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Professional T H E



M E M B E R S ’


Volume 14 Issue 12 December 2018

The PGA and The R&A



Distance-enhancing drivers


Strength & conditioning: The key to lower scores


Career tips for self-employed pros


John Paul - PGA Professional Whickham Golf Club

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D E C E M B E R The

Professional THE OFFICIAL PGA MEMBERS’ MAGAZINE Editor: Jane Carter Managing Editor: Nick Bayly ( PGA News and Features: Steven Carpenter (; Adrian Milledge ( Coaching: David Colclough


Employment opportunities: Yvonne McPhillips ( Photography: Getty Images, Adrian Milledge Design: Barbara Stanley PGA National Headquarters Centenary House The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield West Midlands B76 9PT Tel: 01675 470 333 Fax: 01675 477 888 The Professional Golfers’ Association Limited accepts no responsibility for the products or services offered by the advertisers in this publication nor does it necessarily agree with any views expressed, statements or claims made by the advertisers in this publication. ©The Professional Golfers’ Association Limited 2018 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photography and recording, without the written permission of the copyright holder, application for which should be addressed to the copyright holder (PGA). ®PGA, the Crest and PGA Pro – the Heart of Golf are registered trademarks of The Professional Golfers’ Association Limited. Prostate Cancer UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1005541) and in Scotland (SC039332). Registered company 02653887


Professional T H E



M E M B E R S ’


A special focus on the work of The R&A in growing the game

39 Honouring Jones’s legacy

A look behind the scenes at the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta

41 Rules of Golf

A visual guide to the key on-course rules changes in 2019



Editorial assistant: Kelly Lewis Advertising sales: Ben Foster (; Keith Foster (


16 Modernising the ancient game

Marketing: Antje Derks Contributors: Phil Barnard;; Nicole Wheatley; Angela Youngman

2 0 1 8


Improving your lives

Julie Rawes, The PGA’s Director of Human Resources

PGA News


Key stories from The PGA and the Regions

13 PGA Careers

John Howells, Head PGA Pro at JCB Golf & Country Club

14 Tournament Reviews

The PGA Play-Offs and the SkyCaddie Pro-Captain Challenge

45 Coaching Opinion

The growth of Strength & Conditioning in the professional game

53 Your PGA Membership Benefits

Money-saving deals for the festive period and beyond

58 Situations Vacant


Job opportunities at home and abroad


20 Trade News

New products, business news and new appointments

25 Equipment

Fast, forgiving and frighteningly long. The latest drivers previewed.


29 Retail Watch

A new series offering advice for the freelance PGA Pro

31 Fashion

Technology-driven fabrics dominate the rainwear market


35 Business

Building revenue through Golf Pro Travel scheme

37 Destination: The best of desert golf in Arizona 38 Top picks

Pro travel packages to the Grand Canyon State



Volume 14 Issue 12 December 2018

The PGA and The R&A




48 What’s your USP?

Tips to help you stand out from the crowd

Distance-enhancing drivers


Strength & conditioning: The key to lower scores



Career tips for self-employed pros

51 Your Brand

How to boost your business profile with LinkedIn /thepga

Front cover: The R&A p16

The PGA Professional

| December 2018 professional-golfers-association /thepga /thepga


Building stronger business relationships

Helping the golf industry do business

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Improving your lives Our staff have been focused this year on our key vision – ‘improving the personal and professional lives of you, our members’. Your welfare and your development remain a priority as we build a PGA that is fit for purpose in today’s society and that of the future. Business is an ever-changing world and responsibility for keeping pace with that change and the support and development of our staff sits with Julie Rawes, our Director of Human Resources. This month she shares the progress we are making. Robert Maxfield, Chief Executive


ony Blair was in power, we were yet to experience the The HR team then considered recession or the UK-wide smoking ban, fax machines the journey of our employees, were almost as commonplace as email and much of the from early recruitment onwards, technology that is now at our fingertips (often glued to them!) to ensure our vision and values simply didn’t exist. It was January 2005 and I was about to are embedded throughout. commence my employment with the PGA. Communication is important. From a background in the construction industry and pub We share our vision and values management, I’m embarrassed to admit how little knowledge I had at every opportunity – within of golf and even less knowledge of The PGA. It became apparent our recruitment campaigns, at very quickly to me that I had been introduced to a rather special induction, within our internal Julie Rawes world and it was not long until I joined other employees in feeling staff announcements and at so privileged to be working for The PGA. every review of performance. Our organisational and individual The Association has changed immensely KPI’s and objectives are focused around our over these almost 14 years and particularly values and vision of improving the lives of so since I took up position as Director of our Members. Human Resources in 2016. Supporting our The HR team then Members has always been at the forefront considered the journey FOCUS of all we do, and it’s now entrenched Throughout 2018 we have focused on of our employees from developing our people to better support our throughout every aspect of our organisation. Members with a series of workshops which early recruitment VISION included: improving our ‘customer’ service; onwards to ensure our When our newly appointed Chief Executive sharing the history of The PGA; management vision and values are development; planning, setting and shared his vision of ‘Improving the Personal and Professional Lives of our Members’ embedded throughout measuring objectives; managing our time/ mid-2017, we wanted to ensure our people, workload more effectively; and improving who are passionate about supporting our knowledge of other areas of our business such members, had a voice in planning for our as our educational programmes. future and I share our journey with you. It’s customary, at this this time of year, to reflect on events of We started by asking our people to consider what we do well the past before looking ahead to the coming year. Whilst 2018 has to support our Members, what we could do better to support our been memorable for golf, it has also been one of much growth for Members, and what they needed to help them to deliver more for our people and our organisation. We are fortunate to have a team our Members. Those discussions resulted in the creation of 12 key of knowledgeable, experienced, caring and passionate people at The initiatives – those initiatives became the framework for our senior PGA who are looking forward to supporting our Members in the team meetings and now underpin our daily agendas. year ahead. We then asked our management team to debate our organisational values and how we can bring those values to life through our behaviours. The PGA values of being professional, being supportive, being respectful and acting with integrity Julie Rawes influence our culture and our approach. Director of Human Resources



The PGA Professional | December 2018


News PGA Conference ‘raises the bar’ THE SECOND PGA Members’ Interna-

Ben Blackburn, director of golf at Ben

tional Conference proved to be bigger and

Blackburn Golf Limited, commented: “The

better in 2018 following its return to the

PGA has once again staged another great

Laguna Phuket resort in Thailand.

event. The organisation and quality of

The conference, held from November

not only the speakers, but the delegates as

11-14, brought together almost 50 PGA

well, really created a positive and inspiring

Members and delegates from 16 countries


to one of Asia’s finest fully-integrated resorts

James Cronk, one of the speakers at the

and home of the first PGA-branded facility

PGA Conference, added: “I thought it was

in Thailand. Attendees heard leading figures from the

simply an outstanding conference, and I was Robert Maxfield: vision for the future

golf industry sharing their experiences and passing on invaluable advice.

and inspiring individuals and I have no doubt “That was largely down to a fantastic line-up

it will continue to grow and prosper in the years to come.”

Highlights included a presentation by

of speakers, who were all very well received

highly respected performance coach Ian

from delegates. This was a fantastic platform

Peek, while Richard Hughes delivered an

for us to reach out to our overseas members

engaging workshop about the impact of

and to gain feedback about what they want

using modern technology.

from the Association. We hope this becomes

The conference was also an opportunity

proud to be part of it. I met many talented

an event for diaries each year.”

for PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield

Kingsley Long, head teaching professional

and his management team to outline their

at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club,

vision and future plans for the Association.

said: “I would like to thank The PGA for

“We wanted to build on the success of last

putting together another great conference,

year’s event, and I firmly believe we’ve raised

fantastic speakers and a great venue. I really

the bar this time around,” said Maxfield.

enjoyed the event.”

Conference speaker Richard Hughes

Popular ‘Butten Boy’ Martin passes away TONY MARTIN, one of the original

Tony’s career took him abroad

‘Butten Boys’, has died at the age of 79.

and he went on to enjoy roles at the

Tony became a PGA Member in

National Golf Club, Antalya, Istanbul

1957, and had spells at Basildon Golf

Golf Kulübü, and Gloria Golf Resort,

Club in Essex and Horsenden Hill Golf

Antalya, before retiring in 2014.

Club in Middlesex, before moving to

“He did a lot for golf in Turkey,” said

Turkey in 1994.

David Jones, a close friend who won the

Three years prior to joining Basildon

PGA Professional Championship three

in 1966, a quartet of promising young professionals comprising Tony, Tommy

times, worked with Padraig Harrington Tony Martin 1939–2018: With the ‘Butten Boys’ (far right)

Horton, Jim McAllister and Sandy


as Irish National Coach, and is now a successful course designer. “He was

Wilson was put together by Ernest Butten, an entrepreneur

director of golf at the National Golf Club, where he launched the

and keen golfer. His aim was twofold: to produce a British-born

Turkish Senior Open in 1996 and then the Turkish Ladies Open.

Open champion and help Great Britain and Ireland regain the

He was also one of the founding figures behind the WPGA in an

Ryder Cup.

era when women’s pro golf was all but ignored. And he ran one

As a result, and with support from The PGA, he developed a

of the first big pro-ams, the ‘Evening Echo’ in Essex, before they

residential golf school at Sundridge Park Management Centre

were really even invented. Above all, Tony was a great character,

and Golf Club in Bromley, Kent.

and a genuinely modest man, with friends everywhere.”

News Glenmuir extends longstanding PGA Partnership GLENMUIR WILL once again supply

uniform for PGA Professionals at the Open

clothing for the 2019 Great Britain &

Championship Swingzone.

Ireland PGA Cup team after extending its

Mikhel Ruia, Glenmuir managing director

long association with The PGA by becoming

said: “Glenmuir and Sunderland of Scotland

a Principal Partner.

are delighted to extend our partnership with

The Lanarkshire-based golf apparel brand

The PGA through to 2020. We are proud

has maintained close ties with the Association,

to have worked with The PGA for 30 years,

which have been fostered over three decades,

which represents one of the longest standing

by extending one of golf ’s most enduring

partnerships in the golf industry.

relationships to the end of 2020. As part of the deal, Glenmuir will provide

“Serving the golf professional remains at the heart of what we do at Glenmuir, and extending our partnership reinforces this commitment. Dressing the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team has been an honour and we look forward to continuing this in 2019.” Robert Maxfield, chief

executive of

The PGA, added: “Glenmuir remain a great supporter of both The PGA and our Members. We look forward to working with Mikhel and his team in building on the historical and valuable friendship between The winning 2017 PGA Cup team in their Glenmuir attire

our two businesses.”

PGA trio join 59club THREE PGA Members have joined the ranks at customer service and sales analyst company 59club as it looks to meet a growing demand for its products and services from the golf industry. Mark Bull joins as regional manager for the south of England with over 12 years’ experience working in the golf industry. Alan Tait has been appointed in a similar role for the north of Scotland following 20 years served in golf managerial roles. Another recruit, Bruce Porter, brings a wealth of experience to the role having come from the private member sector. He will head up 59club’s Wales and South West territories. Both Bull and Tait have utilised 59club’s services during their managerial tenures at the likes of Celtic Manor, Marriott, De Vere and Macdonald Hotels & Resorts. Simon Wordsworth, chief executive of 59club, said: “I have always firmly believed that it is a huge advantage to employ golf professionals within my business. Naturally the business they have been brought up in makes them outgoing, personable, caring people. Add into that patience in abundance and you have the ingredients for a great team. My business is my people, in the end they will be the ones to achieve success and smooth over the bumps, they are all that matter.” Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, commented: “Working for and alongside our partner organisations such as 59club, PGA Professionals play an important role in educating the market and supporting their golf clubs, continuously improving the overall golf experience and the advancement of our industry.”

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

Trio claim PGA Cup places

THE OUTCOME of the PGA PlayOffs in Turkey means at least three players with experience of winning the PGA Cup will line up against the USA next September. David Dixon, Matt Cort and Rob Coles filled the top three places at Antalya Golf Club and, as a result, will play in the GB&I team bidding to record an historic hat-trick of victories in Austin, Texas. Dixon was a member of the 2015 team that became the first to win the match in America while Cort and Coles played at Foxhills two years later. Their presence in the 10-strong team has delighted Cameron Clark, the captain. He said: “I couldn’t be happier or in a better place as far as selection goes. They are three great guys who have loads of experience playing golf, especially in the PGA Cup.” Dixon, the winner in Antalya, reflected on the match in 2015 and recalled: “I said to a lot of people I don’t think we could top that. It was truly awesome. “I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing week in Texas as well.” Cort commented: “I had such a good time at Foxhills it was a big aim for me to get back in the team for 2019.” Coles, meanwhile, was already bound for Texas as one of Clark’s two vice-captains but was keen to play. “As much as I was looking forward to being part of the team as a vice-captain to be playing is exciting and something I really wanted to do,” he said.


News Johnson accepts Foundation ambassador role FELICITY JOHNSON has become an official ambassador for The Golf Foundation, a national golf charity that encourages young people from all backgrounds to benefit from the sport. Former Ladies European Tour player and PGA Member Johnson is well regarded in the sport for the positive way in which she plays golf and her highly supportive nature towards golfers of all abilities. The Golf Foundation decided that Birmingham-born 31 year old perfectly embodies the charity’s values, that golf for juniors should be ‘fun, child-centred, inclusive,

inspiring, innovative and enriching’. “This charity helped me as a youngster, so it is fantastic to put something back,” said Johnson. “I’m particularly looking forward to helping the Foundation to create more girl golfers, as we all need to work together to provide the warmest possible welcome for all girls who wish to give this game a try. “The Golf Foundation is entirely focused on helping more youngsters to share the joy of this sport together, and I feel proud to be asked to be an ambassador, assisting its team to

Allen’s Kenyan coaching mission A CHANCE meeting at January’s PGA

school, it was nice to do something for the

Show in Orlando set teaching professional

wider game of golf, to give something back.”

Zoe Allen on course for a two-week ‘growing the game’ expedition to Kenya. Allen, in partnership with US-based LPGA professional Michelle Holmes, has recently returned from Nairobi and is not ruling out a return visit.

The impetus for the visit came from a brief discussion Zoe and Michelle had with Kenyan-based US Kids’ Golf coach Emanuel Kasio at the PGA Show in Florida. Allen continued: “We decided it would be a great opportunity to experience something

“It definitely opened our eyes a bit,”

different, a new coaching experience. The

said 30-year-old Allen, who is based at

trip was self-funded – there was no money on

Lurgun Golf Club in Northern Ireland.

offer – we just wanted to see if we could do

“Great as it is to be running my own golf

something positive.” Kasio has created a golf programme that covers both state-funded and private schools and clubs. The coaching work he does with his more wealthy participants allows him to offer free coaching in some of the less affluent areas of the city. “Some of the state schools don’t have regular electricity supplies,” Allen added. “There are 60 kids in a class and the classrooms aren’t big but the children really enjoyed the coaching sessions. At one of the schools we hosted a skills challenge and it was treated as a full school sports day, all the other children who didn’t take part directly were allowed to come out and watch. Given the chance, we’d

Zoe Allen in Kenya

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

have spent all our time there.”

Johnson: encouraging young people to take part in golf

change perceptions by showing this sport can be cool and fun for all young people.”

A fond farewell RICHARD LAMBERT has retired from golf after more than half-a-century of devoted service to the game. Lambert, 73, ended his golfing career at Walsall Golf Club in the Midlands, where he was head professional for more than 35 years. He is an Honorary Member of The PGA and was also made an Advanced Fellow Professional. Lambert has been chairman of the national body, as well as captain and chairman of the Midland region. His career started on the south coast in 1961 at Bournemouth’s Parkstone Golf Club, where he worked under the wing of former Ryder Cup player and popular golf commentator Peter Alliss. Four years later Lambert moved to Worcester Golf Club as assistant professional, before moving back down south to Burhill Golf Club, which was then known as Whitfield, near Manchester. A move to Chevin Golf Club in Derby followed in 1970. One of Lambert’s proudest achievements came three years later when he qualified for the Open Championship at Troon and finished tied 56th. In 1976, Lambert played an integral role in the design of Derby’s Breadsall Priory Golf Club, where he would later become the club’s director of golf. But it is in Walsall where Lambert will be most fondly remembered, having joined as head professional in 1982 and staying in the role for 36 years before his recent retirement.


News Junior programme proves a hit A JUNIOR programme run by Iain Colquhoun at Dundonald Links in Scotland has seen around 1,400 children in primary schools in North Ayrshire receive coaching over the past two years. Colquhoun, the club’s director of golf, introduced the ‘Links to Golf ’ Junior Programme in February 2017 in the build-up to the club hosting the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open for the first time later in the year. “We felt we could offer something back to the local community and encourage the younger generation to enjoy this wonderful game,” said 35-year-old Colquhoun. “We reached out to North Ayrshire Active Sports, inviting all 53 primary schools within North Ayrshire to take part in our Links to Golf (L2G) programme. The aim was to introduce golf to kids aged between P4-P7 and have them experience the game of golf.” The sessions were free, with all expenses covered by Dundonald Links and its sister course, Loch Lomond Golf Club, with the only cost to the schools being the transport of pupils. In year one, 626 children took part, and after gaining feedback in a bid to improve the programme, that number increased to 812 in 2018. Colquhoun added: “With a few minor elements having been changed to keep it fresh, the programme has proved equally popular this year. For me, if I’m able to meet someone in 10 years’ time who plays golf and ask them the question, where did it start for you and they said L2G I’d be delighted. This is a real team effort to grow the game and give others the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful sport.”


Lea takes on new Lancashire role PGA ADVANCED Fellow Craig Lea has

revolves around implementing technical

become the first director of coaching for

improvements into a game-based envi-

the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs.

ronment to take into tournament play.

Lea has worked at Myerscough College

Everything I work towards in coaching

and the UCLan in Preston for the last 12

has measureable results for each indi-

years, before taking on the new role with

vidual player, which creates a clear action

the organisation which oversees the men’s

plan of improvement.”

game across the 140 clubs in the region.

