Fame Tate, The PGA Female Assistant of the Year, has wasted no time in putting into practice the lessons she learned while training to become a PGA Professional. Tate, who was presented with the Beverly Lewis Trophy during The PGA’s annual Graduation Ceremony at Birmingham University to mark her achievement, has bought a golf club.
The purchase of Stanedge Golf Club, a nine-hole course in Derbyshire’s Peak District, has come within months of Tate, a former Ladies European Tour player, completing the three-year programme and she admits, professionally speaking, it has been a real eye-opener.
“I have my level two in food and hygiene, and I’ve applied for a licence to sell alcohol,” explained Tate, after receiving her award that, ironically, is sponsored by the Ladies European Tour. “I’ve also had to learn health and safety in the workplace. They are all things I never ever imagined doing – every day is a school day really!”
Then there’s the business aspect of running the club – a discipline the 38-year-old acknowledges would have been way beyond her comfort zone had it not been for her PGA training.
“If you’d asked me to do this two years ago I would not have felt comfortable at all,” she admitted. “I think people view the PGA course as being all about golf coaching, but that’s not the case. It provides you with everything. It’s enabled me to have the confidence to run my own golf club, particularly from a business point of view.”
She added: “Obviously there are skills I still need to learn, but the PGA course gave me the necessary ones to get going, even ironically, down to the business plan we had to provide in year three. That involved focusing on the golf course and what you do increase junior and adult participation, like family golf. That’s what I intend to do here, so that was very useful.”
In addition to the business elements of the course proving a treasure trove of information for Tate, she found other parts of it stimulating. “I really enjoyed custom-fitting and the equipment technology side,” she added. “I found that quite fascinating.”
All of which was a world away from Tate’s six years on the Ladies European Tour, which were ended by a shoulder injury. Two operations have followed, the most recent in 2017, and prior to taking the PGA route she started the Fame Golf Academy and was charged with boosting women’s and junior golf at Tapton Park Golf Club in Chesterfield.
Coaching will play a big part in her role at Stanedge, but she will have some top class assistance in the form of Peter Ball, a PGA Master Professional who helped put 2016 US Masters champion Danny Willett on the road to stardom.
“I got to know him through The PGA programme,” explained Tate, who also finished third in the Titleist-sponsored PGA Assistant of the Year rankings. “He’s really helped me through it – a number have in fairness. But because Pete comes from Sheffield and is local, we’ve ended up doing some work together. We worked at the Special Olympics and he’s agreed to help me at Stanedge. We work well together, and I can’t do it all on my own. Nevertheless, this is exciting. I think about this every minute of every day. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing on my mind at night.”
PGA chief executive Robert Maxfield said: “The PGA Graduation day is always inspirational, and gives me great confidence each year the game of golf is in good hands for generations to come. The quality of the graduates coming through our PGA Training Programme is second to none, and there’s no doubt they are starting at the beginning of their careers which could take them to almost any corner of the world.
“I congratulate each and every one of them for their hard work and effort they have put into obtaining the qualification, and I wish them all success wherever the game of golf takes them.”