SIMON: The training programme has been in existence over 50 years. We now work with two different institutions and students will be awarded either a Foundation Degree or a Diploma HE. The course is open to anyone who is over 18 years of age that has, for males a handicap of 4 or better, for females 6 or better. Being employed by a PGA professional, that they have the required academic criteria and that they would go through a barring disclosure. MICHAEL: I went into it, probably like a lot of people, saying it was the coaching that I’d be most interested in. But sports science and the retail and business elements I found just as valuable, If not more valuable in my now day-to-day role as head professional. MICHAEL: For me, the residential was a chance to meet some of my other colleagues and I’ve made friends on those courses that I’ve made for life. Yeah, the residentials are amazing. I really enjoyed it. CONNIE: Coming to Birmingham I guess, for the residentials and for all the levels of coaching. It was fun, I learnt a lot. Obviously coming from a playing background there was a lot of things I didn’t understand that my coaches were telling me to do. And then once I started learning the theory behind it, it really made a lot of sense. SIMON: The main subject areas are golf coaching, sports science, equipment technology and business. In addition, there are modules on customer service, career development and rules of golf. So the way that people are assessed on the course is through written exams, assignments and practicals. What we are trying to do is make all the assessments representative of the sort of thing that you’re doing as a PGA pro. JENNIFER: You have to put the work in, and you can relate it to people’s issues with golf as a coach. Also, running your own business is quite exciting as well I suppose or, running a large business in golf would be pretty cool too. Just, everything, like the detail that it goes into is really impressive. SIMON: No matter what you do afterwards, after the three-year course you’ve always got that qualification to fall back on. If you do have aspirations to be a tour player afterwards, go for it. If you don’t do it, you can come back and you’ve got the qualification, you can be a teaching pro. You don’t just do coaching, you go through aspects of it. We’re doing custom fitting here today, we did coaching yesterday, we’re doing business studies tomorrow. There are currently over 50 different roles that PGA professionals are performing. These can be from, being a club professional to a coach to working in club management, custom fitting and perhaps even working for some of the top manufacturers. As well of course as being a player. MICHAEL: I applied wanting to be a professional golfer and to be a golf coach, to be honest. Because I thought that was the best job in the world, and I absolutely love coaching but now three and a half years later I’m running a business and getting just as much enjoyment out of that as I would have done the coaching. PAUL: We need to try and ensure that we offer the support and the skills and the knowledge that these graduates can take with them to make sure that they can succeed. CONNIE: There is an online course, you submit your assignments online. You just have to come through and write your exams
you submit your assignments online. You just have to come through and write your exams at the Belfry. Which makes it easy when you’re playing on tour and you’re travelling a lot and your schedule is really packed. You can’t really come through and study full time. PAUL: We’re always looking for ideas and ways of developing the programme further. We look ahead, we look two, three, four, five and even ten years ahead. Where we want the programme to be to remain relevant for the PGA in the future.