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PGA to Celebrate Golden Generation

8.34am 26th October 2011 - People

John Jacobs during the unveiling of a plaque in his honour at the PGA Training Academy earlier in the year - courtesy of Dave Warren

The PGA will celebrate some of its longstanding members with a second special lunch at The Belfry on Monday, 31 October.

Among those attending the event is 92-year-old Victor Alexander, who will fly 4,500 miles from the West Indies to be there, while others will be flying in from Austria, France andHolland.

The lunch, which follows a previous one at the University of Birmingham, is part of the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the PGA Training Academy which enjoys a reputation as providing the world’s leading training programme for golf professionals.

Other guests include Peter Alliss and the man credited as the founder of modern swing, John Jacobs, who will be joined by former European Tour chief executive Ken Schofield, entertainer Val Doonican and Ryder Cup player John O’Leary.

With state-of-the-art swings suites, lecture rooms and a well-equipped sports science lab, thePGAAcademyis a far cry from the training programme’s humble beginnings at Llandudno Golf Club in 1961 when young assistants attended a week-long voluntary course during the winter months.

But it was the dedication of early tutors such as Llandudno’s Tom Jones and Sid Collins, Gog Magog’s Reg Cox and Royal Lytham’s Eddie Musty plus the skills and enthusiasm of many of the members who will be attending the lunch, that laid the foundations for the thriving programme available to modern-day PGA professionals.

PGA chief executive, Sandy Jones said: “It is important we recognise all those members who have contributed and been part of this great Association long before education and training was an official part of the Association syllabus, in other words, everyone who has been a member for 50 years or more.

“The vast majority of those attending the lunch were educated by their bosses who passed on their great skills and knowledge. The advent of the training programme harnessed this expertise and over the decades, and under the leadership of the training academy, it has become established as the benchmark across the world.”

Kyle Phillpots, PGA director of education and career development added: “The contribution of many PGA members who as tutors devised, developed, delivered and managed the education programme as volunteers for so many years cannot be underestimated. Education is the foundation of your career which is why the creation of the training programme 50 years ago was so important.”

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