Lancashire has more than 200 players

The 37 year old coached a number of

involved with its country coaching pro-

players who have gone on to join the pro-

grammes and has an enviable track

fessional ranks, including Chris Hanson

record of having won eight national titles

and Tom Murray, who are currently

in the past 12 years at three different age

playing on the European Tour and Chal-

categories. Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleet-

lenge Tour respectively.

wood is one of the notable players to

“The programme that I have installed

have come through the Lancashire ranks.

has evolved with a huge emphasis sur-

Phil Harvey, secretary of the LUGC,

rounding scoring and performance-based

added: “The existing county coaches will

coaching to stand up under pressure,”

continue to be involved and will work

said Lea, who has also published number

closely with Craig to build on our existing

of coaching guides in more than 30 coun-

work and develop a new coaching and

tries worldwide. “I don’t want to give too

mentoring environment, which we hope will

many secrets away, but basically this

continue Lancashire’s history of success.”

Coaches hit London streets A GROUP of PGA Professionals threw out the rule book for golf and took to the streets of London to make the game appeal to a young, female audience. As part of the women’s coaching initiative love. golf ’s annual conference

Spreading the love: promoting participation in golf on the streets of the capital

in St Pancras, the coaches were tasked to make golf appeal to a younger

box and create a fun experience which might

female audience.

change a younger audience’s perception of the

Energised by the challenge, and equipped

game. Looking back, our ability to do that, with

with a golf ‘ball’ made of paper and a broom

little or no time to think, does give us a shot of

for a club, the team encouraged local office

confidence to go back to our respective venues

workers to take part in an unconventional

and be creative in how we inspire more women

golfing experience.

to give golf a try.”

Ollie Rush, a coach based at

The challenge was just one session from the

Haverhill Golf Club in Suffolk, was one of

two-day conference, where coaches

the coaches to come up with the idea. He said:

benefitted from the opportunity to share ideas

“The challenge forced us to think outside the

and best practice with one another.

News Hamill at the double LISBURN-BASED


Professional Stephen Hamill

Women swing into action at Topgolf

completed an outstanding double at the inaugural TGI

WOMEN OF all ages from across Hertford-



shire braved the cold weather and enjoyed

association with Titleist and



their first ever golfing experience at the first

FootJoy, as he collected both

We Love Golf event in Watford.

the team and individual prize

More than 50 women who took part in

at Praia D’el Rey Resort in

a free sessions at Topgolf, and thanks to the


Topgolf PGA Professionals, not only could

The Northern Irishman shot level par on day one around the beautiful and challenging


they hit the ball, but they scored points, made Lisburn PGA Professional Stephen Hamill (with trophy) and his victorious team receiving their prizes


so it was a real test for everyone.”

friends and had a lot of fun. The response to the event and the reaction of the participations has spurred both The

course, followed by a one-under-par return

The Moor Hall team of Andrew Black-

PGA and Topgolf on, as Andrew Agnoli,

around the Praia D’el Rey Course to win the

well, Chris Stokes, Scott Hansell, led by

an Advanced PGA Professional and Head

Stableford competition by seven points.

PGA Cup Captain Cameron Clark finished

of Academy at Topgolf explains: “It was

His amateur team of Errol Jenkins, Frank

runner’s-up, while Tullamore (Bernard

inspiring to see women coming along with no

Flynn and Nigel Price showed similar con-

Quigley, Richard Brophy, David O’Reilly

idea of what to expect, enjoying the experi-

sistency, as they shot 84 points on both days

and David Osborne) claimed third spot.

ence, hitting balls and surprising themselves

to lift the trophy by six points.

In the Pro event, Louth Golf Club

with their own ability.

Hamill said: “The team played remark-

Teaching Professional John Armstrong

“There was a lot of laughter and camara-

ably well. We normally come away to these

claimed second place, while Rochford Hun-

derie out there and some of them even stayed

kind of events and play resort courses, but

dred Golf Club PGA Professional Michael

on after the session finished to hit more balls!

West Cliffs is a true Championship course,

Vandenberg finished third.

I have no doubt we’ll be seeing them again for beginners’ coaching through to the New

Nicoll returns home


CALLUM NICOLL will be drawing on all of his experience to help continue growing the game in the capital after becoming the director of golf at London Golf Club. PGA Professional Nicoll began his career on the west coast of Scotland at Turnberry Hotel before becoming an assistant to David Flemming at Prestwick Park Golf Club, which hosted the first Open Championship in 1860. In 2009, Nicoll opted for a move to the UAE to take up a position as head professional at The Els Club, Dubai. As an avid player, Nicoll competed in regional PGA events and competed in the Dubai Desert Classic and Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. More recently in 2015, Nicoll

confidence, encourage those next steps and

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

worked as Director of Golf at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and played an important role in helping the facility successfully host three Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship events. He was also responsible for golf and leisure operation at the club. Nicoll now returns home to the London Golf Club, which has two tournament golf courses, The Heritage and The International. “I am very much looking forward to the exciting challenge ahead,” said Nicolls. “The club has an excellent team in place and the culture installed by Stephen Follett is very forward thinking. It will be very satisfying for me to continue the great work here and to play a part in growing the game in this area of the country.”

It is hoped that by feeling part of a new community from day one will help build establish the friendship groups that keep women coming back to golf. At the end of the beginners’ coaching sessions the ladies from local club Aldenham Golf Club will welcome them to take part in a competition on their Par 3 course completing the We Love Golf transition from Topgolf to a Golf Club. The PGA’s We Love Golf campaign will continue into 2019 with plans to work in collaboration with industry bodies to stimulate interest in golf and deliver that interest to the people, places and products that support growth of the game.


News PGA duo honoured with England Golf awards DAVID RIDLEY has been presented with

represented Great Britain & Ireland against

a special England Golf Recognition Award

the USA in two PGA Cup matches and he

to mark his retirement after 32 years as a

also played in five Open championships

national coach.

between 1969 and 1984.

Ridley, who is based at Nottingham’s

John Vallely also came away from the con-

Coxmoor Golf Club, has called time on his

ference with an award after being named

career as an England coach having taught at

Squad Coach of the Year for his efforts with

both regional and national level.

the England Golf North region girls’ squad.

The 66 year old collected his award during a gala dinner at the annual coaching confer-

Vallely, who is supported by squad manDavid Ridley (right) receiving his award

ager Bryan Ross, ensures there’s a pipeline of

in 1986, but from 1997 he worked with the

talent by also coaching the girls in the North

“It’s a privilege and an honour to receive

national men’s squads and players such as

of England Futures, made up of players who

this – and quite a shock too,” said Ridley, who

Tommy Fleetwood, Chris Woods and Eddie

are pushing for places in the regional line-up.

was greeted with a standing ovation when


ence at Woodhall Spa Golf Club.

collecting his award.

“I absolutely love it, I live and breathe it,”

Ridley has been involved in two European

Vallely added. “You do make a lot of sac-

Ridley, a PGA Master Professional, first

team championship victories and numerous

rifices, but it’s really satisfying to help them

became involved as a regional boys’ coach

home international wins. As a player, Ridley

understand their game and themselves.”

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Just the job

In the driving seat: John Howells

John Howells has swapped coaching in Dubai at The Butch Harmon School for what he describes as a ‘dream job’. The 30-year-old has been appointed head PGA Professional at the exclusive JCB Golf & Country Club in Staffordshire, a multi-million pound facility that will be used to drive business growth, build relationships with new customers and strengthen existing ones. John chronicles the career path that has resulted in him landing such a prestigious position and outlines his responsibilities. You worked as an assistant before taking the AGMS degree – how have they helped you advance your career? John Howells: Before I read the AGMS degree, I worked at Royal Porthcawl under head PGA pro Peter Evans. It was a great experience at a traditional private members’ club. I then went to Tenby, a more rural club. There, Rhys Harry, the head pro, was forward thinking and we forged a great partnership driving new ideas in performance coaching and retail. As for the AGMS degree, I’m really thankful for it. It meant I looked at everything with a critical eye. The Foundation degree is a strong programme, but I felt the AGMS degree gave me that little edge. How much has networking played a part in your career? JH: I believe in making your own luck – you can forge your future by what you do

as a PGA pro in your early years – the little follow-ups you do or contacts you make to go the extra mile for clients. My job in Dubai resulted from a month’s internship in Texas. The director of instruction there, Ryan Crysler, was an understudy to Claude Harmon, and he recommended me. I was honoured to work for the Harmon family for six years under Justin Parsons, a PGA pro. He was a superb mentor who let me meet the Tour players and celebrities he coached. So yes, I have learned to network – I enjoy meeting people and helping them. With the best will in the world, Uttoxeter is anything but a golf mecca. What attracted you to the role? JH: I agree, but when you see the facility you realise that JCB Golf & Country club is the real deal. We have a world-class course, academy, and soon-to-be-opened clubhouse. I was also very keen on doing a pre-opening project. I’ve got a good coaching background, worked in a typical members’ club and rural one, but I felt if I got a pre-opening I had a lot of bases covered. My passion remains coaching, and I can focus on that while also running the shop. Every day brings something different and exciting. No expense has been spared in building the golf course, the academy and the pro shop. How much input have you had? JH: I’ve had a hands-on role in equipping the academy and custom-fitting area. It

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

has been great working with Millerbrown, GASP, SAM Putt Lab and Trackman to create an academy built to the highest specifications. We have three fantastic academy partners in Ping, Titleist and TaylorMade, so it has been enjoyable to build those relationships. What are your responsibilities? JH: That of a typical head PGA pro with a twist. I have a shop to run, custom fitting is a big part of what we do, and a lot of coaching, as that is my passion and strong suit. Everything must be done to the highest standards. A lot of the golfers who want coaching at the JCB Golf & Country Club will be corporate guests and, more than likely, mid to high handicappers. Having coached elite players in Dubai could it be difficult to adapt? JH: When I left Dubai, Justin and I joked that we potentially would never work at such a great facility again. Tour players passed through constantly and we had great weather and fantastic technology. But with all the support we have received building the JCB Golf Academy, it is as good if not better in some respects. I am lucky to be able to coach all levels of player here from a corporate golfer who is a beginner to an elite player aspiring to reach the top. We have the technology and facilities to attract both. I really enjoy that – adapting my approach to the individual is what it’s all about! 13


PGA Play-Offs Tales of the unexpected unfold at Turkey as David Dixon and Rob Coles sign off in style, writes Adrian Milledge


ormer European Tour member David Dixon earned himself a career lifeline by winning the PGA Play-Offs at Antalya Golf Club on a final day that was full of twists, turns, sub-plots and top-class golf. Staged at the home of the PGA National Turkey, it was typified by Matt Cort, the overnight co-leader, posting a second successive five-under-par round of 66 and having to settle for the runner’s up berth three shots adrift of Dixon. That was the gap between Cort and Dixon at the turn after the former had put the challenging PGA Sultan course to the sword. He posted six birdies on the front nine but, perhaps because of the ill-effects of a heavy cold, was unable to maintain his momentum. What followed, however, was a case of Dixon snatching the prize from his grasp, rather than the pro from Beedles Lake Golf Club in Leicestershire squandering his advantage. BIRDIE BLITZ Two shots behind after Cort bogeyed the par-four 14th, Dixon signed off with a birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie salvo to post a 13-under-par total for the three rounds and claim the £3,500 first prize. In addition, and like Cort, he has booked his place in next year’s Great Britain and Ireland PGA Cup team, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth and the British Masters at Hillside. All of which came as much as a surprise as a relief to Dixon, who is attached to Enmore Park Golf Club in Somerset. “I didn’t have any expectations for this week at all,” he admitted. “I went to the second stage of Tour School and played well. But I couldn’t hole any putts so I’ve


Surprised and relieved: David Dixon

lost all my categories and exemptions for the European and Challenge Tours. “It meant I had nothing for next year apart from coming here to see if I could do any good and earn a couple of starts. I came out to enjoy a week’s golf before a long winter, but came good in the end. “Corty got off to such an unbelievable start, I felt I was playing for second place. So I aimed to just keep hitting good shots because you never know what can happen. “Finishing off like that is the stuff dreams are made of. I’ve had good finishes before, but considering what was on the line, it was probably the best hour of golf in my life.” Similarly unexpected was the manner in which Rob Coles’ tournament was transformed. Coles had been the Great Britain & Ireland PGA Cup team’s leading pointsscorer in the victory over the USA at Foxhills last year and had already been named as one of Cameron Clark’s vice-captains for the match in Texas next September. However, his chance of qualifying as a player looked remote after he began the final round way down the field on two-over. That is until he also signed off in style

with an eagle, par, birdie finish for an eightunder-par round of 63. PLAY-OFF DRAMA It all added up to 54-hole total of six-under and a sudden death play-off with Scotland’s Paul O’Hara to determine who would join Dixon and Cort in the PGA Cup team. In the event, Coles did not have to complete the hole, after O’Hara was unable to extricate his ball that was wedged under the lip of a fairway bunker and was forced to concede. “I was very fortunate to get through like that,” said Coles, a former European Tour player who represents Maylands Golf and Country Club in Essex. “It was a tough week for me. I struggled through most of it and hit a lot of practice shots, worked hard, and finally got something better going yesterday. I took it to the course today and managed to keep it going.” Coles also qualifies for the BMW PGA Championship as a result of finishing third, as does O’Hara, who is well-placed in the points table for a place in the PGA Cup team.


SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge Five Lakes pair use their experience to turn Mallorca into an island of dreams, writes Adrian Milledge Perfect partners: Gary Carter (left) and Nigel Popper with the trophy (left) and their SkyCaddie SX500 GPS (below)


ive Lakes professional Gary Carter and club captain Nigel Popper proved there’s no substitute for experience when winning the 2018 SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge in Mallorca. Despite a combined age of 110 years, the duo from the Essex club left a more youthful field in their wake to claim the prestigious trophy and the £5,000 first prize. “I reckon we’re the oldest pairing here,” said a delighted Carter after he and his partner completed two negotiations of the Sol Muntaner course at Golf Arabella in five-under-par to amass 77 Stableford points. That left them two points clear of the chasing pack led by Otley Golf Club, the co-leaders with The Heath Golf Club, Ireland, after the first round and half way through the second. At that stage Five Lakes were a point adrift but while the pacemakers faltered, The Heath eventually finishing sixth with 73 points, they kept their nerve and game together. Two birdies and no bogeys on the back nine from Carter and his partner avoided the need for a play-off – a scenario that had looked the likely outcome to a keenly

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contested tournament that was supported by Golfplan. Carter attributed patience and teamwork as the keys to their success on a course he described as difficult. “There was no run on the ball so thankfully we only played off the yellows,” he said. “And we really gelled well. We only dropped three points in 36 holes, two in the first round and one today – if I had a bad hole he came in, and vice versa.” Coaching his amateur partner, however, was not a factor. “I didn’t give him lots of coaching on the way round,” Carter explained. “Nigel won’t mind me saying this – he’s wild. He went in the buggy, I took a trolley. “We both had a SkyCaddie, which helped us find our way round. In fairness, though, he’s got a very good short game.” For Popper, who plays off 13 and only took up golf in 1991 as a replacement for football, winning the tournament provides the perfect end to his captaincy year. “I finish next week,” he said. “So it’s a great way to sign off. In fact, it’s absolutely unbelievable. I was looking forward to coming here because I’ve played the course with friends many times over the years. “But seeing what SkyCaddie, Golfplan,

The PGA and the resort have provided has made it an unbelievable experience. This sort of thing has never happened to me before – it’s just fantastic. I’m in awe of it.” Carter, similarly overwhelmed by the experience, added: “I’ve never won anything like this before. To qualify for a trip, and be spoiled the way we have been, has been out of this world. Then winning the tournament is a bonus.” Leading scores Five Lakes Hotel Golf & Country 77 Club Otley Golf Club


Hayling Golf Club


Hendon Golf Club


Newark Golf Club


The Heath Golf Club


Honiton Golf Club


Stirling Golf Club;


Barlaston Golf Club


Lakeside Golf Course




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Guardians of the game Working in conjunction with golf’s key stakeholders, including The PGA, The R&A has been at the forefront of governing and promoting the sport for over 250 years, and through its numerous championships and outreach programmes continues to be a focal point for all parts of the game and over 36 million golfers across the world. As we enter 2019, and with a greatly modernised set of Rules of Golf shortly to be in put into play, The R&A’s position as golf’s guardian has never been more important, as Steve Carpenter reports


he R&A engages in a wide variety of activities and projects every year to help grow and develop the game of golf around the world. The game’s ruling body, along with organisations like The PGA, work together to spread expertise and resources to help promote key messages. One of the biggest challenges facing the industry heading into 2019 and beyond is maintaining and increasing participation at all levels. In 2017, Sport’s Marketing Surveys Inc (SMS) revealed that the number of registered golfers around the world had dropped by 2.4 per cent since 2012. In the UK alone, that figure stood at 4.3 per cent. The R&A has launched several key projects this year, all of which have received 16

support from The PGA, but perhaps the most important of all has been dealing with the global issue that females are under-represented in the game. When you delve deeper into the SMS survey, you will see that female and junior golfers account for just 23 per cent of the UK and Ireland golfing population, with male golfers standing at 77 per cent of the market.

DID YOU KNOW? The R&A is investing £200 million in developing golf over the next 10 years, including substantial annual financial support to The PGA

WOMEN IN GOLF CHARTER In response to the need for greater uptake from women, The R&A unveiled a new Women in Golf Charter to inspire an industry-wide commitment to developing a more inclusive culture in golf, enabling more women and girls to flourish. Speaking at the launch of the Charter, Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, commented: “We are asking the golf industry to recognise the real importance of increasing the number of women and girls playing golf and empowering more women to enjoy successful careers at all levels of the sport.” The PGA has pledged its support to the Charter, along with the PGAs of Europe, the Ladies’ European Tour and a number


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of national bodies including Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and Wales. In response, the Association launched #WeLoveGolf at the start of the summer, a social media campaign highlighting positive programmes being delivered by PGA Professionals to get women and girls interested in the game. The PGA were in attendance when The R&A launched a Women in Golf Charter at The View from the Shard, London

DID YOU KNOW? An estimated 36.9 million latent female golfers around the world may be worth up to £27 billion to the industry.

