.”