A PGA Professional who has helped hundreds of young golfers kick-start their career in the sport has been recognised with enhanced membership status in The PGA.
Ian Howieson, who once advised a young Paul Lawrie as the former Open champion went through his PGA training, has been awarded the prestigious PGA Advanced Fellow Professional status in the latest APAL* (Accreditation for Professional Achievement and Learning) awards.
It is the second highest classification available to PGA Professionals behind Master Professional and recognizes the 54-year-old’s dedication, skill and expertise over many years in golf.
“Obviously it’s very pleasing to be recognised for the work you do,” he said. “I’ve been a PGA Member for 35 years, and it is a nice accolade to have to show for that time. But what has given me the most enjoyment is seeing all the people I have worked with move on and build successful careers for themselves.”
Howieson says the defining moment of his fine career, in which he has mainly focused on coaching, teaching and management, came when he was offered the head professional job at the Royal Automobile Club, Epsom in 1994.
“It was probably the best pro job in Britain,” he said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it gave me all the skills necessary to go on and make a success of my own business.”
This move into self-employment was to come in 2008 when he created Howieson Golf, a Surrey-based company which specialises in golf coaching and services.
He explained: “I learnt a lot at the RAC about how to keep clients happy. Now my business is mainly centred on trying to maintain the client-base we have by offering good service and a bit of TLC.
“Obviously at that time the recession provided golf businesses with a huge challenge, but by ensuring we provided the best possible service we managed to create jobs rather than being forced to cut back.”
“I’m seeing the benefit of that now. I’ve been able to move up to Scotland where I can start to wind down a little bit. I’m still dedicated to growing the business though, and I currently commute down to London about three times a month to work with clients.”
Looking to the future, Howieson still has one more objective he is keen to fulfil.
“The big aim for me would be to get Master Professional status before I retire,” he said. “That would be the ultimate personal achievement for me.”
Among other nominees recognised at August’s APAL Awards were CranfieldGolfAcademy director of coaching Steven Orr and China-based Mission Hills executive director Iain Roberts. They were awarded Advanced Fellow status.
Joseph Kelly (Mytime Golf) and Barrie Stevens (BeauDesert) were made PGA Fellow Professionals, while Scott Clelland (Arabian Ranches), Paul Hebdon (JohnLettersGolfAcademy), Lindsey Irvine (Hamburg Walddoerfer) and Jussi Pitkanen (Dave PelzScoring) became PGA Advanced Professionals.
*For more information on the APAL process and to view the APAL Criteria, download the ‘Industry Guide to PGA Membership available at http://www.pga.info/pga-professional/industry-guide-to-pga-membership.aspx
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