The campaign has already identified some of the critical factors involved in successfully recruiting and retaining women in golf and The PGA is now testing these in the field with a view to supporting Members in 2019 to drive their businesses. Looking ahead to 2019, The PGA is committed to supporting the Women in Golf Charter by: 1. Educating The PGA workforce – We

commit to supporting existing and future PGA Members in better understanding and meeting the needs of the female market through education and the sharing of best practice. This will include use of The R&A Women’s, Girls’, and Family participation in golf review within education.

to women of all ages and show that golf is accessible, welcoming and a PGA Professional can guide them through an often-intimidating journey. Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, said: “We recognise that increased diversity brings huge benefits to the game and our focus will be on three key areas where PGA Professionals play a leading role in bringing about change. “Golf can only thrive if we commit to being truly diverse and welcoming to people of all ages, gender and culture. More women and girls participating in the game will be a major factor in a bright future. The PGA and its Members are committed to playing our role in securing that future.” THE R&A SWINGZONE AT THE OPEN Promoting the game is a mission shared by both organisations and one of the key ways to get more people, especially

newcomers, picking up a club is through The R&A Swingzone during The Open. Each year the Association sends around 30 highly-skilled and hard-working coaches who deliver thousands of free lessons as part of the close relationship with The R&A, the organisers of golf’s original championship. At The Open in Carnoustie in 2018, 30 PGA Professionals spent a combined total of 750 hours providing over 3,000 lessons to members of the public across eight days in total.

DID YOU KNOW? It is estimated that PGA coaches have delivered around 30,000 lessons at golf’s oldest major since the early 1990s.

2. Proactively recruiting more women to

become PGA Professionals – The PGA Professional is the most recognised member of golf’s workforce. Promoting golf as a real career choice for women and increasing the number making that choice, will send a clear message that golf is welcoming and inclusive of women. 3. Attracting more women and girls to

take up golf – our golf development campaign, We Love Golf, showcases this fantastic work. We will reach out The PGA Professional

| December 2018

The 2018 R&A Swingzone team


T H E “It is one of the most enjoyable weeks to be a PGA Professional,” said Peter Ball, a long-serving Swingzone coach who has been selected to represent The PGA again at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland. “You have so much fun coaching at The Open. It’s amazing because it could be anyone from a two-year-old, through to a grandma who’s not played the game for a long time. It gives people the opportunity to start playing, or get back to play golf again in some cases. “It also gives us a chance to pass information to people about where to go and get a lesson because they don’t know where their nearest club is. It’s a fantastic way to help increase club membership and participation.” THE R&A 9 HOLE CHALLENGE When it comes to attracting a younger generation, golf, like many other traditional sports, is adapting. Shorter formats tend to appeal to a younger audience. A popular example is 20-over matches in cricket, shortening the game from its traditional five-day and one-day format to a quicker and more exciting version of the sport. In July, 42 club golfers competed in the second playing of The R&A 9 Hole Challenge Final at Carnoustie. The final was contested over the first four and last

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DID YOU KNOW? Entry to The Open is free of charge for PGA Professionals, thanks to The R&A’s support

five holes of the Championship Course at the famous Angus links before The 147th Open. Over 15,000 golfers entered nine-hole qualifying events held at clubs throughout Great Britain and Ireland this year; more than double the number who played in 2017. The R&A 9 Hole Challenge is central to the organisation’s drive to promote this form of golf as an ideal way to enjoy playing the sport in less time, either recreationally or competitively for handicap purposes. Duncan Weir, Executive Director – Golf Development at The R&A, commented: “We’re trying to remind golf clubs and golfers that golf need not always be played over 18 holes. It needn’t be nine, it can be six or 12, it can be any number. I think this event just formalises it and gives the qualifiers an opportunity to play a fabulous course on the eve of The Open Championship.”

READY GOLF Another initiative launched by The R&A and supported by PGA Members at golf clubs across the world is Ready Golf and it is now a part of the new 2019 Rules. Since 2017, The R&A has applied Ready Golf at its amateur championships and it features in The R&A’s Pace of Play manual as a recommended solution for tackling slow play. It enables golfers to play when they are ready to do so rather than strictly adhere to ‘the farthest from the hole plays first’ requirement. The practice can be used in stroke play and includes a number of actions that can help to improve the flow of golfers around the course and reduce the time taken by players to complete a round. Examples of Ready Golf include hitting a tee shot if the person with the honour is delayed in being ready to play, playing a shot before helping someone look for a ball, and adopting continuous putting when possible. The PGA adopted the rules of Ready Golf at events in 2018 by including them in its pace of play policy before it comes into play in the new year. “For many years now we have been advocating the idea that players should be ready to play when it is their turn to play and now it forms part of the new Rules of Golf,” said Charles Hine, Head of National Tournaments at The PGA. “The responsibility for pace of play has often rested with the officials who determine things like course set-up, starting intervals and timing a policy. However, the only way we are going to see a consistent, positive impact

DID YOU KNOW? A survey conducted by Golf Australia found that 94 per cent of clubs who had promoted ‘Ready Golf’ to their members enjoyed some degree of success in improving pace of play. Paul Lawrie pictured with participants of The R&A 9 Hole Championship at Carnoustie


T H E on round times is if that responsibility is shared by the players themselves.” RULES OF GOLF Earlier this year, The R&A and the USGA finalised golf ’s new Rules after an extensive review that included a request for feedback from the global golf community, including The PGA and its Members, on the proposed changes. The process to modernise the Rules began in 2012, and was initiated to ensure that the Rules are easier to understand and apply for all golfers and to make the game more attractive and accessible for newcomers. While the majority of proposed Rules remain intact in the final version, several important changes to the initial proposals and further clarification of many Rules were incorporated and will come into effect on January 1, 2019. The PGA has been working closely with The R&A to help introduce the modernised Rules of Golf. To help Members get up to speed with the changes, the Association ran a series of regional workshops delivered by the tournament department. PGA Members are well placed at the heart of their golf club to spread the word about major changes to golfers of all age, ability and gender. GOLF AND HEALTH The R&A has played a leading role in the Golf & Health Project, which aims to study the many and varied health and well-being benefits of golf. In October, the benefits of golf were outlined to an international audience, via a global consensus statement from leaders in public health, policy and sport that backed golf in the race to tackle physical inactivity and the prevention of disease. This was presented at the 7th Congress of the International Society for Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH). A satellite event, the First International Congress on Golf and Health, also presented how golf is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits in the House of Commons. The PGA Professional

| December 2018

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The PGA is supporting the Golf & Health Project by asking its Members to spread the word about golf being good for your health. Members are also being encouraged to consider suitable pricing structures, look into providing other facilities such as swimming or a gym, and encouraging golfers to avoid mandatory golf cart use, instead asking players to walk the course instead. Looking ahead to 2019, The PGA will continue to work alongside The R&A to

DID YOU KNOW? A study found that golf is expected to decrease the risk of more than 40 major chronic diseases.

help tackle some of the key challenges facing the golf industry. The Association will continue to support the Women in Golf Charter. More specifically, it will increase the number of female coaches at The R&A Swingzone at Royal Portrush. In addition, there will be an effort to increase the number of females entering The PGA Training Programme, including targeting Ladies European Tour players. The PGA will also remain proactive in supporting and promoting the Rules of Golf and Ready Golf, by encouraging its Members to conduct special events at their club to spread the word about the changes. “Over the last 12 months we have worked more closely with The R&A than ever before,” Maxfield added. “From delivering a record-breaking SwingZone at The Open, to projects focussing on the sustainability of golf courses and changes to the rules, we have deepened and strengthened our working relationship with The R&A. “We thank The R&A for their support this year, including generous financial support and free entry to The Open for our Members, and value the partnership we have with them, which we hope to build further on in 2019.”


Formed in 2004 and based in St Andrews, The R&A engages in and supports activities undertaken for the benefit of the sport of golf. Events The R&A organises The Open, golf’s oldest and most international major championship. It also organises championships and international matches for men and women, boys and girls, such as The Amateur Championship and the Boys Amateur Championship, as well as matches such as the Walker Cup. Governance The R&A governs golf worldwide, outside of the United States and Mexico, with the consent of 158 organisations from amateur and professional golf, and on behalf of over 36 million golfers in 143 countries. Women’s golf At the beginning of 2017, The R&A merged with the Ladies’ Golf Union (LGU) and took on governance responsibility for women’s golf. This includes overseeing the AIG Women’s British Open. In amateur golf, it organises The Women’s Amateur Championship and the new Girls Under-16 Championship, as well as managing GB&I teams for representative matches like the Curtis Cup. Development The R&A is committed to enhancing golf’s appeal globally, working with affiliates to provide services, expertise and resources where appropriate. The R&A supports affiliated bodies in delivering targeted and effective grassroots development initiatives, notably taking a leading role in increasing women’s and girls’ participation and encouraging family golf.




Foremost launches online lesson booking system FOREMOST HAS launched its own online lesson booking system to enable its Elite Marketing Programme members to manage their booking diaries more efficently. Foremost began introducing its new system through extensive testing with a select group of member professionals, as well as member focus groups to get professional input. The free-of-charge system can manage bookings for lessons, fittings, playing lessons, demo days and more in a streamlined and efficient process. Andy Martin, Foremost Managing Director, commented: “Many golfers find it difficult and frustrating to book a lesson, so we wanted to build a solution that works for our members and their customers to make the whole process much easier. Many Foremost members have been actively looking to solve this problem with alternative solutions in the past, however bringing this into the EMP Premium offering saves them money and coordinates all activity under one banner.” Consumers set up a mini-profile and can access the diaries of the pro shop and its teaching professionals, allowing for easy bookings and better awareness

The new online system will make it easier for golfers to book lessons with their pro

of availability. Taking this process online makes it more convenient for customers to quickly book and pay for their lessons and allows professionals to maximise their income from teaching. Nevil Bland, of Brocton Hall Golf Club, who took part in the initial beta tests, said: “The new system is excellent, and I’m really impressed with how it works. I’ve used two different systems in the past, but the new Foremost method provides everything I need in one place. It’s really easy to

use, very quick and gives great feedback to customers when they book.” Stuart Wilson, Head Professional at Portlethen Golf Club, added: “It’s so much easier for clients to book online, without having to speak to me, meaning it will definitely help to drive business. The convenience side of it is huge and it makes me look more professional, meaning the whole system is more in keeping with people’s modern lifestyles.”

Big Max extends bag range BIG MAX has announced three new additions to its golf bag line up for 2019, each boasting its own combination of innovative technology. The Big Max Dri Lite Hybrid (£169.99) combines the brand’s water-resistant technology and unique hybrid base for dual cart and carry bag usage. The hybrid mechanism is powered by a footless flat base and leg lock system that enables it to sit square and secure on a trolley or buggy while a neat cut out section adds further stability


when sat on a trolley. With seven waterproof pockets, 14 full-length dividers, and a host of features, the 2kg Hybrid has all the functions of the best cart bags, while also being able to transform itself a lightweight stand bag. Big Max’s Dri Lite Silencio (£199.99) boasts a 14-way organiser, nine pockets, a 9.5-inch top and a lightweight (3.9 kg) design, while the Big Max Heaven 7 (£69.99) is a spacious winter bag, with its larger top designed to take four

more clubs than the average pencil bag. It weighs 1.6 kg and features four large pockets, glove and towel holder and air channel straps for comfortable carrying around the course.



SkyCaddie SX500 hits the target at Pro-Captain Challenge will definitely be using the SkyCaddie SX500 again.” Both Carter and Popper ordered one for themselves upon their return from Majorca. SkyCaddie’s European General Manager, James Holmes, said: “More and more good golfers, including PGA pros, are returning to GPS because of the new SX500. For the second year running the PGA Pro-Captain winners have used a SkyCaddie for their yardages, and the new SX500’s advanced features are now proving something that Tour golfers have always known – that you need a caddie, to play your best golf. The SkyCaddie SX500 is truly the next best thing to having an experienced caddie with you at all times, and its functionality – especially with PinPoint Technology activated – is demonstrably superior to any laser device on the market.” Five Lakes pro Gary Carter with partner Nigel Popper and their Skycaddie SX500 GPS units

Tony Marshall/Getty

SKYCADDIE’S SX500 GPS device claimed its latest professional victory this month in the hands of Five Lakes PGA pro Gary Carter and Club Captain Nigel Popper – the SkyCaddie PGA Pro-Captain Challenge 2018 champions. The pair praised the SX500’s accurate yardages to the pins on the Sol Muntaner course at Golf Arabella in Majorca, as they emerged victorious among the ten qualifying teams. After lifting the trophy, first-time GPS user and PGA professional Gary Carter said: “If you’re serious about your golf you’d be a fool not to have a SkyCaddie SX500 – especially on an unfamiliar golf course.” Carter and his partner used the SX500 on the tee throughout the two-day tournament. “I normally use a laser, which is OK to the flag,” he said. “But with lasers you often struggle to get a proper bunker yardage, especially on a flat hole. The SX500 solves that: it’s brilliant for calculating carry distances over bunkers, and in showing how much room there is beyond the pin.” And Carter also praised one of the SX500’s new features, PinPoint Technology. “My SX500 had the day’s pins loaded, and its distances were always within a yard of my laser. In fact, they were often exactly the same,” he said. He added: “I have never used a GPS before, let alone a SkyCaddie, so given it was my first time, I was very impressed. I’m a bit of a mug with tech, but the SX500 was very user-friendly, the screen was easy to see, and it was instantaneous. Speed-wise it was quicker than a laser, and I appreciate how SkyCaddie walks the golf course when mapping, rather than using a satellite image. I

Titleist Pro V1 bags 3,000th win with Westwood victory TITLEIST CELEBRATED a notable milestone for its Pro V1 golf ball in November when Lee Westwood notched up the ball’s 3,000th win following his victory at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa. The impressive winning tally has taken just 18 years to achieve, following the The launch of the franchise at the Invensys Classic at Las Vegas in 2000. Titleist’s golf ball victory count in 2018 has now reached 203, more than six times its nearest competitor, while the worldwide The PGA Professional

| December 2018

ball count has reached 25,473, over seven times its nearest rival brand. As well as amassing 29 victories, including all of the men’s Major championships, and 12 Majors in total across the men’s, ladies and seniors tours, 72 per cent of all European

Tour players chose to tee up a Pro V1 or Pro V1x this season, compared to 11 per cent for the nearest competitor. Shortly after Westwood’s victory in Sun City, Tatsunori Nukaga became the first player across worldwide professional tours to win with the new Pro V1 prototype in Japan, while Charles Howell III also used the new ball to win the RSM Classic on the PGA Tour. The prototype Pro V1 ball was launched on the European Tour at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship. 21



TaylorMade launches ‘Rory’ junior golf sets TAYLORMADE GOLF has joined forces with Rory McIlroy to create a new range of equipment designed specifically for juniors. The two TaylorMade Rory Junior Sets are designed for those aged 4-7 and and 8-12, and comprise five- and seven-club sets respectively, and come with a matching stand bag. Incorporating many of the same technologies found in TaylorMade’s adult equipment, each club has been specifically designed for the needs of the younger golfer, with age-appropriate shaft lengths, flexes and lofts. David Abeles, CEO of TaylorMade Golf said: “We were looking for a gateway for young players to enjoy the game with product built specifically with them in mind. Having a role model like Rory to support this new initiative is crucial to encourage them to play well

The new Rory junior clubs are offered in five- and seven-piece sets with a matching golf bag

into their adult life.” The five-piece 4-Plus set (£299) has separate models for boys and girls, and is designed for those between 42-52 inches tall. The set comprises a 400cc titanium driver with 16 degree of loft, a hybrid (30°), 7-iron (38°), sand wedge (54°) and a putter. The seven-piece 8-Plus set (£399) adds in a fairway wood (24°) and a 9-iron (44°) and

features slightly stronger lofts and longer graphite shafts for younger players between 52-60 inches tall. Each set comes with a stand bag and also includes a special St Bernard headcover, inspired by the one McIlroy uses on his TaylorMade M3 driver, while the clubs themselves also have ‘Rory’ inscribed on the heads.



Diamond Golf, Europe’s leader in club fitting and component supply, is now taking bookings for this winter’s DGI Academy courses in the arts of club fitting, club making and club repairs. The DGI Academy courses cater for a wide range of abilities, from novice to advanced, and take place in a specially created purpose-built facility. Each course runs in small groups to allow for personal one-to-one tuition.

Contact us today for a free brochure & prospectus: UK Freephone: 0800 083 7388


International: +44 (0) 1903 726999


Foresight Sports introduces ‘play now pay later’ scheme

GOLF LAUNCH monitor and simulation technology company Foresight Sports Europe has introduced a new finance option enabling new and existing customers to spread the cost of their investment with nothing to pay for the first 90 days. The new scheme allowing business users to ‘Play Now & Pay Later’ has been introduced to help golf professionals, clubs, fitters, and retailers install Foresight’s cutting edge technology to generate additional revenues from day one, and to continue to do so all year round. This unique finance solution is available with any Foresight Sports launch monitor or simulator, including the GCQuad, GC2, and GC2+HMT, plus FSX 2018 simulation and analysis software. “This scheme can really help our new and existing customers kick-start their return on investment when they install any of our technology into their business,” said Foresight Sports Europe Director, Edward Doling. “Whether investing into a GC Quad, creating a custom swing studio, or installing a complete Performance Simulator, with nothing to pay for the first three months our clients can ensure they hit the ground running. We believe this new finance option makes a lot of sense from a business point of view,” he added. For more details, email or call 01483 551441.


Tour stars take Bettinardi to ‘next Level’ In 2018 PREMIUM PUTTER brand Bettinardi is celebrating its best ever year on tour thanks to a record collection of wins on the European, PGA, and LPGA Tours. The Chicago-based company, which was founded by putter designer Bob Bettinardi in 1998, has overseen a total of 10 victories this season, plus numerous top-10 finishes across four elite professional Tours. Francesco Molinari, winner of the Claret Jug in July, and who capped off his record year after being crowned Race to Dubai champion in Dubai, used Bettinardi’s DASS BB Zero model for all of his three tour wins this season, as well as when winning all five matches at September’s Ryder Cup. The Italian’s stunning season was backed up by standout performances from another new Bettinardi Francesco signing for 2018, China’s top-ranked player Molinari Haotong Li, plus long-term brand ambassadors Matt Kuchar and Fred Couples. “The investment we made in Tour players at the start of the year has been validated,” said Bob Bettinardi. “We sat down as a team around this time last year and said we really wanted to make an impact on all Tours and we couldn’t have wished for a better outcome.” He added: “We work incredibly closely with our Tour department to ensure that our players have the best putter to suit their game. We invited Francesco to our factory following his Open Championship victory, as we wanted to show our appreciation to him and what it means to have him as a brand ambassador. We’re delighted that he secured the Race to Dubai title, as he’s been the best player on the European Tour this year and made an important breakthrough in the States too.”

