When I joined Peter Field Golf Shop it was with the intention of becoming a PGA Professional. I started on my journey 2 years ago and have just passed my second year! I enrolled onto the PGA after working extremely hard to get down and maintain a handicap of 4, I had played for my county and for England which allowed me to start my dream career as a golf coach with the help from Peter Field and the wonderful facilities at Norwich Family Golf Centre.
The PGA stands for the Professional Golfers Association and is based at the University of Birmingham. You commit to a 3-year degree that involves extensive learning remotely from my place of work. My assignments have to be submitted online like any student, meeting a high standard criteria to pass. As well as having tutors online it is important that I learn and shadow my peer coaches at Norwich Family Golf Centre to gain experience.
I have been fortunate to spend time with some top coaches such as Paul Hurrion who is a renowned putting coach & Liam Mucklow who has created and delivers ‘The Golf Lab’ who specialise in club fitting. This allows me as a coach to see the potential level I hope to reach in the future if I keep progressing. Getting hands-on experience with valuable feedback from my peer coaches is definitely helping me improve.
With 6 modules each year that require an assignment and an end of year exam to pass. Here is an insight into each topic and what I have learned.
The last 2 years have allowed me to gain so much experience in delivering coaching. I had an assignment based on the importance of camera placement when recording the client’s swing and the advantages and disadvantages of using it.
If you would like to know more about this, watch my video here
My coaching exam for level 2 I delivered a lesson to a golfer chosen by the examiner in front of a PGA professional examiner who marks me on my competence to identify and advise a solution for the pupil in 20 minutes.
Working at Peter Field Golf Shop gave me a great understanding of how a golf shop can be run to support my coaching. This year we had an assignment on how to manage cash flow, how budgeting can help and finance options available to get through a season.
I had experience of this because budgeting is a huge part of working in the golf industry, with the change of seasons golf becomes quieter when going into winter and this is when it is most important to manage the stock levels.
Applied sports science
The module I have enjoyed the most is applied sports science, I have found it extremely helpful when I am learning more about the biomechanics technology we have such as Swing catalyst and the 3D K-motion we use at Peter Field Golf. I am looking forward to using these more in the future and being knowledgeable about how I can help someone improve using them. Peter, Rob and Lewis are a great help in this area as they have been proactive in learning from the best people in golf who use technology.
Equipment technology & Custom fitting
I have to complete a practical examination building a club to a specific specification from scratch, swing weighting it, and adjusting the loft and lie accurately according to what club it is. Not only does this allow me to pass my PGA, but it helps me in my quest to become a senior fitting technician at Peter Field Golf, correct loft and lie measurements are a key to playing good golf if you haven’t checked yours…I definitely would when you’re next at the range.
Rules of Golf
I enjoyed and found this incredibly interesting. Since the rules changed last year, I didn’t appreciate how many had changed and how you can use them to your advantage on occasions rather than them penalising you. I also didn’t realise that there is a huge opportunity to be a rules official in major tournaments across the globe by knowing how to use the rules book efficiently.
As well as online learning/ assignments & exams, once a year I attend a week residential at The Belfry with other trainee professionals from all over Europe for more in-depth learning of the modules for upcoming assignments. Not only does this give me the opportunity to develop my knowledge further from tutors who have great experience, but I also get to meet and network with a huge variety of people who have different backgrounds from working abroad in golf to playing on professional tours before enrolling on to the PGA.
The reason I am becoming a golf professional is because I love playing! This hasn’t changed since starting my PGA degree. I have played in multiple women’s PGA events across the east region and placed 4th in my third tournament at Three Rivers golf club winning £75 against 35 other women professionals. I have also had the privilege of playing in a lady’s tour event against tour players from across the globe which was a huge learning curve but something I loved gaining experience of.
I have loved learning and teaching over the last 2 years and am focusing on helping beginners, women, and women’s groups primarily to engage and enjoy golf with others of similar ability. I feel there is a huge market of women who would like to play golf but are perhaps too nervous to try and I am here to help you as one woman to another!
Another goal that I am continuing to work towards is becoming a senior fitting technician, after already attending courses such as Golf Lab and gaining my Trackman level 1 & 2 certifications, I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge further in the near future by attending more courses and with the guidance from our current senior technicians.
A personal goal of mine is to qualify as a player for the Women’s British Open, ever since I started playing golf this tournament has always been the tournament I would love to play in, and being a professional has given me the opportunity to try!
Assistant PGA Professional