A thirst for knowledge and desire to improve has seen PGA Professionals earn more than 135,000 continuous professional development points over the past winter.
The points were gained for attending of a range of training and education opportunities all aimed at keeping pros at the forefront of their particular speciality.
Nearly 500 different activities were accredited, covering a wide variety of topics across the golf industry spectrum, from latest coaching techniques through to business and managerial seminars.
There was also an international dimension with overseas based PGA Members attending courses in Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, America, and China among others.
David Colclough, the PGA’s head of member education, said: “A good PGA Professional is constantly reviewing what they do, why they do it, and if they can do it any better.
“Through that process many will turn to training and education seeking new ideas and different perspectives to help provide a better service to the members, guests, visitors they engage with on a daily basis.
“As the most frequent point of contact in many golf facilities it’s imperative that they keep learning. Broadly speaking learning can be split into two categories: The ‘on the job’ learning that comes from various experiences that a PGA Professional will have.
“Learning that evolves from more formalised training and education that is often undertaken through seminars, conferences, exhibitions, online learning or product training.
“It is fair to say that experiential learning offers up opportunities to learn 12 months, and 364 days of the year. Good PGA Professionals will use these opportunities to learn about matters that arise during their working day, where situations dictate that they need to learn more, to meet the needs of their customers.
“However, more formalised training and education opportunities are for many UK golf related industries predominantly nestled into the period from October to April. Given the seasonal nature of working in the golf business that is unsurprising.”
While two thirds of learning activities were provided by the PGA, a third were offered by external educators and training partners.
To support the adage ‘PGA pros keep on learning’ the oldest PGA Professional engaging in a day of accredited CPD was 82 years of age. Malcolm Cole, a now retired PGA Member still took the time to attend the 2015 Golf Trade Show at Harrogate.
When asked why, he replied: “Being up to date with the latest products has always been important, ever since I’ve been a PGA Professional.”
Colclough added: “Ultimately the success of this tremendous amount of CPD activity undertaken by PGA members will be whether those who play golf, or who want to take it up, have a better experience when they go along to participate in a golfing activity or not.
“However, we do know that a good PGA Professional is one who is always open to, and engaged in learning, and that is a core element of putting the ‘Right Pro, in the Right Place, at the Right Time’.”