Ecco steps up with new Biom G3 DANISH FOOTWEAR brand Ecco Golf has unveiled the next generation of its Biom range of footwear with the launch of the new Biom G3, which showcases an evolution of comfort, style and innovation. The Biom G3, which will have an RRP of £210, features a range of technologies to deliver exceptional performance, while a waterproof Gore-Tex construction adds to comfort and in-shoe climate control. The PGA Professional

| December 2018

The company’s Biom Natural Motion last combines low-tothe-ground stability with a glove-like fit that is built for natural motion. Traction is provided through six Zarma Tour spikes which work together with hybrid cleats on the toe and rotation line to offer optimal grip and a more stable footing. The uppers of are made from premium tumbled Yak’s leather, which is soft yet

very hard-wearing, while a double-layer neoprene collar adds stretchable comfort, adapting to the foot by seamlessly wrapping around the heel. 23


PowaKaddy rolls out winter cart bag promotion POWAKADDY IS offering a free cart bag with the purchase of every new PowaKaddy lithium trolley as part of winter consumer promotion. Starting on November 5, and running until midnight on December 24, every golfer who buys a PowaKaddy lithium trolley will be entitled to a free PowaKaddy Cart Bag worth up to £229.99. Golfers who purchase an FW7s, FW7s EBS, FW7s GPS or Compact C2i lithium trolley can choose a free PowaKaddy Dri Edition or Premium Cart Bag, while those opting for the FW5s can take their pick from the Premium or Deluxe with an accessory. Those who purchase the entry-level FW3s will receive a Lite Cart Bag. David Howse, PowaKaddy’s UK sales manager, commented: “PowaKaddy cart bags are the ideal match for our electric trolleys. This promotion allows golfers to choose from any electric model in the range and take advantage of the features and benefits of both the bags and trolleys. We’re excited to be able to help our retail partners with more sales incentives this winter leading up to Christmas.”


Callaway unleashes next generation Big Bertha irons and hybrids CALLAWAY GOLF’S new Big Bertha irons and hybrids, which go on sale from March, are aimed at the game improvement market and are designed to help high handicap players launch the ball high with the minimum of effort. The driving force behind the iron’s performance is a metal injection molded tungsten weight that has been suspended within a urethane microsphere material behind the clubface. Suspending the weight allows the centre of gravity to be positioned deeper in the head, promoting higher launch. A new thinner and faster 360 Face Cup, boasting a shallow, flexible rim around the perimeter, combines with the high-launch characteristics created by the weight to deliver long ball flight. Joining the Big Bertha irons is the first Callaway hybrid to combine the company’s Jailbreak Technology and adjustability for long distance, fast ball speeds, and easy launch. The hybrids – 19°, 21°, 24°, 27°, 30°, 33° – also feature a new OptiFit hosel. RRP: Irons £1,149/£1,399 (st/gr); hybrids £269. Big Bertha irons and hybrids

Club Car Introduces New Tempo™ Golf Cars Official partner of



Fast and forgiving The latest drivers are as easy to hit as they are long

Cobra King F9 Speedback THE F9 Speedback features a more aerodynamic head shape, a thinner, hotter face and a low, deep centre of gravity, create a fast, high-launching and low-spinning launch conditions for a wide range of abilities. To create this more efficient head shape which is 17% more aerodynamic than the previous F7 driver – Cobra engineers raised the perimeter of the clubhead and rounded the leading edges to reduce drag and improve stability. The use of a CNCprecision milled face, which is thinner and more flexible than a traditional handpolished face, has increased ball speeds by up to 1.5mph, leading to increased distance. To fine-tune ball flight there are interchangeable 14g and 2g sole weights, as well as an adjustable hosel. Additional 6g, 10g and 18g weights are available to produce an even wider range of launch conditions. It is offered in 9°, 10.5° and 12° adjustable lofts and comes with variety of premium shaft options and two head accent colours – white or yellow. There is also a women’s model and a junior version. RRP: £349,

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

TaylorMade M4

PING G400 Max THE G400 Max raises the bar yet further in terms of MOI and forgiveness, promising the highest stability for those shots that don’t quite find the centre of the clubface from any Ping driver. The forgiveness gains are attributable to the 460cc head and nearly four times the discretionary weight created by Dragonfly crown technology and the thin, forged face. A 15g tungsten backweight – double the weight used in the G400 – wraps around the back of the sole to help bring the combined MOI over 9,900g cm2. Its centre of gravity position is lower and further back than any other driver on the market. The forged face boasts a thinner, hotter impact area that is precision machined to elevate ball speed across the entire face, while Ping’s proven crown turbulators improve aerodynamics for faster clubhead speed. The G400 Max’s high overall forgiveness and deep centre of gravity puts it between the standard G400 and the G400 SFT in terms of draw tendency. Loft options are 9°, 10.5° (+/- 1°), while standard shaft options include Ping Alta CB, Ping Tour 65, or Ping Alta Distanza 40. RRP: £389,

THE 460CC M4 driver boasts TaylorMade’s Twist Face technology, which sees the low-heel area of the clubface twisted inwards to de-loft the face, while the high toe area has been opened to increase loft. This shaping counteracts the worst effects of fades and slices and encourages straighter shots, regardless of where you hit the ball on the face. The M4 dispenses with TaylorMade’s Y-track adjustability system, but features a 41g rear tungsten weight (up from the 22g in the M1), which adds stability. A new slot, called the Hammerhead, is housed in the sole and works in combination with Twist Face and Inverted Cone technologies to deliver maximum ball speed across a larger area of the face. The Hammerhead slot features reinforced outer portions for a lighter, more flexible face, which results in a larger sweet spot. The centre portion of the slot increases ball speed low on the face and drops unwanted spin for straight distance. The M4 dispenses with the traditional white front section of the crown and introduces a new matte silver finish, while a raised five-layer carbon composite crown serves to further enhance performance. RRP: £369,



Titleist TS: Driving the need for speed CHRIS BEAUMONT, marketing manager for Titleist golf clubs in the UK and Ireland, discusses the design breakthroughs featured in the brand’s new range of TS metals, and what PGA Members can do to ensure they get golfers fitted with the right model It has been two months since the launch of Titleist’s new TS metalwoods. How has the range been received by retailers, media and consumers? Chris Beaumont (CB): The TS launch has been a huge success and has already surpassed our expectations. The positive reaction started with our Tour players, where we saw unprecedented conversion into these metals, which then cascaded down into the many positive reports we have seen from the media. In turn, this resulted in better than expected backing by our retail partners, who have seen some fantastic numbers when fitting this product with their members. Our own events have never been so busy, and at every venue we are seeing more and more consumers asking to demo TS, with a view to ultimately getting fitted. Where does the name TS come from? CB: The ‘Titleist Speed Project’ began with a challenge from the game’s best players to make Titleist drivers as fast as possible. Hence, TS, or Titleist Speed. What followed was a two-year project to solicit speed from every micron and milligram of the driver head, culminating with the development of two new drivers – TS2 and TS3 – engineered to deliver faster ball speed with higher launch, lower spin and increased MOI for more distance and game-changing forgiveness. What is the standout selling point of the new TS Driver and how has it moved on from the 917 driver? CB: ‘Titleist Speed’ is driven by the creation of the new Speed Chassis which boasts several key innovations. These include a new titanium crown, which is 20% thinner than 917 drivers, and has allowed us to shift weight lower and deeper; a more aerodynamic head shape, which has reduced drag by up to 20% to enable golfers to swing faster and increase clubhead speed for more distance;


while a thinner variable thickness face has reduced weight by up to 6g, delivering faster ball speeds and increases forgiveness. All of which has combined to deliver higher launch and lower spin, than offered in the 917 range, while increasing MOI by up to 12%. How can PGA Pros maximise performance with consumers through TS fittings? CB: The key is always to ensure you fully understand the product and the ways in which you can unlock the best performance for every golfer. Whether that be through the different heads in TS2 and TS3, the Surefit CG setting in TS3 or the flat weight in TS2, the Surefit Hosel adjustment capability, or the significant number of shafts available, there will be a combination available to suit any golfer. Our team of area sales managers and product specialists are on hand to help explain and guide accounts in the best ways to optimise these clubs for the consumer. On top of this, we continue to provide our partners with our online learning portal called ‘Titleist University’, which has very thorough product information and fitting methodologies across all of our categories. (https://titleistuniversity. Why will a PGA Pro benefit from stocking the new TS range? CB: We are confident we have a driver that will deliver more speed without sacrificing anything, which ultimately will result in more forgiveness and more distance. To help the PGA Partner share this with their customers, we have a whole host of programmes and trial/fitting opportunities to suit their needs. Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers RRP: £499,

Wishon 919THI WISHON’S 919THI driver boasts a variable thickness cupface and high MOI to deliver incredible performance even from off-centre hits. It features a unique bendable titanium hosel which can be independently adjusted four degrees either way for both lie angle and face angle, so that players can easily be fit for a set up that works for them. Further customisation comes in the form of no fewer than nine loft options, from as low as eight degrees all the way to 16 degrees, the higher of which will enable slow swing speed players to improve their carry distance. To complete the look it is offered with either a traditional titanium or black oxide finish (RH only).

Srixon Z 565 THE Z 565 is Srixon’s most forgiving ever driver, with the 460cc model aimed at a wide range of players looking for competitive distance and forgiveness with looks and feel. Dispensing with the moveable sole weights that featured in the Z 545 driver, key technologies include a multi-step Power Wave Sole for increased face deflection on shots hit low on the face; a stretch cup face that extends around the sole and crown to expand the sweetspot by up to 10%; and a lightweight crown for lower centre of gravity and increased forgiveness. The black gloss crown offers a clean look at address, with no alignment aids or markings. It is offered with 9° or 10.5° loft (+/-1°), 2° closed to 2° open face angle), while the standard shaft option is Miyazaki’s Kaula Mizu 5. RRP: £325,


Wilson Staff Cortex THE WINNING design from hit TV show Driver Vs. Driver, the Cortex is Wilson Staff’s most adjustable ever driver. It features a titanium structure with carbon panels, sliding adjustable weights, and interchangeable weights (2g and 8g) to offer precise weight distribution and adjustability. The driver also features Fast Cage Technology, which consists of a titanium internal structure with 44% of its surface area covered in carbon fibre panels. This construction allows for extremely precise distribution of weight and frees up additional weight for maximum adjustability. RRP: £399,

Honma TWorld 747 THE NEW TWorld747 455 and 460 drivers are designed using Honma’s ground-breaking Proprietary Adjustability System which allows golfers to adjust the loft of the club to create their desired shot shape without rotating the spine of the shaft. The direction of the shaft spine stays the same using a non-rotating system during adjustment, which improves ball flight and direction. The clubhead features a light carbon crown with ribbed grooving, while behind the clubface, Honma’s new 4 Fang Technology deploys four metal studs that enables the face to flex to deliver faster ball speeds and greater distances. The 455cc model, which delivers a more penetrating ball flight, features a 9g weight located at the furthest point from the heel of the clubhead to maximise MOI. The 460cc model features two interchangeable weights which provides a high-launch with low spin to achieve maximum distance. RRP: £549,

The PGA Professional

| December 2018



Wilson Staff C300

Vertical Groove

THE C300 features ‘power hole’ technology, which incorporates four holes around the clubface to promote more flexing at impact for increased ball speed and distance. Other features include sole weight adjustability to customise performance for neutral, draw, or fade tendency, and adjustable hosel technology for a variety of lofts. The pear-shaped head boasts a matte dark red finish.Loft options are 9°, 10.5°, and 12° (-1°/+2°), and the standard shaft is Fujikura’s Speeder Pro 58. RRP: £329,

THE VERTICAL Groove driver features 17 scorelines that run from crown to sole instead of from heel to toe. The theory is that the vertical grooves will reduce sidespin to produce shots that slice or hook less – up to 40% less according to third party testing. The grooves are deeper than traditional grooves and form part of a 450cc head that aims to increase accuracy off the tee. It is offered in 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° lofts and comes with a five stock 45-75-inch Aldila NV2K shafts ranging from 45g to 65g. RRP: £399.99,

MacGregor MacTec THE 460CC MacTec driver features a high-MOI design for increased stability at impact and an expanded sweetspot for greater forgiveness on off-centre strikes. It offers adjustability, allowing for lofts 9°, 10.5° and 12°, and features an ultra-thin face which helps generate greater ball speeds for longer, more powerful drives. It is fitted with a premium lightweight graphite shaft, soft compound grip and comes with a headcover and adjustment tool. RRP: £149.99,

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Being your own boss: Tips for the freelance pro In the first part of a new series, Mark Hopkins talks to PGA Professional Emma Brown about life as a freelancer, the challenges of self-employment, and discusses the business skills freelancers need to achieve both professional and personal goals PGA Professional Emma Brown felt she needed guidance to apply business skills to enhance her career as a freelance


If I want to be a Director of Golf, I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t have the business skills that come with running a pro shop



ou’re a talented golfer, and you’ve got the skills and drive to take control of your professional life to go it alone. There are many advantages to working for yourself, but sadly, without the right advice, it’s all too easy for freelancers to find themselves on the road to nowhere. Unfortunately, being your own boss can come with its own set of potential pitfalls. So, what should you look out for? What are the business basics you need to know? How do you manage your budget, and set pricing? Emma Brown, a freelance PGA Professional based at The Kendleshire Golf Club, knows only too well what life is like when you decide to go it alone. “When you’re employed, there’s usually a ‘next step’ in terms of your career, which isn’t the case for freelancers. If I want to be a Director of Golf, I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t have the business skills that come with running a pro shop.” Emma makes a good point. Golf business articles are often written for retailers, and aren’t always relevant for freelancers. However, a lot of retail principles do apply to running any business, such as setting targets, budgeting, time management, marketing and pricing. “I’ve never set a budget, and although I know what I want in my head, I don’t have a plan as such. I

do feel like I need more guidance”, she says. A better work-life balance is often why people chose to work for themselves, but the reality can be very different. “I’ve enjoyed this year,” she says, “I’ve managed to take some time off, but if I miss a weekend, I can be criticised for not being around enough. Getting that part right is hard”. Finding out advice on pricing is also on

Emma’s ‘to do’ list, and undervaluing the service you provide is a critical mistake made by many freelancers. “When I joined, I just looked at what others were charging and none of us has increased our lesson prices for years.” Emma’s long list of questions led to us striking a deal. In exchange for a much-needed golf lesson for me, Emma and I would sit down to look more closely at her business and what she wants to achieve. That’s a ‘win, win’ in my book. SO WHERE TO START? You don’t need to be running a retail business to understand running a business. Many of the principles are the same. Firstly, work out what your goals are. You will need a five-year plan. If you’re driven by money, and want to buy a house in five years, you need to work backwards to work out what you have to do to achieve that. Using Emma as a case study, I want to help freelance PGA Professional get a better understanding of key areas of business, such as budgeting, planning, pricing and time management, with the aim of helping you achieve both your personal, and professional, goals. January edition: Budgeting for Freelancers

During his 15 years in the golf industry, Mark Hopkins has worked with hundreds of golf professionals, helping them to understand the key principles of a good retail business, and make more money. Follow Mark on LinkedIn and Twitter @ crossovertec_MH.

The PGA Professional

| December 2018




Credit where it’s due It’s often over-looked, or forgotten, and rarely considered a problem, but customer credit can be as much of a threat to your business, as bad debt.


PGA Professional Derek Wright uses his epos to generate emails to remind customers of their account balances

Wright adds: “For me, the way forward is sending reminders to my customers with details of their account balances.” says Derek, “I use my epos system to generate these emails and it’s a great way to remind them to come back and spend it. Also, encouraging customers to use their credit when they’re at the till will hopefully keep it turning over and avoid the credit building up to be a problem for the business”.


encouraging customers to use their credit when they’re at the till will hopefully keep it turning over and avoid the credit building up


e all know the dangers of debt, which, if left too long, can bring your business to a grinding halt. However, it’s a problem we know how to tackle, and a phone call here or there can normally see the debt paid. No harm done. For golf retailers, it’s customer credit accounts that do really hurt business. “It’s common for golf shops to offer credit to customers”, says Crossover’s Matt Peace. “And I see many retailers who actively promote it. That’s okay if credit accounts are managed properly, but if not, they can really come back to bite you.” He adds: “Unfortunately, it’s too easy to forget about credit and let it build up. Then, a year or so later, a customer comes into the shop and uses the £300 on his account to buy some new clubs. But you’ve already spent the money on new stock, and now you have to take the hit.” PGA Professional Derek Wright, from Hamilton Golf Club in Scotland, is among many pros currently reviewing how the pro shop manages customer credit accounts. “It’s the winter months that can be worse for customer credit issues,” he says. “When you aren’t making as many sales, and then a customer comes in to spend a lot of his credit, it hurts! “We are a private members club, and so medal winnings are generally put onto the customer’s account, which is fine, as I’d rather they spend it with me than in the restaurant. The regular members tend to use their credit and keep it turning, which is important, but it’s the less-frequent customers who often have the highest value on their accounts, and then forget it’s there.”



Encourage customers to spend the money on their account at point of sale.


Keep an account for customers’ credit which sits separately to your general business account. That way, it shouldn’t touch your bottom line.


Put an expiry date on accounts. If you decide to start this, it’s an idea to email reminders, and ensure customers know when they open a new account.


Make sure customers receive regular reminders with their account balance. Use your epos system to do this. They might be shocked when they see the balance!

For advice about ways to use your EPOS system to manage customer accounts, get in touch today at XPOS is more than just a till. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.




