Continuing to grow and develop golf is everybody’s goal – whether you are a player, a volunteer, a club employee or part of a course agronomy team. We all share this common, unparalleled passion to grow and develop the health of the sport we are involved in. This is what makes golf such a unique and cherished industry.
However, with so many actors enforcing clear influences on golf’s business, participatory, financial and engagement success, what significance does the PGA Professional have on this? How and why do they hold the key to such parameters? And how can we help them, to help us?
01 Expertise Both On and Off The Course
In spite of a continuously and rapidly evolving industry, with new initiatives, new ideas and technologically driven consumer demands, what has appeared to stand firm throughout such changes has been the existence of PGA Professionals.
The view that PGA Professionals have been, and continue to be, experts in the game of golf is rarely challenged and it isn’t hard to see why. Having undergone a rigorous training programme myself, the education and qualification levels of newly-qualified Professionals continues to rise year upon year, irrespective of country and culture.
Whether it relates to swing and coaching theory, custom-fitting your next set of golf clubs or running the financial statements of a business, PGA Professionals are continuing to hone their skills and expertise in a multitude of areas within golf, and bring with them a wealth of contextualised knowledge.
Because of this their expertise continues to be highly sought after from golf clubs, associations, organisations and initiatives. Their success and impact on the game, to a serious extent, depends on PGA Professionals and the skills that they have.
02 Junior Development
Growing and maintaining the sustainability of golf requires the emergence of new, younger generations picking a club up and playing, in whatever capacity that may be. To do this, successful junior development programmes, from recreational all the way through to elite level is paramount.
Reiterating the first point on education means that the PGA Professional continues to be best placed for delivering and driving forward junior golf development. They understand better than most why juniors develop at different ages, they know how to nurture their talents and enthusiasm for golf, and understand what factors influence their levels of participation and performance – key pillars to their ongoing engagement and success in the sport.
Therefore, placing PGA Professionals into roles across all levels of junior golf development will do two things:
- It will increase the number of juniors and young adults playing the sport (and reduce the dropout rate)
- It will help nurture the next global superstars
On that last point it is quite ironic to point out that these players are highly-marketable entities for golf, and leveraging them to place the sport on global TV screens and literature does leave me with the question – how many of us chose to originally pick up a club as a result of consuming such medias? And thus, the cycle continues…
03 PGA Professionals: Development is the Key
The COVID-19 crisis has really threatened the sustainability of non-essential industry such as the likes of tourism, recreation and sport. Pressing pause on being able to play golf, seek lessons with your PGA Pros, playing in golf tournaments, and even watching elite level golf on TV will perhaps have serious repercussions for the industry in the near-distant future – some issues that might take years to even realise.
The Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG] saw the enforced downtime as an opportunity to provide PGA Members further access to #Development activities and educational exercises. We therefore introduced the ‘CPG Masterclass Series’, to provide online webinars with a variety of topics, delivered by experts from different fields and philosophies, and it has exceeded all expectations from both sides. Engagement rates, participation and overall feeling has been overwhelming, with attendees from across the 32 CPG Member Country PGAs and across industry attending, seeking to continue their own professional education and development.