PGA chief executive Sandy Jones has hailed the raft of initiatives that resulted from the World PGA Alliance’s first formal meeting.
The meeting, held in Orlando, Florida, following the 57th PGA Merchandise Show, comprised representatives from 10 of the most established Professional Golfers’ Associations – Canada, America, Australia, Germany, Great Britain & Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and Europe.
The initiatives included: the adoption of professional standards for PGA membership that may serve as a model for developing golf territories; a leading practice for youth development; the endorsement of efforts to improve golf’s positive impact and sustainability; support of Olympic golf and environmental research and the continued study of the physical and mental health benefits of the sport.
All of which were welcomed by Jones, a driving force in establishing The World PGA Alliance.
“PGA professionals have been a leading influence in the growth and development of the game of golf for decades,” he said.
“The formation of the PGA World Alliance means it will now be possible to bring together the best practices in the areas of education, game development and commercialisation of the PGA brand, which is perhaps the most recognisable brand in golf.
“The unity provided by the Alliance will mean that PGA members in every corner of the globe will benefit by this huge resource of knowledge available to them all.
“With golf now becoming part of the Olympics this will be vital, not least because every golfer who participates in Rio de Janeiro will have been influenced and mentored by PGA professionals at some time or, perhaps totally, in their career.”
Jones’s comments were endorsed by Joe Steranka, PGA of America CEO, who said: “The global reach of the professional game combined with the economic expansion of the golf industry heightens the need for quality golf professionals and their ability to play the sport, teach the sport and promote the sport.
“The Alliance members are united in recognising our sport’s positive impact in the areas of job creation, tourism development, and the health and well being of adults and youth in emerging golf territories.”
The Alliance was founded by the PGAs of America, Great Britain & Ireland, and Australia and the latter’s CEO, Max Garske, praised the focused goals of the Alliance membership.
“The World PGA Alliance summit was extremely productive with the core areas for minimum training and education standards for PGA Professionals worldwide being agreed,” he said.
“This means the Alliance is now in a strong position to assist emerging golfing nations with coach and player development programs to facilitate the growth of our game globally.
“The Alliance is now set to respond and assist emerging golfing nations and their national PGA’s immediately through the expertise and resources of the founding Alliance partners.”
Among developments from the World PGA Alliance meeting:
- Alliance members recommended standards for PGA membership to serve as a model for developing golf territories. The standards included establishing a playing ability measurement which reflects the position of PGA Professionals as expert golfers within their territory; and an educational and training program – to prepare individuals for entry to the profession; and lifelong learning and continuing education to meet the challenging needs of the golf industry within a territory.
- The Alliance and its respective Professional Golfers’ Associations will leverage their membership and external relations to communicate the positive human, economic and environmental impact of golf.
- The Alliance adopted a leading practice for youth development based upon principles that included an understanding of the levels of sportsmanship, rules and etiquette; and the development and assessment of golf skills.
- That PGA Professionals be considered leaders in golf instruction/coaching, with this expertise based upon principles that an instructor/coach demonstrates a firm understanding of the different physical, mental, tactical, motivational, developmental and ability levels of players.
- That PGA Professionals be recognized for guiding the business of golf based upon an understanding of finances; and an appreciation of market forces and how to market products and services.
- The Alliance endorses efforts to improve golf’s sustainability and recognizes the work of the Environmental Institute for Golf, the Australian Golf Environmental Initiative, and the Golf Environment Organization.
- The Alliance endorses Olympic golf, Junior Olympics and the Paralympics, and commits to working with National Golf Federations and to provide its teaching and coaching expertise for athlete development.
- The Alliance recognizes the continued scientific and medical study of golf which identifies the physical and mental health benefits of the sport.
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