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The prospect of becoming a PGA professional is one of the most exciting dreams that many golfers can have. The PGA qualification is the most respected golfing qualification in the world and will open the door to a host of possible careers, endless experiences and the opportunity to work in an industry that you are truly passionate about.
Whether you are coming straight from school or a mature student the opportunity to become a PGA professional is a very real one. For males the handicap limit is six while, for women, it is eight.
The PGA offers a highly sophisticated programme which is recognised globally as a world leader, with three courses available. There’s a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf and a BSc Applied Golf Management Studies degree, both of which are taught in partnership with the University of Birmingham. The third offering is a Diploma in Higher Education in Professional Golf which is in association with the University of the Highlands and Islands and has close links with the world-class Royal Dornoch.
For many aspiring and talented youngsters the chance to follow your dream and play professional golf for a living is the ultimate offering, but The PGA programme prepares students for a wide range of careers, offering training in every facet of the game – you can learn about aspects such as sports science, equipment and technology, retail, golf club management, coaching, custom fitting and managing golf events.
Modern teaching methods have moved at a rapid rate in recent years and you will become equipped to understand all parts of the game and therefore be perfectly placed to work in any area of the golf industry, whether that’s coaching, retail, fitting, management or anything else. PGA Professionals fill more than 80 different job roles and the possibilities are vast.
There is also the opportunity to work all over the world – The PGA has 8,000 members, with 1,500 of these working internationally in more than 80 countries.
Meet Daniel Messom, a third-year PGA student who is attached to Market Harborough GC and who was named as the Assistant of the Year in the Midlands in his second year.
“I want to be a general manager going forwards so everything we’re learning here is really putting it into practice. I’m really loving it and the facilities at the PGA are fantastic. Typically I work day-to-day in a management role so being able to be really practical is something that I’ve really enjoyed and I've loved studying things like sports science as it is so different to what I’m used to. For anyone thinking about doing their PGA training I really recommend it, you get to meet some fantastic people and make great connections and it’s something that I’m going to look back on in the future and think this was a great decision. I’m really excited to have a career in golf.”
Sophie Speariett is another third-year PGA student. She has been able to combine her studies with working at the Tommy Fleetwood Academy at Formby Hall in the North West of England.
"I did a sports therapy degree and after that I taught golf at Camp America. I wanted to link golf and sports therapy and that’s how I got into doing my PGA qualification. My first and second years have gone really well so far, I’m working in the shop at Formby Hall and coaching a lot more as well now so it’s really good that I can combine that alongside the studies and make money while I’m learning."
Her plan now is to pursue a career in coaching and put into practice all the knowledge that she has gained over the past three years.
"I’ve got a background in sports therapy so I did quite a lot of sports science and fitness and I started to link that more to golf and, by revisiting that now, is really good for my coaching. It’s a lot better than doing a full-time degree because you're actually getting the experience of doing the job - when I graduate I’d like to stay at Formby Hall and do more coaching. We’ve just started to get more ladies into golf so I’d like to really push with that a little bit more and carry on doing the juniors.”
Find out more about becoming a PGA Professional by visiting The PGA’s dedicated website draft.pga.info. You can download a brochure, get inspired and take your first steps towards a career in golf
Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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