Swinging in the rain

A dry golfer is a happy golfer, so make sure your members are wearing the right rain gear before hitting the fairways this winter


he old mantra that there is ‘no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing’ has never been truer when it applies to golf. While the demands of a waterproof jacket to walk the dog for 20 minutes are one thing, the requirements of a waterproof jacket for hiking around a golf course for four or five hours while swinging a golf club are entirely another, and as such demand careful research before a not inconsiderable investment is made. There are lots of factors to consider when buying wet weather gear, but it is no longer a matter of simply asking whether it will keep you dry. As Cross Sportswear marketing manager Jennifer Ostberg comments: “Now more than ever customers are looking for rainwear with fabrics that are lightweight, stretchy and comfortable, while still having a good fit. The best rain jacket is the one you don’t notice you are wearing. The time for bulky and noisy rainwear has long gone.” Golf outerwear has taken significant technical leaps forward over the past decade or so, with new fabrics developed specifically for golf, as well some borrowed from sports such as skiing and hiking, serving to enhance waterproofing, breathability and comfort. The primary requirement of all rainwear is the ability keep the wearer from getting wet. There’s fully waterproof, which does exactly as it says; then there’s water resistant, which isn’t as hefty as waterproof, but offers more protection than a regular jacket. Finally, there’s windproof, which, unless specified, won’t protect you from the rain, but will spare you from biting winds. A garment’s level of waterproofing is represented in millimetres. A 10,000mm waterproof rating means that a one-inch square of the fabric can withstand 10,000mm of water The PGA Professional

| December 2018

that are built to last,” he says. “Durability is definitely an important factor when creating our waterproof clothing. Modern fabrics allow for lighter, smoother, and generally more comfortable waterproofs, but they also help maintain their performance and looks over a longer period of time.”

pressing down on it before it begins to let moisture in. The higher the number, the more waterproof the item will be. Gore-Tex, for example, has a rating of 28,000mm, while most other brands are between 10,000mm and 20,000 mm. A water-resistant jacket will generally have a rating of between 1,500mm and 5,000mm, so that a quality waterproof jacket can be up to five times more able to withstand water than a water-resistant jacket. PERFORMANCE AT A PREMIUM Playing golf generates a lot of heat, so clothing needs to allow this heat to disperse, usually via semi-porous membrane built into the fibres of the garment. A garment’s breathability is measured in the grammes of water that can pass through a square metre of fabric in 24 hours. So if a product has a rating of 5,000g/24, it means that 5,000g of water can pass through the fabric over 24 hours. Again, the higher the number the more breathable the product. All this technology comes at a price that more and more golfers are willing to pay, and Tom Burlison, Galvin Green’s marketing manager, is among many retailers that have noticed a trend towards golfers looking for more premium, performance-enhancing products. “There is a growing appetite for higher quality items

LESS IS MORE Burlison has also a move towards more paired-down designs, with less fussy details. “We like to think of the waterproof as a shell layer which fulfils the primary focus of keeping you dry, so we don’t like to overcomplicate things by adding too many features,” adds Burlison. “For instance, a lot of Galvin Green jackets do not feature pockets at the front, as we want to avoid unnecessary fabric interfering with the swing. With our layering system, garments can also be worn underneath to help regulate body temperature and allow moisture to escape.” In addition to its waterproofing qualities, the cut and fit of a jacket is one of the most important considerations for any rain gear. Sizes and cuts can vary considerably between manufacturers, while many of the leading brands offer a choice between tailored designs for the slimmer golfer and more generously-proportioned styles for the less athletic. Either way, excess material will always be more of a hindrance than a help, and golfers should always look for jackets that offer stretch and flexibility rather than too much room to manoeuvre. Consequently, providing space for customers to try on clothing in front of mirrors that show how a garment fits and looks from all sides is an essential sales tool for any golf retailer. Golfers should be encouraged to stretch a when trying something on, just as they would while playing, in order to ensure that it is really comfortable before they hopefully head towards the till. 31



WHAT’S NEW? FootJoy DryJoys Tour LTS The temperature regulating feature of the DryJoys Tour LTS jacket means the jacket is suitable for year-round play, utilising the specially developed ThermoLite bonded liner, guaranteeing that when conditions are cool, the jacket will maintain body heat and when there is warmer conditions, the fibres wick moisture away from the body and expel heat. The lightweight construction and stretch fabrication of the jacket reduce the weight and bulk to improve mobility and a new three-layer bonded fabric and four-way stretch ensures mobility, comfort and quiet movements. The range sees the continuation of the popular DryJoys Tour LTS jackets, rain shirts and trousers in three new colous to compliment the entire A/W collection – black with marine; marine with black and tangerine; and navy with slate and white. RPP: Jacket £250; Shirt £230; Trousers £200

FJ Fleece Quilted Jacket An ideal mid or outer layer, depending on conditions, the Fleece Quilted Jacket is made from a durable woven shell fabric that features a water-repellent finish to deliver excellent protection from the rain and wind. Strategically-positioned fleece panels trap, retain and circulate heat without sacrificing the jacket’s breathable and moisture-wicking properties. A golfspecific stretch shoulder insert offers complete freedom of movement to swing. RRP £120

Stuburt Endurance-Lite Ii Waterproof Suit Featuring Stuburt’s DRI-back moisture transfer technology, this waterproof suit is highly breathable, with excellent windproof and thermal insulation properties. The jacket boasts taped seams and waterproof zips, and an adjustable hem and Velcro cuffs. The trousers come with an elasticated waistband, Velco ankle cuffs, two side pockets and one back pocket. RRP: Jacket £79.99, Trousers £44.99

TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS Fabrics for outerwear have developed by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Technological innovations have made a tremendous difference to the water-repellent and breathable qualities of textiles used in the manufacturer of golf outerwear. Swedish company Cross Sportswear has been at the leading edge of this movement towards the use of technological fabrics. Founded in Gothenburg by keen golfers frustrated with the lack of water resistant, comfortable rainwear, Cross developed a bespoke technology, FTX, that is designed to cope with the worst of Swedish weather. FTX technology comprises an ultra-thin microporous membrane combined with outer fabrics in two- or three-layer formulations to suit specific sporting requirements, The membrane moves water molecules away from the body and through the fabric to regulate body heat and maximize comfort. Other technological fabrics common in outerwear include Gore-Tex and Pertex Shield, the latter of which Ping uses alongside its own Sensor technology. Gore-Tex breathable, waterproof fabrics repel water, while allowing moisture to pass through and are suitable for all weather use. SensorDry is part of the Ping Sensor technology platform, which also incorporates SensorCool and SensorWarm. SensorDry does exactly what it says it does – waterproof, breathable, windproof using noiseless fabrics to avoid any distraction engineered for playability. In this case, it is combined with Pertex Shield – a jacket fabric offering high levels of wind and water protection with excellent breathability perfect for outdoor activities.



Ping Collection

Galvin Green

Zero Gravity Tour Suit Ping has updated its popular Zero Gravity Tour Suit, which is constructed from ultralightweight Pertex Shield 2.5 layer fabric, offering stretch and breathability. Fully seamsealed throughout, both the jacket and trousers offer waterproof protection and feature stretch properties for easy swinging in all conditions. The entire suit can be packed away into its own pocket. RRP: £180 jacket, £130 trousers Norse Jacket The waterproof Norse jacket is a quilted polyester top that features lightweight thermal insulation, which will keep you both warm and dry. Breatheable, windproof, water resistant and boasting stretch properties for easy swinging, it’s the ideal winter golfing partner. RRP £140

Mette Jacket The new Mette stretch waterproof jacket is fully seamsealed and features a zip-off detachable hood to offer female golfers a stylish outer layer for all occasions. RRP £130

Island Green Pixel Pink with black and white highlights create a striking combination for Island Green’s ladies water resistant jacket. For those wanting a cooler look, the same jacket is available in grey, black and white. Made from water resistant polyester and elastane, it offers good flexibility and weather resistance. Waterproof suits in black and salmon, or mid grey/duck egg blue keep wearers completely dry whatever the weather conditions. Men can opt for similar combinations in black, charcoal and navy, or a 100% polyester waterproof jacket in black/ bedrock grey/titanium grey or blue/ grey/titanium grey colour variations. IGJKT men’s waterproof jacket RRP £69.50; IGKT Men’s waterproof jacket RRP £64.50; IGL Suit Womens Waterproof suit in black and salmon RRP 89.95; IGL Top 1843 Womens water resistant full zip top £39.99.

The PGA Professional


| December 2018

The official supplier to this year’s winning European Ryder Cup team has updated virtually its entire product catalogue, with an uncompromising approach to product development that permeates throughout the new multi-layer collection composed of 270 products and 76 different styles. Exciting new colours for the winter season include beluga, lemonade, river blue and snow in the men’s range, plus rose, sea pine, misty green, cherry and crystal pink in the ladies’ collection. Archie Jacket The flagship waterproof jacket from the 2019 Galvin Green Carbon Series, the Archie features super stretch Gore-Tex fabric with a C-Knit backer, which offers a super-smooth hand feel and can easily slide over garments underneath. Its complex three-layer construction makes it highly breathable, as well as durable. The jacket is available in black/grey/silver. RRP £450 Al Jacket The Al jacket is made from stretch Gore-Tex fabric and incorporates a new waterproof membrane technology that offers increased breathability – 25% higher than previous products - and a super smooth texture, making it the softest, quietest and most breathable waterproof jacket the company has ever made. The three-layer jacket boasts a ‘slide & glide’ C-Knit backer to run smoothly over garments worn underneath. It comes in four colours in sizes S-3XL. Andres Jacket The Andres jacket ncorporates lightweight Gore-Tex Paclite Stretch two-layer fabric for maximum freedom of movement, while styling is streamlined to avoid unnecessary added features and weight. It is available in six different colours. RRP £260 Alison Jacket The Alison is a full-zip waterproof jacket featuring Gore-Tex with a mesh lining. It features an elasticated waist and longer back, plus drawstring adjusters for a better fit. Pre-shaped cuffs are extended to divert water away from the back of the hand. RRP £270





Peter Millar Albatross Stretch Rain Suit Peter Millar describes its Albatross rain suit as its ‘lightest, quietest and best performing waterproof rain suit.’ It provides extensive protection against the rain, as well as ease of movement, due to use of a breathable fabric, protective knit inner layer, four-way stretch and seam-sealed construction. The Japanese material is heavy enough not to cling to the body, but light enough to wear like a sweater, making it extremely playable. It is available in grey or navy. RRP Jacket £250, Trousers £215.

The Albatross rain jacket comes with matching trousers

Cross Sportswear

Edge rain jacket: waterproof, breathable and light Hurricane jacket in mens’ and womens’ styles with matching trousers

M/W Hurricane Jacket New for the SS19 season, the Hurricane jacket available is a lightweight, four-way stretch jacket designed to ensure maximum freedom of movement. It features FTX technology, a three-layer construction of outer shell, membrane and inner lining, delivering 15,000mm waterproofing and 15,000 g/m breathability. Pre-shaped sleeves, water-repellent zippers, and a microfleece chin guard make this a very practical jacket for tough weather conditions. It is available in blue, black, stonewash and red for men, and green, pink, navy and white for women – all with matching trousers. RRP £149 Edge Rain Jacket The Edge offers ultimate protection from the elements, yet is quiet, stretchable and superlight. It utilizes FTX threelayer technology providing 20,000mm waterproofing and 20,000 g/m breathability. Offering four-way stretch for easy swinging, it boasts a waterproof zipper, tape-sealed seams. Designed in an athletic fit, it is available in black, stonewash and a stonewash/black. RRP £259

Mizuno The Nexlite Rain Suit Offering 20,000mm waterproofing, with 25,000g breathability, this high performance rainsuit is classified as ‘highly waterproof’ for heavy rain. The jacket is soft to the touch and incredibly lightweight for its level of waterproofness, and could easily double as a wind top. Detachable sleeves make it even more versatile across the seasons. The trousers allow adjustable leg lengths of up to four inches in every waist size, and the whole suit comes with a handy pack-away pouch to minimise storage. RRP: Jacket £135, Trousers £115


Move Tech Jacket An ultra-warm padded jacket incorporating heat-generating Breath Thermo yarn. Stretch panels ensure freedom of movement, while Mizuno’s Tech Fill treatment maintains the jacket’s volume through wear and washing. RRP £115



Creating revenue through golf pro travel Steve Carter, the Head Professional at Walmley Golf Club in Sutton Coldfield, talks about the benefits of PGA Travel Partner’s Golf Pro Travel scheme. How long have you been involved in Golf Pro Travel? SC: I started back in 2011 with the Golf Pro Travel team at I used to attend my sponsor’s corporate trips every winter, and after a few years I was asked to arrange one myself and found it very difficult. There was a lot of hassle involved with contacting the resorts and golf clubs individually, and trying to pull it all together by myself. That’s when I got in touch with, who were extremely helpful from the start, giving me great advice on suitable venues and doing all the legwork for me. In 2011, I organised a total of six trips and it has steadily grown from there. This year I am on course to have organised or travelled on over 20 breaks, and have just gone past the 100th booking milestone! There are many forms of Golf Pro Travel, what type of travel are you involved in? SC: I am mainly involved in organising my club members’ trips away, from weekends in the UK to larger groups across Europe and beyond. I also host three or four trips away each year, and these are mainly on

coming in the shop and often leads to them buying more from me. They always need new balls, clothing and accessories before they go away, so it’s a win-win every time. I have recently started offering travelling groups a discount voucher to spend in the shop once they have paid their final balance, which really helps secure repeat business with my clients.

Steve Carter, Head PGA Professional at Walmley Golf Club

a corporate basis, although I do run an annual Ryder Cup-style event to Druids Glen with a fellow PGA Professional Adrian Carey, which always goes down well. I am also running my own coaching trip to Vila Sol in 2019 with my head coach Sam Stuart, and will also be playing in my first Pro-Am at Quinta do Lago. What are the benefits of Golf Pro Travel? SC: The main benefit for me is the five per cent commission I earn from organising my members breaks away and running my own trips through I also enjoy the interaction with my members, and it gets them Steve and have built a fantastic partnership over the last seven years

al Carter-Carey Team Carter at the annu Resort in Ireland Cup held at Druids Glen The PGA Professional

| December 2018

What travel service do you offer your members? SC: Golf travel can be volatile at times, so for my members to have that personal contact that they know and trust is important. I also share my own experience at numerous resorts I’ve travelled to in the past, and this helps with individuals wants, needs and budgets. Booking my members and my own trips through also gives them and me peace of mind, as they are fully ABTA and ATOL protected. The feedback I receive is very positive and my repeat bookings are very strong, which I hope will continue to grow next year. More importantly, I aim to provide the members of Walmley Golf Club with great trips at the best possible price through How do you advertise the travel services that you provide to your members? SC: My weekly newsletter is important in advertising my travel services to my membership, but the majority of my business comes mainly just by asking them direct. It’s an easy spot when you listen to conversations on the putting green or in the bar after play. My first question of “where are you going next?” always gets the ball rolling. 35



The best thing is to be upfront and ask for the chance to quote for their next trip. If my price is competitive then I see no reason for them to book anywhere else. It’s the same for my coaching trips. I ask my members that I coach if it is something that they would be interested in coming on initially, and then open it up to the rest of my membership if I need to fill any remaining spaces. Word of mouth is definitely the most important factor when it comes to getting more travel bookings. Quinta do Lago is Steve’s favourite resort and host venue for the Pro-Am in March 2019

What is your favourite golfing destination? SC: Portugal is definitely my favourite golfing destination. I have been very fortunate to have visited the country over 20 times and played over 50 different courses, and it offers everyone something different. Vilamoura, in particular, is a favourite of mine. With great hotels, superb golf courses and an amazing selection of restaurants, it is the perfect venue for all types of golfing trip. Quinta do Lago is my favourite resort by far, with three excellent courses – the South Course being my favourite – and five-star service to back it up. I usually visit twice a year and will continue to do so. Where do your members like to travel to? SC: My members mainly prefer to travel to Portugal and Spain. However, bookings for Turkey are on the increase, and I get the odd booking to America and South Africa each year. My members also like UK-based trips, traditionally one night and two rounds of golf, but the group size tends to be much bigger. I recently booked members on trips to Forest Pines and Patshull Park, both of which offer fantastic deals for groups. What are the benefits of booking through SC: Working closely with the Golf Pro Travel team at and in

means I can speak to the same person on the phone every time, rather than getting passed around the houses in a call centre. The continuity is important to me and the team know that I expect 110%. That relationship is vital, as we occasionally get issues while clients are away and we always deliver the after-sales service that guarantees repeat business. Alongside this, the five per cent commission I get as a PGA Professional for booking through them, and the fact that they are fully ABTA and ATOL protected, makes it a no-brainer for me.

There are many different ways you can boost your income through Golf Pro Travel

particular James Martin is good fun. We speak most days, which is sometimes more than I do to my wife! The team they have there only deals with golf pros, and it

What would you say to PGA Professionals that are thinking about getting involved in Golf Pro Travel, but haven’t yet taken the plunge? SC: Simply put, it’s a great way to add another revenue stream to your business. It offers a great source of winter income if you are running coaching breaks and year-round revenue if you are booking your members travel. Ultimately, whatever avenue you go down, it builds bonds with your members and helps cement that relationship and loyalty towards you as their pro. If you’re not already involved in some form of Golf Pro Travel, then it is definitely a service you should be adding to your armoury.

For more information on how the Golf Pro Travel Team at can help with your next trip, or if you would like a visit to your home club or facility by one of the team to discuss your travel options, 01753 752 880 or email




Spectacular Scottsdale With 330 days of sunshine each year, over 200 golf courses, and an impressive tournament pedigree, it’s little surprise that Arizona rivals Florida as America’s most popular winter sun destination


olf pros in search of sunnier climes have long zeroed in on the Grand Canyon State’s desert landscape. Its dry climate and multitude of courses, make it the perfect destination to take a group of your members. WHERE TO PLAY Set amid the Sonoran Desert, We-Ko-Pa is home to two of the best golf courses in the region, the Cholla and Saguaro, both of which offer an authentic taste of Arizonan golf. With ribbon-like fairways that twist their way through a striking desert landscape, the Cholla is mostly played through the air, offering classic target-syle golf, while the enchanting Saguaro Course, which was designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, is a subtler more traditional desert layout that is best tackled on the ground. Although the fairways are wide and fast running, the bumps and mounds can leave some testing lies – up, down and side – while heavily contoured approached to greens can send the ball flying in the wrong direction if not properly directed or flighted. Complemented by world-class practice facilities, including multiple target greens ,premium practice balls on the range, four putting greens and a spacious chipping green, it’s little surprise that We-Ko-Pa is among Arizona’s most popular resorts with pro groups. Boulders Resort

Cholla, We-Ko-Pa

Troon North Golf Club with Pinnacle Peak as its backdrop

FACT FILE Climate and the best time to go Home to two of Arizona’s most celebrated courses, Troon North Golf Club places emphasis on privacy, limiting the number of golfers allowed on the course each day to ensure visitors enjoy a stressfree round. Played against the striking backcloth of the nearby Pinnacle Peak, the two courses serve up classic desert golf with lush emerald fairways stretching through natural ravines and peppered with cacti and giant granite boulders. WHERE TO STAY The newly-renovated Boulders Resort is a perennial favourite among pro groups to Arizona’s golfing county. Voted the best golf hotel in the Southwest by Golf Digest, the lodge-style is perfectly integrated into Arizona’s most dramatic rock formation, which also forms the backdrop to the resort’s two Jay Morrish designed golf course. Meanwhile, for groups looking to be close to Old Town Scottsdale’s vibrant nightlife and cultural attractions, the Hyatt House Hyatt House Scottsdale

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

Arizona is a year-round destination, although the temperature can average as high as 100°F during the searing summer months. The best time to travel for pro groups is between January and mid-April, when the average temperatures hover between 20-25c.

