Lurgan Golf Club’s head professional Peter Hanna has been named PGA Captain-elect. The Northern Ireland golfer will take the ambassadorial role from 2019-21.
He will succeed Royal Liverpool’s John Heggarty who replaces Nicky Lumb next April.
Hanna, 57, moved back to his childhood club Lurgan in 2010 having previously been the longstanding pro at Fortwilliam Golf Club for almost 25 years.
“It is a great honour even just to be thought about, let alone to get the call which left me in a state of shock,” said Hanna. “It was a case of hold on here, is this really happening, so it’s a great honour and one I never expected.
“In my time I’ve sat on regional and executive committee and the board and seen captains come and go.
“I was looking at the list of past captains and there are some great names from yesteryear like Cotton and Alliss, moving through to the modern guys of our Association and to think I’m going to be included alongside those is something I will carry for the rest of my days.”
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones added: “Peter is a fine PGA Professional of many years standing who has served the Association at committee level both regionally and nationally.
“His passion and pride in being a PGA Member is evident for all to see and we are delighted that he will join the special select band of pros who have the prized opportunity to captain the Association.
“Peter will be an excellent ambassador for The PGA and we look forward to him representing it with distinction when his time in office begins in a few years’ time.”
Hanna was introduced to the game at Lurgan by his father and turned pro at 17 under the tutelage of Seamus Green at Knock Golf Club in Belfast.
While Hanna held a tour card for a couple of years, his main career has been as a club pro and talented coach which continues to this day at Lurgan which is a regional development centre for the Golfing Union of Ireland and has more than 100 juniors on its books.
“In my day you went down the PGA route. I had a tour card for a couple of years but the hole was never big enough and the Association gave me the opportunity to be successful in my career,” he added. “I got in at committee level in the region because my heart is in the PGA.
“I’m a PGA man through and through and I have a lot to thank the Association for.
“The training that I got as assistant set me up. I was a golf pro from very young age and golf was where my heart was going to be.”
Hanna admits the honour will take time to sink in but thanked his wife Lynne, sons Andrew and Gareth, and Lurgan members for their support.
“Lurgan is a very busy members’ golf club and while many may not understand the role, hopefully it will be a huge honour to have their local professional as the Captain of The PGA.
“My father was overwhelmed when I told him. He knows how important the PGA is to me, and it is through him that I started playing as a nine or ten year old.”
While he will have a few years to wait until his official duties begin, Hanna’s attention is firmly focused on Lurgan and continuing to play a key role at its heart.
“As times have become more difficult the role of the PGA member is developing and we are now the mainstays of the golf club. We have hundreds of PGA Members at smaller clubs doing everything they can to keep them going and be successful. I admire and congratulate them all and look forward to serving as their Captain.”
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