The Cut : The Cut - Autumn 2017
98 THE CUT of professional golfers and to set standards for the profession. Nearly 120 years later, PGAs around the world now run comprehensive programmes for those wishing to become qualified PGA vocational members. In some ways, these follow the road travelled by the early professionals. A high degree of playing skill is mandatory (a handicap of three or better for men, and six for women) and the trainee programme covers topics such as swing fundamentals, coaching, club fitting and repairing and the business of golf. Qualifying as a full PGA member takes a minimum of three years and requires a level of practical and theoretical study equivalent to a university degree, plus maintaining playing standards at a high level and working full-time throughout under a current PGA member. However, the qualifications obtained today are increasingly focused on business and technology and although the 2017 PGA graduate will have a sound overall knowledge of all key aspects of golf, they are likely to move into more specialised areas, which could include coaching, promoting and growing the game (for example through junior golf initiatives), retailing or golf club management. Because the qualification is recognised internationally, they can build a global career, with many recent PGA NZ graduates working in markets such as China, Australia, the UK, Europe and North America. The professionals of the past would surely relate to this, as they left Scotland in large numbers to spread the game around the world, not least in New Zealand. If they landed here today they would no doubt be intrigued by the widespread use of Flightscope, Trackman and video technology in coaching, let alone the business-planning tools and spreadsheets the modern professional has access to. But they would recognise the same attributes they needed to grow the game and their own careers: passion, persistence and overcoming frequent setbacks and adversity to be recognised as experts in the game and business of golf. If you believe you have these qualities, a career in golf may well be the right choice and you’ll join an elite club of some 40,000 PGA-qualified men and women around the world who get up every morning to go out and do their bit to grow the great game of golf.
The Cut - Summer 2017
The Cut - Winter 2017