Getting there Direct flights (10hrs 30 mins) depart daily from London to Arizona’s capital Phoenix, with indirect flights regularly departing from Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Top things to do off the course Coined ‘the desert version of Miami’s South Beach’, Scottsdale is a thriving town located to the east of Arizona’s capital, Phoenix. Whether you wish to unleash your inner cowboy, meander around the Old Town’s trendy art galleries and boutiques, or simply soak up the Sonoran Desert’s technicolour sunsets, this sundrenched adventure playground has something for everyone of your group to enjoy.

Scottsdale is a popular choice. Situated close to the heart of the town, the relaxed and unassuming all-suite hotel is just a stone’s throw from many of the region’s top courses. 37


Around the world

Have you ever experienced classic desert golf before? Then look no further than our most popular Golf Pro Travel stay-and-play packages in Scottsdale, Arizona. Don’t forget, you receive 5% commission as a PGA Professional when booking with, as well as benefiting from our Breakpoints loyalty scheme and a FREE place with seven amateurs*! Waste Management Phoenix Open 2019 ★ PGA Pro Package – 2019 travel

• 31st January – 3rd February 2019 • Experience the electric atmosphere • Saturday & Sunday tickets • 2 rounds of golf at We-Ko-Pa & Ocotillo • 5 nights bed & breakfast in Scottsdale • From £799 per person*

HYATT House Scottsdale 3★, Arizona Key facts

•Great base for golfing break • Close to restaurants/nightlife in Scottsdale • Only 20 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport • TPC Scottsdale, We-Ko-Pa and Troon North are all close by

★ PGA Pro Package – 2019 travel

• 7 nights bed & breakfast • 4 rounds of golf (We-Ko-Pa, Grayhawk, Eagle Mountain, Troon North) • From £825 per amateur – Pro goes FREE with 7 amateurs

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale 5★, Arizona Key facts

• Upmarket resort for golfing break • Gainey Ranch GC – 27 hole championship course on-site • Great practice facilities • 25 minutes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport • Selection of restaurants

★ PGA Pro Package – 2019 travel • 7 nights bed & breakfast • 4 rounds of golf (We-Ko-Pa, Gainey Ranch, Eagle Mountain, Troon North) • From £1,725 per amateur – Pro goes FREE with 7 amateurs

Boulders Resort & Spa 5★, Arizona Key facts

• Luxury resort for golfing break • 1 hour from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport • North & South – two championship golf courses on-site • Excellent practice facilities • Selection of restaurants and bars

★ PGA Pro Package – 2019 travel • 7 nights room only • 4 rounds of golf (Boulders North & South, We-Ko-Pa, Troon North) • From £1,550 per amateur – Pro goes FREE with 7 amateurs

*Free pro place not applicable to tournament package. For more information on how the Golf Pro Travel Team at can help, please call 01753 752 880 or email



Bobby Jones Golf Course where innovation meets tradition The recently-reopened Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta, which can be played in reverse, is setting the standards for golf design that can be enjoyed by every level of player, while state-of-the-art technology is driving forward the business both on and off the course, writes Dove Jones


hen you think of Bobby Jones, winner of 13 majors and the Grand Slam in 1930 as an amateur, the first words that come to mind to describe the great man might include those such as ‘excellence’, ‘integrity’, ‘dedication’ and brilliance’, but what about ‘innovation’? It may surprise some that Jones, along with Augusta National founding member Clifford Roberts, in their initial quest to make The Masters unlike any other golf tournament at the time, were true innovators of the modern professional golf tournament as we now know it. According to Whitney Crouse, a more than three decade-long PGA member, who is a co-founder and CEO of Mosaic Clubs, who serves as the project manager of the reinvention of Atlanta’s historic Bobby Jones Golf Course, Jones was indeed a true forward thinking innovator of the game. As Crouse, a dedicated Jones fan relates, “Few people remember that in Jones’ time professional tournaments were played over three days, with 36 holes on the final day. The Masters was the first 72-hole tournament to take the action over four days. It was also the first tournament to be broadcast live on radio, which brought golf to a national audience. Growing the game and making improvements to the experience were very important elements to Jones’ golf philosophy.” GROWING THE GAME So it is no coincidence that when Chuck Palmer, a former PGA professional who serves as the vice chairman of PGA Tour Championship, and Marty Elgison, the longThe PGA Professional

| December 2018

An aerial view of the Bobby Jones Course in Atlanta, which boasts a reversible design

Marty Elgison, head of the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation, putts out on one of the redesigned course’s over-sized, two-hole greens

serving Jones family attorney, brainstormed the Bobby Jones Golf Course Foundation (BJGCF) to completely reinvent Atlanta’s first public golf course, innovation and growing the game was paramount in their vision and lasting legacy to Jones. To date, the BJGCF has raised almost $23 million from private, corporate, organisational and other foundation donations to accomplish its lofty goal of being the most innovative public golf course to date, and

in the process make it a true grow-the-game initiative for all facets of golfers. The course, which can be stretched out to almost 7,400 yards, and features no rough and wide fairways, was officially opened on November 8 by Bobby Jones’s grandson, Bobby Jones IV, and is already receiving huge plaudits for the ambition and execution of the project, which took almost seven years to complete. Brian Conley, an award-winning PGA professional and current secretary of the Georgia PGA Section, was drawn to the project for precisely the innovative ‘break-the-rules but uphold traditional values’ philosophy that encompasses the entire project. Now, as BJGC’s general manager and director of golf, Conley is excited to bring the newest and best technology and practices to the blank canvas, and is keen to make sure BJGC continuously evolves outwardly to make golf fun for scores of future generations and internally profitable to grow the Foundation. 39


SMART TECHNOLOGY And golfers can vary the tee selection throughout a round, perhaps letting the winners of holes in match play pick the next tees. With smart technology incorporated into the Club Car golf carts, players will be able to enter which tee they played from, and which pin position they played to, and it will calculate handicap based on yardage algorithms. The carts will also be equipped with the Shark Experience, bringing livestreaming to players, a key element in the sports-crazed Atlanta area. “The course, while nine holes, is championship quality, and we are looking forward to hosting various tournaments for golfers of all levels,” says Conley. Dynamically-priced green fees are set The par-3 second on the Azalea Course


between $40-$80, ensuring that a game is affordable, while the inclusive nature of the club will extend to the clubhouse and practice facilities, which will include a driving range – sponsored by PGA Tour Superstore – a practice green and a short-game area. A state-of-the-art instructional facility is also coming soon, while The Murray Golf House, which will serve as the clubhouse, will open later in 2019, alongside the new Georgia Golf Hall of Fame. In addition to the state-of-the-art course, Conley is also driving forward the use of new


The original plot of land was not large enough to accommodate a quality championship course to today’s average of over 7,000 yards, so Cupp designed a reversible nine-hole routing


One of the Foundation’s first decisions was a brilliant one, bringing in long-time Atlanta resident and innovative golf course architect Bob Cupp to design the unusual routing. The original plot of land was not large enough to accommodate a championship course to today’s average of over 7,000 yards, so Cupp designed a reversible ninehole routing – the Azalea and Magnolia nines – that can be stretched to 7,400 yards. The innovation didn’t stop there, as each hole features eight tees and each green has two pin positions, offering an infinite number of ways to play the course. The idea is that golfers should play tees according to how far they hit their driver, not their handicap. For example, the par-4 sixth hole on Magnolia is just 198 yards from Level 1, but 486 from the Level 8 tees. This makes the course perfect for juniors, seniors, college-level players and everyone in between.

technology off the course to increase profitability. “My interest has always been equally divided between on-course experience and back-of-house profitability through emerging tech­ nology,” he says. “As a former sectional Merchandiser of the Year, I’m especially excited to bring our pro shop model to life, as it will feature an untethered wireless golf shop which will look more like an Apple Store, with iPad interfaces. It will also allow us to integrate digitally

with pricing and marketing programmes with industry leaders such as the EZLinks Webmarket I have utilised with success in the past. “The expansive practice area will also be equipped with the best technology in pricing models to serve internally as a revenue centre for the project.” Conley adds: “This project is a true integration of both to the highest standards available on the market, and we intend to not rest on our laurels, but continually evolve, giving new generations the excitement and fun they demand in a sports experience, but without straying from the core values that make golf the greatest game that it is. I am extremely fortunate to be associated with this dynamic and truly innovative project, and welcome showcasing it to any PGA Professional visiting the Atlanta area.” The Bobby Jones Golf Course is designed to be more than just another golf facility. It will serve as the hub of not only Atlanta’s golf community, but will hopefully have impact across not only the state, but across the globe, as a successful way for other communities to grow the game and serve as a community social hub. Any UK Golf Professional wishing to discuss any aspect of the project in more detail, or would like visit the course when in the Atlanta area, can email Brian Conley at


Are you rules-ready for 2019?

With the much-revised new Rules of Golf coming into play on January 1, here is a handy visual guide to some of the key changes that will be affecting you IN MOTION ACCIDENTALLY and yourBALL members’ competitive and social DEFLECTED rounds from now on BALL IN MOTION ACCIDENTALLY DEFLECTED 2019 Rule If a ball in motion is accidentally deflected by you or your equipment, there will be no penalty and the ball will be played from where it comes to rest.

REPLACING DAMAGED CLUB REPLACING DAMAGED CLUB © 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.

2019 Rule


You will not be allowed to replace a damaged club during the round if you were responsible for the damage.

USE OF DAMAGED CLUB © 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.

2019 Rule You will be allowed to keep using any damaged club, even if you damaged it in anger.

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

41 © 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.



2019 Rule Any penalty area (water hazard) can be marked as red, which means that lateral relief will be available to you.

2 club




2019 Rule You no longer have the option of taking relief on the opposite side of the point where your ball last crossed the edge of the penalty area.

�o relief on opposite side anymore


.'/.�. ,-

Penalty area



© 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.

Golfers have always held themselves to high standards of conduct on the golf course. See below for some of the

Golfers haveadjustments always held ofintegrity, conduct on the course. below for some of the to themselves Rules relatingto to high playerstandards conduct and which will golf take effect on See January 1, 2019. adjustments to Rules relating to player conduct and integrity, which will take effect on January 1, 2019. You will be able to mark and lift a ball to identify it, check for damage or see if it is embedded without first announcing your intention to another player.

So long as you do all that can be reasonably expected under the circumstances to make an accurate estimation or measurement, your reasonable judgment will be accepted even if later shown to be wrong by other means (such as video technology).

The new Rules directly address the high standards of conduct expected from players.

For more information on golf's new Rules, please visit or A Committee will have the authority to adopt its own code of conduct and to set penalties for breaches of that code.

The new Rules will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

© 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved




2019 Rule You may take relief for an embedded ball anywhere in the “general area” (except in sand). “General area” is the new term for “through the green.”

DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES DISTANCE-MEASURING DEVICES © 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.

2019 Rule You will be permitted to use a distance-measuring device, unless a Local Rule has been adopted prohibiting its use.


GOLF’S NEW RULES: PACE OF PLAY IMPROVEMENTS Implementing changes that have a positive impact on pace of play is an important aspect of golf’s new Rules, © 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.

Implementing changes that have a positive impact on pace of take play is effect an important aspect of golf's new Rules, which will take effect on January 1, 2019. which will on January 1, 2019.

40 seconds

“Ready Golf”

A recommendation in the Rules that you make each stroke in 40 seconds or less.

Playing out of turn in stroke play to save time, also known as ready golf, is encouraged.

Max Score


If your putt hits an unattended flagstick in the hole, there will be no penalty.

A new stroke-play format allowing the Committee to set a maximum score for a hole.

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

For more information on golf's new Rules, please visit or The new Rules will go into effect on January 1, 2019.

© 2018 R&A Rules Limited and the United States Golf Association. All rights reserved.



BMW and The PGA continue their relationship and discount scheme for Members in 2018 and beyond

As a PGA Partner, BMW Group offers exclusive discounts across any BMW, MINI or Motorrad models. Discount levels will vary between models, however PGA Members can be assured of a consistent and competitive offer from our team across the entire BMW Group range. The offers come direct from BMW Group through the dedicated VIP Sales Team which will be able to assist you with every aspect of your new car purchase, offering a superior level of customer service and support.

Our BMW PGA partnership recognises that there are personal preferences where payment is concerned, so in addition to the cash purchase discount, there are also a number of highly competitive contract hire and contract purchase options. With a broad range of models to suit every taste, from our versatile and exciting MINI 3-door hatch across the range to the luxurious new BMW X5 and the 8 Series, we are confident there is a model to entice each and every member. For more information, please contact the PGA sales team on
0370 700 5215 or by email

A NEW BREED OF GRANDEUR The new BMW X5 design makes a powerful statement. The enlarged one-piece kidney grille, which has a hexagonal design, is paired with

a sculptured bonnet, and gives the iconic front a new lease of life. Other standout features include the short overhang, a compact wheelbase, and a noticeably more upright appearance. And when combined with the elegant roofline, it’s grandeur and sportiness is in perfect harmony.

THE POWER OF MORE Drivers can expect more from the new BMW X5; more functionality, more space and more adventures. In part, this is made possible by the new electric split-tailgate, which helps with loading/unloading, and also the optional third row of seats. It also comes with Adaptive two-axle air suspension, sump-guard underbody protection and an optional xOffroad pack, which includes four new off-road driving modes. What more could you want? The new BMW X5 is available to order through the BMW PGA scheme today.

For more information, please contact the PGA Sales team on
0370 700 5215 or by email 44



Hitting it far and going under par – the role of S&C Alex Bliss

Qualified strength and conditioning (S&C) coach Alex Bliss, who has worked with many elite amateurs and tour professionals over the last 10 years, uses a case study of a European Tour player to highlight the challenges of preparing top golfers to meet the demands of a game which is increasingly dominated by distance


The PGA Professional

| December 2018


Physical conditioning could soon be – if not already – all but essential for players hoping to compete at the highest level with consistency and longevity.


oday it is rare to find any players competing at the elite level that don’t devote almost as much time on their physical wellbeing as they do their golf swing or their putting stroke. In fact, physical conditioning could soon be – if not already – all but essential for players hoping to compete at the highest level with consistency and longevity. Tournament courses are frequently well over 7,000 yards, and test a player’s ability to hits drives and iron shots with accuracy and distance like never before. Despite sport scientists highlighting the importance of strength and fitness for many years, its acceptance as a benefit for golfers has been a gradual process. Players like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and, more recently, Brooks Koepka, have demonstrated the benefits of athleticism complementing technical skill. However, the ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ mantra still pervades. Recent research has shown that the reverse is actually true. Sports scientist John Hellström and colleagues analysed PGA Tour performance in a research paper published in 2013, and found that driving distance (and distance remaining) can be more important than shot location. For example, it might be more beneficial to drive the ball further but in the rough near the green on a par four, than to hit the ball shorter, but on the fairway. On par fives, longer hitters


C O A C H I N G scored better than shorter hitters, from both the fairway and the rough. Either way, driving the ball a long way is clearly a desirable weapon in the modern golfer’s arsenal. Driving distance is principally related to the speed of the clubhead at impact. Clubhead speed is underpinned by a wide range of factors. An issue with some of these, such as club and ball design, is there are R&A rules that limit their effects. The fundamental issue with these factors is that they cannot be changed by the player. For a competitive advantage, the player must increase


driving distance by other means. Strength training has been shown to increase clubhead speed. Clubhead speed reflects the golfer’s ability to produce high force, quickly. Strong athletes produce high force; Fast athletes move quickly. Strength underpins speed, so we must make athletes strong, and then fast. A player’s strength and conditioning coach, working together with their PGA Professional, can then work collaboratively to transfer this into practice and build a swing that allows these forces to be transferred to the ball.

THE PROBLEM In many sports, traditional training frameworks exist for achieving optimal physical conditioning. Typically, S&C coaches will design programmes at different points of the year to encourage specific adaptations, e.g. strength, endurance, etc. The S&C coach manipulates certain training principles – volume and intensity – to enable these responses to occur, and to allow the golfer to peak for competition. Golf provides a unique challenge because players at the elite level have a long season,

(18 European Tour, 7 Challenge Tour) in 35 weeks, with one four-week and two three-week breaks during the season. Although the player’s ACT consisted of 26 tournaments, the distribution across tours and timing of these was highly altered (14 ET, 11 CT, plus Qualifying School). Towards the end of the season, the player competed in 19 tournaments in 22 weeks, including the six-day Qualifying School, at one point playing 10 consecutive weeks. These alterations resulted in strength training time outside of competition weeks reducing from seven weeks to two. Subsequently, two

three-week planned strength training blocks were cancelled in July and September to accommodate the playing schedule.

