Scottish golf professional Michael Bradfield has achieved a goal he set himself a year ago by winning The PGA’s most prestigious award for its Assistants. Bradfield, who trained at Elie Links in Fife, Scotland, and has subsequently moved to The Dutch Golf Club near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, has been named Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year.
In recognition of his achievement, Bradfield collected the Whitcombe Cox Trophy and a cheque for £3,500 from Michael Creighton, Titleist brand director, and PGA captain Peter Hanna at the Association’s annual Graduation Ceremony held at the University of Birmingham.
But that was not the 32-year-old’s sole reason to celebrate. His bank balance was given a further boost when Conor Dillon, GolfPride regional manager EMEA, presented him with a cheque for £1,500 for winning the GolfPride – Equipment Technology and Custom-Fitting Award.
The seeds of Bradfield’s success had been sown 12 months earlier at the same venue when he was named Year 2 PGA Assistant of the Year.
“I was top for the second year and that was the point when I thought if I work hard during the third and last year I’ve got a real chance,” he recalled. “I came to the ceremony last year, saw who won it and thought that would be a fantastic opportunity. I worked hard and it has certainly paid off – I’ve been walking on air for the last few months.”
Bradfield acknowledged, however, that his success was not solely down to him and paid tribute to Gavin Cook, the head PGA Professional at Elie Links. “Gavin was my employing professional throughout my training and became much more than my boss,” he added. “During my time at Elie he swapped between several different roles. Not only was he a fantastic mentor, he was my coach, accountant, mechanic and even occasional drinking partner! I will always be extremely grateful for everything he’s done for me.”
Bradfield also cited Julie Otto, the 2015 Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year who coaches at Elie Links, as a major influence. “Julie stood on this stage four years ago and helped me greatly throughout my training,” he said, addressing the 400-strong audience in the University’s Great Hall. “I’ll always remember the support she gave me.”
Bradfield, who gained a degree in marketing and economics before embarking on The PGA’s three-year training programme, spent almost four years at Elie Links before heading for Holland two months ago.
He said: “Qualifying as a PGA Professional opens so many doors in the golf industry. I have friends who are PGA Professionals, all doing different things – working abroad, custom-fitting, coaching. If you do the PGA qualification, it’s a golden ticket to working in the golf world.”
Pictured top: Michael Bradfield with the Whitcombe Cox Trophy (Dave Warren, Pictureteam)