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Club Inc: Network Your Way To The Top4 min read

Posted on: 1st Oct 2012

A series of monthly articles by Club Inc, golf’s leading recruitment experts and Confederation of Professional Golf’s Career Services Partners who provide invaluable career advice and services to member PGAs and their collective individual membership of more than 21,000 PGA Professionals. Here Niall Flanagan, Managing Director of Club Inc., reveals how networking can can be the key to achieving your careers goals.

 Network Your Way To The Top

It is said most people spend more time thinking about where they are going on holiday than their career. For those golf professionals who really want to succeed you need to think what your ultimate career goal is in order to satisfy all the things you want to achieve.

Having worked with hundreds of PGA Members, every one of them has different goals. Some want a top club professional job, some want to be the best coach, some want to work abroad, some want to turn to club management and become a General Manager. So its is important to research and understand what steps are needed to get to your individual career goal.

Networking and marketing yourself to the right people is one of the most powerful tools in getting you to the next stage. For example, I knew my career goal was to be a General Manager at one of the top clubs in the world. I started writing to Dick Kopplin the leading headhunter in the USA in 1998. At first I never got a reply as he didn’t know me and at the time I was living and working in Dubai. When I moved to St Andrews in 2004, I attended the CMAA World conference presenting the Opening Education Address to 1,800 people. This was the first time I met Dick. In 2005, I invited Dick to speak at a conference that I promoted, which he accepted. In 2006 he got me the interview for the position of CEO at Loch Lomond that resulted in me being successful in fulfilling my career goal. It had taken me 8 years but the work I did along the way helped me pave the way to getting me what I had set out to do some 15 years before.

Improving your own PR is also vitally important, most golf professionals I know are confident in presenting themselves due to the hours coaching their students and retailing to their customers. Think about putting yourself forward to speak at conferences, writing articles for magazines or websites. This will grow your brand and attract potential employers as the more often your name and picture appear the more chance you have of being reminded to or meeting owners, CEO’s, headhunters etc.

For golf professionals I think Linkedin is a must to help promote themselves and open up career opportunities. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 175 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals giving you the keys to controlling your online identity.

You should Google yourself? You never know what may come up. LinkedIn profiles rise to the top of search results, letting you control the first impression people get when searching for you online. You should know how to best set up your account and adding, and frequently updating, your CV will help boost your Linkedin profile. Whether you’re looking for a career opportunity, winning new clients or building your professional reputation, LinkedIn can, if used properly, connect you to jobs, sales leads and ideal business partners.

So please remember that Networking can be very helpful to your career – its not just a buzz word, it actually works. Develop a network of friendly people who share information to help each other. I believe it is best known as a strategy for opening the hidden job market. Since 80% of jobs are not advertised, it is essential that you develop friendly relationships with people who can tip you off to job openings – perhaps even introduce you to the person who is doing the hiring. There is some truth in, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”


Since the start of this series of articles on helping Professionals with the very best career advice in sport we are pleased to report that we are now working with a large number of PGA members. Currently 10 professionals a week are becoming clients, helping them to have a better chance to improve their careers and networking opportunities, which Club Inc can provide.

For more career advice and the opportunity to:

  • Change your career direction
  • Increase your earning potential
  • Find a new challenging position
  • Get help following redundancy
  • Help you with your professional network.

Visit our website www.clubincorporated.com or call us on 0207 903 5105

Remember it might feel like you have little control over where your career is heading. By calling Club Inc. you will find it really doesn’t have to be that way.