CASE STUDY The player The European Tour player held Category 18 status for the 2017 season. He held playing rights for the previous two seasons, including Category 11 status in 2016. The player had only recently started strength training and was supervised with a programme for 3-4 months prior to the 2017 season. We conducted the pre-season needs analysis and compiled an ‘intended’ annual plan (INT): The ‘actual’ tournament plan (ACT) is also discussed. Competition schedule The player’s INT had 25 tournaments

Competition Week – Early Tee Time

Competition Week – Late Tee Time

Competition Week – Missed Cut – Early Tee Time Competition Week – Missed Cut – Late Tee Time

Training during a competition week Tournament weeks do not afford the golfer many windows of opportunity for physical training. Monday and Tuesday might be a travel day, depending on the event, practice rounds and Pro-Ams are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, and competition from Thursday to Sunday. If multiple events are scheduled back-to-back, and the athlete doesn’t train during









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Rest Day

Practice Round

Practice/ Gym*



Practice/ Gym*



Rest Day


Practice/ Gym*


Practice/ Competition

Practice/ Gym*



Rest Day

Practice Round

Practice/ Gym*



Practice/ Gym*


*Dependent on tee time for practice round

Figure 1: Typical week plan for the player during competition weeks


multi-day competition, busy travel schedules, and limited time for training. To avoid athletes regressing or stagnating in their physical condition, S&C coaches must find time within the season to train, but also consider training during competition weeks. The case study below highlights some of the challenges that face the player and S&C coach when playing a full tour season. REFLECTIONS The player finished outside the automatic qualification slots for his tour card, but

competition weeks, they could go months without any strength training stimulus. This will result in detraining and a loss of strength. The player and I devised a typical week plan (Figure 1) to highlight gym training opportunities during competition weeks. A key goal for the S&C coach during these weeks is maintaining safe, effective training, without inducing excessive fatigue. The S&C coach must be capable of monitoring training load, manipulating training based on the athlete’s physical condition and the facilities available, building rapport, and understanding their behaviour to notice changes that could indicate when to increase or decrease training intensity or volume.


managed to retain his playing rights via Qualifying School at the end of the season. Chasing his card, the player deviated greatly from his tournament and strength training plan in the latter half of the season. Despite making significant strength improvement from the end of the 2016 season to the first half of 2017, the player lost strength through an increased playing schedule and reduced strength training. Physically, the player reported feeling exhausted by his final tour event and stopped participating in strength training for 8-10 weeks at the end of the season. In that event, the player’s average drive distance decreased from 322 yards in Round 1, to 284 yards in Round 4. For this player, drive distance appears crucial. Looking at all his tournaments where he made the cut and that had full data capture from the European Tour (Figure 2), the player only had one under par round when his average drive was below 290 yards. Conversely, when driving over 300 yards, the player always scored under par. When driving the ball over 300 yards, the player achieved finishes of third, sixth and 25th place. Indeed, the trendline in Figure 2 indicates that, on average, the player shot a worse score when his drive distance was reduced. Planning the training year for tour golfers is difficult. Unless the player holds a category where they know with certainty their tournament schedule, most players will need to regularly review their playing and

strength schedules based on performance. A key reflection here is the player and S&C coach must work in unity. The player and S&C coach should ensure strength work is maintained alongside technical training and competition to avoid poor fitness hindering performance. This is true irrespective of good or poor competition performance. A golfer’s fitness should support and bolster


The S&C coach and PGA professional should work collaboratively to provide the foundation for the player to achieve their best performances, consistently



technical performance, not limit it. Regularly engaging with a strength training regime can help keep the player in the correct physical condition to compete. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PGA PROFESSIONAL Players and coaches reading this article who are considering employing a strength coach are encouraged to seek reputable and suitably-qualified (e.g. UKSCA or NSCA) individuals who have these skills and can work in high-performance sport. The S&C coach and PGA professional should work collaboratively to provide the foundation for the player to achieve their best performances, consistently. If you would like to contact Alex, please get in touch via email at or on Twitter @al_bliss References: Hellström, J., Nilsson, J., & Isberg, L. (2013). Drive for dough. PGA Tour golfers’ tee shot functional accuracy, distance and hole score.

Figure 2: Correlation between driving distance and lower scores

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

Journal of Sports Sciences. 32(5): 462-469



Dare to be different Antje Derks offers tips on how to stand out in a crowded market by finding out what sets your business apart from those around you

If you have a good rapport with younger players, you could make that your USP and design your services accordingly


o you know what your USP USP seems to be tricky for most people. the food is all locally sourced, the landlord is? That’s your Unique Selling Mine is that I am an expert on social media, is a hoot and the atmosphere and food are Proposition. That’s the secret marketing and personal branding. That’s consistently brilliant. Their USP is locallysauce that sets you apart from all the sourced food and being consistently other club professionals in a 50-mile good. It is that simple. Think about radius. Being the same as everyone your favourite restaurant and why you Being the same as everyone love it – it’s likely other people have else isn’t going to cut it. Your club may have a nice clubhouse, decent greens, similar views. That will be their USP. else isn’t going to cut it. and a state-of-the-art driving range, You could say that the Manor Inn is It’s likely that a number of but it’s likely that a number of others just an ordinary country pub, but it’s others also have similarly also have similarly impressive facilities the small things that set it apart from impressive facilities in your area. the competition – believe me, there is The market is becoming increaslots – that sees my family and I return ingly crowded – especially if you are time and again. situated in a region with a plethora of golf what I write about. That’s what I know. So courses close to each other. Many clubs are what do you know? What is your favourite THINK SMALL having to cut green fees or reduce memberrestaurant? Mine is a small place in the As a golf pro, it is the little things you do ship fees to try and entice new members in Teign Valley called The Manor Inn. I love that set you apart from your competition – and existing members to stay. Finding your it because it’s set in beautiful surroundings, not anything enormous. Those little things




M A R K E T I N G amount to your USP. For example, you might have the patience of a saint and can work well with children, whereas many pros shudder at the thought. That would be your USP. So, essentially, the more places you are extraordinary, the more business you are likely to attract.

while the average age profile of a UK golfer is 42, younger golfers live and breathe social media and the internet. All the information they get comes through these channels, and you as a professional offering lessons, really need to embrace these channels and reach those younger audiences – your meal ticket for the future. It is likely that most of your existing members have children and grandchildren, and while some use golf as a means of getting away from the family for some much needed peace and quiet, there is no reason that youngsters should be excluded.

the club you work at – has to offer. When a visitor looks at your website they want to know they’ll enjoy a great day out. Show them your lessons, the shop, the course, the facilities and the clubhouse with high quality photography. Sadly, too many websites have low quality images that do nothing for the pro or club associated with them. BE PASSIONATE Don’t be shy to promote recent investments, The power of creating an emotional bond special offers and other deals. Be proud of was recognised years ago by the famous yourself and your association with the club advertising guru David Ogilvy, who built and make sure you flag up any famous the most successful advertising agency in visitors or home-grown stars that you may history. After designing campaigns for have taught or helped develop. Make sure most of the world’s largest the website is easy to navigate and corporations, he came to the not just focused on members – you conclusion that only one thing want to attract new people, and, The long-term success of your club, could give a company the edge if at all possible, add some local and your business within it, will be accommodation options should over the long haul. He found the key to success for any comvisitor wish to make a weekend of it. dictated not so much by the golf pany was its ability to create an Say thank you. How difficult course or the value you provide, but emotional bond with its cuscan it be to thank clients, either by the emotional bond you create tomers that went far beyond after their lesson or by email? If the nature of the product the they provide feedback on your with your customers company was actually selling. lesson through social media or He said: “A company competsites such as TripAdvisor, thank ing on the basis of price can them for their input and respond always be undercut. A company competing School holidays are endless, and parents to comments. Never be defensive if someon the basis of uniqueness can always be are often at a loss for what to do with their one makes a negative comment. In fact, if copied. A company competing on the kids. Indeed, many parents are actively you’re dealing with a dissatisfied customer, basis of a technical advantage can always looking for new ways to get their offspring outline how you’re addressing their concerns be caught. A company competing on the away from the screens and outside – and and invite the golfer back to resolve them. basis of value can always be matched. But a a golf camp could be the perfect answer. Lastly, don’t be afraid to be innovative. company with passion cannot be touched.” So make sure that innovative ideas are well As Samuel Beckett said: “Ever tried. Ever marketed offline at the club, but equally failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE online on social media. Instagram is where Fail better.” The long-term success of your club, and the kids are, so ensure your feed is engagyour business within it, will be dictated ing enough for them to want to follow you. not so much by the golf course or the Make sure you include images and footvalue you provide, but by the emotional age of young people – having, of course, ✓ Work out your USP bond you create with your customers or gained their consent and that of their par✓ Make your social feeds – members. Those clubs – and professionals ents first. Your feed should be inspirational especially Instagram – that fail to create such a bond, a feeling of and aspirational. Ask youngsters what they something greater than the course, lessons want and try and build an offering that ✓ Thank your clients and clothings they happen to be selling, caters for this. ✓ Make sure your images on your will not be able to compete at the top for website are top quality any length of time. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE ✓ Think about what you could What a lot of professionals – even the While I have written extensively about your offer the golfers of tomorrow young ones – seem to forget is that the website, it is worth mentioning here again ✓ Innovate ways to add value for kids of today are going to be the golfers briefly. Your website is your calling card – a your clients of tomorrow. You need to understand that shop front of what you the professional, and



Get it done this month

The PGA Professional

| December 2018



Drive revenue with 59club’s Performance Management Tools 59club will transform the way you work, advancing your customer journey and staff development, while delivering an all-important boost to your revenue and profits in the process. The right people, in the right place, doing the right thing, will see you excel…staff with limited process and managerial input can act like ‘monkeys with machine guns’! A danger to themselves, the customer and your business. Whatever professional route you have followed in golf, you stand to add to or detract from your customers’ enjoyment and longevity within the sport! Make sure your encounters matter, make customers feel special, deliver stand out service – and reap the financial rewards! Satisfied customers are your best marketing tool. Performance Management Tools equip staff with clear operational guidelines that will increase sales, retain customer loyalty and ultimately assists them to excel within their role. 59club’s Industry benchmarks indicate that those who invest in time analysing and advancing sales and service levels will convert 60% more sales opportunities than those who are not part of their mystery shopper programme. Hundreds of leading golf venues around the globe have aligned their customer service and sales systems

using 59club’s benchmarking mechanic to measure, improve and maintain standards.

audits and customer service tracker ratings indicating that in all cases, training pays dividends.

Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, has witnessed a 15% rise in service levels over the past five years and revenue has been up by 12% every year since working with 59club.

Keith Pickard, Group Director of Golf & Leisure, confirms that Macdonald Hotels has reduced the lead time to convert group golf enquiries to 10.2 days from 12.5 earlier in the year, originally sat at around 17 days. Last month, the group successfully converted 52% of all enquiries accrediting the direct correlations in all cases with 59club’s sales process and training.

Andrew Minty, Director of Golf at Langland Bay and GCMA Manager of the year 2015, has seen a rise of 18% in visitor spend as a direct result of the analysis provided by 59club. Best practice performance management tools – within retail, custom fitting, coaching, corporate and society days, golf visitor experience plus member sales, integration and retention – make it easier than ever to win new customers, gain loyalty and referral business, plus increase average spend per visit. Mystery Shopping Audits deliver a concrete process that continually measures staff performance, empowering management to align practice to the industry average, chosen competitors and the best performers. Customer Satisfaction Surveys measure your customer perception, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, supporting the information generated by mystery shopping.

ACHIEVE SALES AND SERVICE EXCELLENCE 59club’s benchmarking tools complement one another, affording you the complete peripheral vision of your business through the eyes of your customers, enabling you to deploy proven best practice methodology to drive your business forward. Your regional 59club representative is waiting to discuss your needs and build a clear strategy for you to advance, and for those who wish, a route to achieve the ultimate 59club benchmark, an acclaimed award for service excellence.

Supplementary 59club Training provides strategy to perfect sales and service levels, with subsequent

Visit for more information 50



Are you missing out on ? Social media expert Antje Derks assesses the value on online networking site LinkedIn, and suggests ways to create more meaningful business relationships with some of its 500 million worldwide members


inkedIn has been around since to market yourself and your golf offerings. So do you need a 2003 and is widely considered Like recruiters and employers who source LinkedIn profile? The the benchmark for professional candidates for new jobs, you can use it to short answer is yes, you networking social media platforms. Is do. Even if you choose not to spend the site still relevant or is it a waste much time on the site, it is worth of time? If you don’t use LinkedIn setting one up and completing it LinkedIn allows you to connect effectively, your searches, messages, fully. It will only take between 30 with current and former clients, minutes and an hour to do. You and other activity on the site can take hours, squandering considerdon’t need to check it every day, colleagues, members and able time. but once a week or twice a month people you meet at events, However, when used correctly, should be enough to keep you in thus growing your network and the LinkedIn loop. Make sure you LinkedIn can perform near miracles for your career development as a update it with any accomplishments potential customer pool PGA Professional. Most people misor courses you have undertaken – or takenly believe that LinkedIn is a run – and obviously if you change job searching platform – which it source new clients. Don’t forget, a lot your role within the club or move to a new is to a large extent –however, it is a of golfers – or potential players – exist club completely. great place to reach new audiences on this social network. Having a LinkedIn profile means you can



The PGA Professional

| December 2018



HOW TO MAKE LINKEDIN WORK FOR YOU Start by creating or updating your profile. That’s what you use to connect with people in your network. Your profile is also how you get found on LinkedIn because it contains information about your skills and experience, which are crawled by the bot to match people’s search parameters. Include a photo on your page; make sure that you take and choose a professional photo for LinkedIn. You can also add a banner image – I would pick something that shows you on the golf course, so it’s eye-catching and different. Furthermore, instead of using the default anchor text links in the Websites list within your LinkedIn profile’s Contact Info section, you can now add links to your portfolio and social networks, to name a few. Plus, you can also add links to your work under each job description – so if you want to increase clicks, make sure you populate those areas with the online presence to which you want to draw the most attention. As a golf professional, 52

you might add links to articles you have been featured in or videos you have created. Even cooler: If you produced multi-media videos for example, you can now upload those files. Say you’ve produced a series of golf lesson videos and want to feature that work, you can add links to your YouTube channel. What’s more, you can blog or


You can ask connections to write you a recommendation that will then be added to your profile – building you up as a trusted golf professional and coach, which is invaluable


use it for research and join any golf forums that are on there. I did the simplest search by typing in ‘golf ’. Pages and pages of golf professionals and other golf-related businesses popped up. So, in short, having a profile is a good idea – it allows you to connect with current and former clients, colleagues, members and people you meet at events, thus growing your network and potential customer pool. Aside from your time, a LinkedIn account is free, although there is a paid option called LinkedIn Premium. The biggest benefit of Premium is that you can message people directly who are not connected to you, however at around £30 per month, it is pricey and not necessarily worth it unless you are actively seeking a new position.


write an article directly onto your LinkedIn page. Make sure you populate it with golfrelated keywords so it’s seen by more people. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) isn’t limited to blogging. It turns out, you can also optimise your profile to get discovered by people searching LinkedIn for key terms you want to get found for. You can add these keywords to various sections of your profile, such as your headline, your summary, or your work experience. Back in 2012, LinkedIn launched a feature called Endorsements, which enables users to endorse their connections for skills they’ve listed in the Skills section of their profile – or recommend ones they haven’t yet listed. These endorsements then show up on your profile. Testimonials or recommendations are also another feature that is useful to you on LinkedIn. You can ask connections to write you a recommendation that will then be added to

your profile – building you up as a trusted golf professional and coach, which is invaluable. Speaking of connections, the Connections tab in the top navigation offers a variety of other tools to grow and connect with contacts in your professional network. When viewing your connections, click the right-hand side display that says, ‘Manage your synced and imported contacts’. From there, you’ll be able to sync your email contacts to see who’s on LinkedIn, and who you can invite to join. Lastly, ever since the big LinkedIn/Twitter breakup of 2012, you can no longer automatically sync your tweets to publish on LinkedIn. But as long as you add your Twitter account to LinkedIn, the opposite is still possible. So if you’re ever posting an update to LinkedIn that you’d also like your Twitter followers to see, you can easily syndicate that update to Twitter by selecting the ‘Public + Twitter’ option in the dropdown menu within the LinkedIn update composer. As a final thought, building deeper and more meaningful connections with people is more challenging in the virtual world, but it’s not impossible. Just remember to be yourself.

Get it done this month ✓ Create a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already done so

✓ Update your LinkedIn - using this article as a checklist

✓ Import your contacts and invite them to join your network

✓ Have a look at other PGA professional profiles and see how they’re doing it and borrow some of their best ideas

✓ Check out LinkedIn groups and join any you feel are relevant




Get exclusive VIP pricing on LG products This month’s PGA Professional looks at a new offer which allows PGA Members to save hundreds of pounds on the latest LG products.


★ Exclusive offers for PGA Members ★

ife’s about more than having the latest technology. It’s about the experiences technology creates. From TVs and home appliances to mobile phones and computer products, LG UK delivers consumer electronics that let you embrace life and prepare you for its greatest moments. LG Electronics UK designs consumer electronics that are intuitive, responsive and energy efficient so you can spend wisely, be more productive and lessen the impact on the world around you. We’re committed to providing electronics that work best for the way you live and to keeping you updated with the latest technological advances. After all, life’s better when you’re prepared. CONTACT For more information or to make a purchase contact Mark Hill (Partnership and VIP Programme manager): Office: 01932 331 572 Mobile: 07740 062970 Email: Website:

PGA members can access fantastic offers and prices on a wide range of LG products. Find out more by visiting the ‘My Benefits’ section at

The PGA Professional

| December 2018

65” Wallpaper OLED 4K, HDR, Smart TV with webOS (wall mountable included) MODEL – OLED65W8PLA Key features: • Perfect colour on perfect black • Alpha 9 processor • AI TV • Cinema HDR • Dolby Atmos • Picture on wall design Price – £2,895.00 (excluding VAT) 55” OLED 4K, HDR, Smart TV with webOS, Streamlined Alpine Stand, Dolby Atmos, (wall mountable) MODEL – OLED55C8PLA Key features: • Perfect black • Perfect colour • Alpha 9 processor • AI TV • Cinema HDR • Dolby atmos Price – £1,038.00 (excluding VAT)

5.1.2 High res audio sound bar with Dolby Atmos MODEL – SK9Y Key features: • Cinematic sound • Chromecast built-in • High resolution audio • Wireless surround ready • Works with Google Assistant • 4K pass through Price – £450.00 (excluding VAT)





Enjoy Christmas for less with your The PGA member savings

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but with PGA Benefits we’re about to make it even better. We’ve compiled the discounts available to members of the PGA to help you save on everything from Christmas shopping to party season entertainment Public liability insurance Cover is included in your subscription fee (if you are resident and working in the EU). Contact or call 01675 470 333 for your individual certificate. For any claims, contact Howden on 0121 698 8050. Visit the dedicated PGA insurance site at:

VAT advice For support with golf-related VAT issues, contact Stephen Phillips on 01675 470 333 or: There’s no need to search the internet for hours looking for deals, hit the high street or your favourite sites in confidence with great savings from PGA Benefits. • Enjoy cashback at your favourite retailers with Lifestyle Vouchers • Choose the ultimate tech from Apple • Look sharp in the New Year with men’s and women’s formal wear from T.M. Lewin

From decking the halls to finding the perfect turkey, Christmas puddings to festive drinks, it all adds up. • You can save at the supermarket or at several high street retailers with My Cashback Cards • Save up to 40% on cinema tickets for that traditional Christmas eve trip*

Whether you’re buying for him or her, these offers for members of the PGA make perfect presents. • A summer of Lord’s cricket next year with half price Middlesex Cricket membership* • 25% discount on salon, spa and beauty treatments from with Fabyouless membership* • Pamper a loved one with salon and spa treatments and save an additional 12% with Spafinder

Still stuck for ideas? Here are some unique and memorable gifts for that special someone. • 10% off National Trust gift cards


PAYE/National Insurance advice BDO LLP offer a free helpline to members. Contact Michael Hepburn on 0131 347 0355 or:

ARAG If you live in the UK and RoI, free legal advice is available from ARAG plc. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0330 303 1846.

