A growing demand for the PGA Director of Golf Programme has signalled the addition of experienced PGA Professionals Mike Braidwood and Rod Park as assessors.
Braidwood, recently awarded Advanced Fellow of the PGA status, and Ireland-based Park, will bring their considerable expertise and knowledge to assist and assess candidates through the process.
The pair have undergone a nationally recognised programme of assessor training which will expand the team to five along with PGA Master Professional John Mulgrew, Julian Richards and Mansell Richards.
Braidwood, operations director for Braemar Golf, has considerable international experience having worked in South Africa, Bahrain and now Russia and that knowledge will be used to predominantly assist overseas PGA Members taking the programme.
Park has worked at a range of facilities in the UK and Ireland including Chart Hills Golf Club, Cottesmore Hotel Golf & Country Club and Faithlegg House Hotel.
Michael Abbott, member education executive at The PGA said: “The Director of Golf programme is growing and we recognised the need to have more assessors to meet the demand.
“We are always looking to grow the expertise of the team and the programme and having the experience of Mike and Rod, specifically in golf club management, will be very important to us.
“With an increasing number of candidates coming on the programme from abroad, Mike’s experience of working overseas, which he continues to do, will be a great advantage.
“Closer to home, Rod will be a great asset with his knowledge, especially for PGA Members in Ireland looking to do the Director of Golf Programme.
“We are always looking to grow the programme and without question Rod and Mike will enable us to do that.”
The Director of Golf programme, launched in 2007, is widely acknowledged as the industry standard qualification for PGA Professionals seeking to progress down that career path.
Park, who turned professional in 1985, said: “My career has been on the administration side of golf having been general manager at a number of golf resorts before becoming a consultant in 2003, with the golf landscape changing.
“I believe the PGA Professional is under-valued. I have a lot of commercial experience I can give back so the PGA Professional is in a strong position in the industry and particularly at facilities.
“I am looking forward to playing a part and my experience of 24 years of managing golf clubs is worth something.”
Braidwood, who has begun assessing and mentoring PGA Professional David White, who is based at Muscat Hills in Oman, said: “I talked about being involved in the Director of Golf Programme in 2009 when I was based in Bahrain.
“Being overseas the programme is less accessible but with the use of modern technology and the fact I am travelling overseas in my work I felt I could be beneficial and provide a service to the PGA and Members.
“I know via my position with Braemar that there is a growing demand for the director of golf role in the industry and people taking the programme will have a good opportunity to be at the forefront.
“I am excited about the role and I know having spoken with Rod he is too. As well as being assessors we’re hoping to bring more to the role by being mentors for the candidates on the programme as we know it’s quite difficult out there.”
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