Exclusive 20% discount for PGA Members* Call 0800 023 2020 or visit to arrange your FREE consultation or to book your eye test.

BMW Exclusive contract hire rates on a selection of BMW and MINI models through BMW Group. Visit, call 0207 514 3599 or email:

Peugeot Preferential rates available on a selection of cars over 24 months. Visit peugeot-contract, contact your local Peugeot dealership, or call the Peugeot Business Quoteline on 0345 313 3811.

PowaKaddy Account holders personal use trolley at a discounted rate of 15 per cent off trade price (non-account holders are eligible for trade price). Call 01795 473 555 or email quoting membership number.





SkyCaddie Heavily-discounted personal use prices start at £60† for a SkyCaddie GPS or £70† for the SkyPro. Get yourself a SkyTrak Launch Monitor and receive a free metal case and first year software saving £239. Become a SkyTrak Show Case Dealer and earn a bonus 40% affiliate fee (about £600†) on your first sale and 20% fee on any future sales. †+VAT Email or call 01844 296 358.

Crossover Technologies Golf-specific EPOS system. The technology manages stock levels, reducing dead stock and therefore helping to increase profit margins. Contact: 01454 418 395.

Silverbug Silverbug are IT experts who do things a little differently. Other companies talk about what they can do – but we want to focus on the issue you’re facing, and then fix it. We offer Members: Free IT health check of your business; Up to three months free managed IT services when taking out a contract; Option to leave within the first three months if you change your mind. For more information contact us on 0207 078 3795, quoting PGA.

Birdietime Offering all Members a free 1-hour marketing consultancy session to identify practical step to increase your tuition revenues. To book your session, email us at Visit to learn more about our online booking and payment system.

Huxley Golf Incentive programme of up to £500 in commission when recommending customers to purchase an all-weather home putting green. Call +44 (0)1730 829 608 or visit

First Data Preferential rates to PGA members for accepting credit and debit cards. Call 0330 123 1241 quoting PGA.

Coca-Cola Special packages on products and coolers. For more information visit

Exclusive, convenient and delivered to your door Members get monthly exclusive deals with Brakes they can’t get anywhere else. With online ordering, 24-hour delivery and easy to use templates, you can maximise your revenue and minimise your time by setting up a Brakes account today!

Provide retail expertise to help maximise your return. Benefit from point of sale promotions and receive guidance on how to choose an appropriate product range. For further info, contact Access to bespoke golfing packages for you and your clients through the dedicated Golf Pro Travel Team. Benefit from the best rates in the market. Receive a five per cent commission on your booking. For an exploratory meeting at your club contact Ben Foster on 07471 034 852 or Darren Bragg 07471 952 102 or email

Aphrodite Hills – Holiday Residences 25% discount on public rates with minimum stay of five nights (seven nights’ minimum stay during July and August). Valid for all apartments, junior villas and superior villa holiday bookings for 2018. Contact: quoting: PGA Professional

Aphrodite Hills – Hotel 20% discount from package rates. Contact: quoting: PGA Professional

Pestana Vila Sol, Vilamoura, Algarve Luxury five-star resort, host venue for the Lombard Trophy grand final 15 per cent discount to Members and amateur participants in each regional final. Book direct through pestana-vila-sol using promo code: 20516W0LX.

Antalya Golf Club and Sirene Hotel Attractive all-inclusive rates for you and your family. Contact

Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa Newly refurbished, luxurious four-star accommodation from just £78 per room B&B (max. two occupants) and includes use of the upgraded pool and health club. Member deals available Sunday to Thursday for business or leisure. Contact Mark Williams on 01704 875 699 or

To take advantage of these and other fantastic deals visit the PGA Benefits site today via

To access all of these benefits and more, log on to *Terms and conditions apply to all benefits. Offers correct at time of print. See website for details. Offers and prices subject to change without notice. The Cinema Society - Discounts vary between cinema venues. Please check when purchasing vouchers, registration to The Cinema Society required to access discount. Middlesex CCC - This is a special introductory offer for new members of Middlesex Cricket. PGA Benefit web pages are managed and run by Parliament Hill Limited. Within those benefits are some benefits negotiated directly by PGA, and these are identified on the benefit web page.

The PGA Professional

| December 2018



TRACKMAN 4 FOR SALE Excellent Condition with original packaging and two carry cases £12,000 Sean Clark (PGA) Woodbridge Golf Club Tel: 01394 382038 E:

Beaverbrook Golf Club, Surrey An exciting career opportunity for an Assistant Golf Professional dedicated to providing only the finest customer service. Key roles will be enhancing the member and guest experience, retail, instruction, repairs and equipment customisation. You will need to demonstrate an enthusiastic, proactive attitude while meeting and exceeding high expectations. Previous experience at a private members’ club is favourable, but not essential. Please email CV and cover letter to Head Professional, Jordan Ramanauskas at: by 15th December.

Willow Valley Golf, Yorkshire Registered assistant / training applicant required to work at Yorkshire’s premier golf facility. The Championship course hosted the Yorkshire PGA Championship for 13 years and represents a true European Tour challenge for a budding professional. This is a fantastic opportunity to improve all aspects of your golf and equip yourself for a role as a Touring Professional, Head Professional, Club Secretary or General Manager. A guaranteed 30-hour contract with extra hours during peak months. The role offers excellent career progression and the privilege of coaching our 60 strong junior academy. Please forward your CV and cover letter to Effingham Golf Club Fantastic opportunity for a Training Applicant/ Registered Assistant required for one of Surrey’s premier private members golf clubs. Applicants should have a talent for golf and excel at customer service, with a keen eye for enhancing the member and guest experience.This role will provide excellent training on retail, golf operations, coaching, repairs and custom fitting. Position includes fantastic coaching opportunities for the right applicant with access to an indoor Foresight Swing Studio providing all year round teaching and practice. Covering letter and CV to James Gunning (Head Professional) to be received by Friday 21st December 2018. 56



Golf Genius International Sales Manager Based in the UK, the successful candidate will take a lead growing the International customer base for Golf Genius. We are seeking a highly motivated, target orientated sales person with a proven track record in both sales achievement and sales management. Experience of the golf industry – possibly PGA qualified – with a proven record of sales performance is required and knowledge of the software environment is an added bonus. Predominantly taking responsibility for the UK & Ireland sales push, you will also help export Golf Genius into Europe and beyond. The role is fast moving and ‘hands on’ - showing prospective customers why Golf Genius is the ‘Less Work. More Fun. More Revenue’ solution. Golf events, meetings, exhibitions and conferences are key environments to promote Golf Genius. The compensation will consist of salary and commission, and will be commensurate with experience and skill set, and reflect the importance of leading the sales effort of Golf Genius further into the international golf market. For initial consideration and more information / job specification please register your interest in this position by providing a resume or CV to Craig Higgs at

Stoke Park requires highly motivated PGA Registered Stoke Park requires highly motivated PGAconfident Registered Assistant who is enthusiastic, reliable and to Assistant is enthusiastic, anddepartment. confident to work as who part of a team in ourreliable busy golf work as part of a team in our busy golf department. The successful applicant will be responsible for assisting The applicant be responsible for assisting andsuccessful developing the dailywill operations of our retail sector and developing the daily operations ourmanagement retail sector focusing in particular on the provisionofand focusing particular on the provision and management of our in club fitting experience, 30 hours+ per week. of our club fitting experience, 30 hours+ per week. As the European Headquarters of the Leadbetter Golf As the European of the Golf Academy the roleHeadquarters will also provide theLeadbetter opportunity of Academy the role will alsoexperience provide thethrough opportunity of progressing your coaching the LGA progressing coachingwith experience through the LGA certificationyour programme great earning potential. certification programme with great earning potential. Must be smartly presented, well spoken with a keen Must be smartly well spoken with a keen interest in presented, pushing their career forward. interest in pushing their career forward. Personality, correct attitude and passion for golf are Personality, correct attitude and passion for golf are essential. Start date: Immediate. essential. Start date: Immediate. Please apply in writing to: Please apply in writing to: Road, HR Department – Stoke Park, Park HR Department – Stoke Park, Road, Stoke Poges, Bucks, SL2 4PGPark or email Stoke Poges, Bucks, SL2 4PG or email


Portlethen Golf Club, Aberdeenshire PGA Club Professional Required Located only 7 miles south of Aberdeen City centre and conveniently located on the A90, Portlethen is maturing into one of the top parkland courses in the North-East of Scotland with a growing reputation for its quality condition. We have an exciting opportunity for a self-employed PGA Professional who’s main responsibilities would include: • The offering of a warm, friendly and helpful welcome through exceptional interpersonal skills to members and visitors. • Development in junior coaching. • Organisation and administration of golfing activities including members and open competitions. • Pro-active involvement in contributing to the on-going development of the club. • Offering a full portfolio of golfing services including retail, club repairs and tuition. The facilities include a shop and extensive practice facilities that offer the potential for a thriving business opportunity for a professional with a focus on developing golfers both young and old as well as providing exceptional customer service to members and visitors. Ideally, we would look to have the successful applicant with a starting date in early 2019. Applications including a covering letter and CV should be sent to Dino Becci, Club Secretary at Closing Date: Friday 14th December 2018

BRO’s delivering education BRO’stodelivering education your doorstep to your doorstep

The PGA are hosting a series of FREE regional ‘Breakfast clubs throughout Winter. The PGAand areLearn’ hosting a series of FREE the regional

‘Breakfast and Learn’ clubs throughout the Winter. The BRO team will be delivering education around key issues as raised members including CV writing/applying forissues jobs, The BRO by team will be delivering education around key employment status, understanding your Pro Shop resource, as raised by members including CV writing/applying for jobs, demonstrating value and managing your resource, staff. employment status,your understanding your Pro Shop demonstrating your value and managing your staff. The first Breakfast Club, delivered by Danielle Thomas, was recently atClub, Pleasington Club in the North The held first Breakfast deliveredGolf by Danielle Thomas, and the topic of CV writing/applying and wascovered held recently at Pleasington Golf Club infor thejobs North members made comments: and covered the topic ofthe CV following writing/applying for jobs and

members made the following comments: “Danielle was fantastic! Great enthusiasm and delivery to her work.was I learned a lot! If I apply for jobsand in the future, “Danielle fantastic! Great enthusiasm delivery to Iher would notI consider help work. learned athis lot!without If I applyseeking for jobsDanielle’s in the future, first. She’s a credit to seeking The PGA.” I would not consider this without Danielle’s help first. She’s a credit to The PGA.” “Danielle was excellent, and very enthusiastic, I would certainlywas attend more seminars she is running.” “Danielle excellent, and verythat enthusiastic, I would

certainly attend more seminars that she is running.” Each session will award 10 CPD points and provide the perfect opportunity to network fellow Each session will award 10 CPDwith points andProfessionals. provide the more information and to book place, perfectFor opportunity to network with fellowaProfessionals. contact For more information and to book a place, contact

The PGA Professional

| December 2018


Filton Golf Club invites applications for the position of Head Professional. Filton Golf Club on the North side of Bristol offers its members a beautiful 18 hole, mature-parkland course, maintained to the highest standards all year round. We have a fantastic opportunity for a commercially minded, ambitious PGA Qualified Professional to join our club on a selfemployed basis. The successful candidate must be a self-motivated high achiever with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills. This role will suit a customer focussed, committed individual who will lead a team to build strong relationships with members and visitors, enhancing the services from and the reputation of Filton Golf Club. Key Responsibilities include: • Excel at front of house duties and consistently delivering first class customer service. • Establishing and operating a well-stocked attractive shop to meet the needs of members and visitors. • Manage the tee booking, societies and associated packages. • Work closely with the Managing Secretary and Council. • Administer club competitions, tournaments, the club opens and corporate golf days • Develop tuition programs and deliver high-quality individual and group coaching to members, Juniors, guests and other interested parties. • Proactively working in the attraction of visitors and the retention/ recruitment of club members. To apply Applications must include a covering letter demonstrating how the applicant will add value to the club together with a full CV by Friday 14th December. email to Ian McMahon, Managing Secretary

E M P L OY M E N T O P P O RT U N I T I E S UK AND IRELAND Lansdown Golf Club, Bath

An opportunity has become available for a Qualified Professional at this private member club. The role includes coaching, custom fitting, retail and supporting the Head Professional in the day to day running of golf operations. Please send CV with a covering letter explaining your suitability for the role to Pyle and Kenfig Golf Club

Fantastic opportunity for a motivated candidate with strong communication skills to join a vibrant professional team providing first class customer service. Excellent coaching opportunities and playing is encouraged. Apply with CV and covering letter to Dylan Williams at by 17 December. Manor of Groves Golf Club, Hertfordshire

Enthusiastic, reliable and hardworking Assistant/Trainee/ Unregistered trainee required for 18-hole golf course with hotel and spa. Role includes retail, coaching, custom fitting and development of a Junior academy. To apply please email CV and covering letter to Kingswood Golf Centre, Doncaster

Busy golf centre with 18-hole course driving range and adventure golf course requires a self-motivated energetic fully qualified golf professional for teaching club fitting and retail duties. Excellent earning potential. To apply contact 57



Childwall Golf Club

Lavender Park Golf Centre, Ascot

Registered assistant/Trainee at a busy members club. The role offers excellent career progression and involves retailing, club repairs, junior coaching and custom fitting. Applicant must be hardworking, trustworthy and reliable. Please send CV and covering letter to Carl Smith at

Do you love customer service? Do you want to improve your golf? Then come and join our team! We are looking for hard working enthusiastic induvial who share our values for offering the best. At Lavender Park Golf Centre Ascot SL58BD. Email: Tel. +44 (01344)893344.

Oakland Park Golf Club, Buckinghamshire

Broome Manor Golf Complex, Wiltshire

An exciting opportunity for a year 1/ 2-year assistant to join an ambitious professional team, on a 30-hour contract. Role includes: Retail, Building junior and Beginner coaching and golf management. Applicant to be hard working and eager to learn. Applicants should apply with CV and cover letter to Paul Warner at

Excellent opportunity for a self-motivated candidate with solid communication skills. Looking for a PGA Professional to join our coaching academy. Available to provide lessons on a full-time basis over 2 different sites. Self-employed position with bay rentals to be negotiated. Send CV and cover letter to

Belton Woods Hotel, Lincolnshire

Boughton Golf Club, Kent

Opportunity for Golf Membership Sales Advisory at Belton Woods Hotel. Sales orientated experience desirable for busy Midlands resort for competitive salary and OTE included. To apply, email Closing date 16 December.

Exciting Opportunity for a qualified PGA Teaching Professional to join existing professional team. Looking for a self-motivated energetic professional at this busy site. Hotel build is to complete in March 2019 which makes this a very exciting position with goof earning potential. CV and cover letter to Steve Mitchell,

Upminster Golf Club, Essex

Looking for a part time PGA Qualified Professional or Registered Trainee to work in the proshop with opportunities of both junior group coaching and individual lessons. Applicant must be hardworking, enthusiastic and a team player. Email your letter and CV to Gravesend Golf Centre, Kent

Teaching professional required for busy driving range/par3. The applicant is required to continue our successful junior and ladies golf academy combined with private tuition via our online booking system. Social media and marketing skills essential. Please forward your CV to Honiton Golf Club, Devon

Honiton Golf Club require an assistant/trainee for our friendly members club. There will be a great opportunity to coach (indoor facility) play and develop retail skills including custom fitting. Applicant must be hard working and motivated. Please send CV and letter to, Adrian Cave. For information ring 01404 42943. Royal Guernsey Golf Club, Channel Islands

One qualified professional and one trainee professional required. Very busy club and visitor activity with large membership that provides busy coaching, retail and playing opportunities. Accommodation available on site. Positions commencing 4th January 2019. For more information contact Phil Sykes Head Professional, or 07781101444. Killiney Golf Club, Dublin. Ireland.

Enthusiastic, reliable and hardworking Assistant/Trainee required for very prestigious members club in South Dublin. Role includes shop hours, weekend kids coaching and custom fitting/repairs. For further information contact Leo at


Hylands Golf Complex, Essex

Trainee/Assistant Professional required to work alongside an existing team focusing on golf equipment. Applicants must be interested in equipment and club technology. Roles will include: Custom fitting, repairs and specialised golf shaft distribution across a European network of custom fitting specialists. Please send applications to: american golf

We are seeking enthusiastic, ambitious and driven individuals who are passionate about retail and love golf! We are recruiting Sales Advisors for our Hendon, Borehamwood, Biggleswade and Manchester stores. If you’re interested in this position and joining Europe’s largest golf retailer visit for further information.

OVERSEAS Els Club, Dubai

Troon is excited to announce the exceptional career opportunity of Tournament Coordinator at The Els Club, Dubai. Qualified candidates will thrive in a hospitality environment and be highly focused on providing superior service. To view the job description please visit our website. Applications to:

JOB SEEKERS Tadd Bainton – Proshop/ Coaching Role

Experienced final year Assistant Professional available for full or part time work within the Proshop and a coaching role. Contact:, 07891975057. Paul Weyman – Experienced PGA Professional, Part Time

Highly experienced PGA Professional available for part time Club technician/builder or fitting role. Contact, 07831844902.

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The PGA Professional - December 2018  

The official PGA Members' magazine

The PGA Professional - December 2018  

The official PGA Members' magazine