There will be fewer prouder men than PGA Chief Executive Sandy Jones when fellow Scot Paul Lawrie and England’s Ian Poulter stride to the first tee at the Medinah Country Club in Chicago.
The Ryder Cup duo, familiar to millions of golf fans as Tour stars, both started their golf careers as young PGA assistants, successfully coming through the three-year PGA training programme which has today evolved into a degree programme.
And while PGA qualification and membership opens the door to a wide and varied career in golf, it also offers a foundation for talented golfers to build a successful playing career as both Lawrie and Poulter have shown, along with the likes of other Tour winners Damian McGrane and 2010 BMW PGA champion Simon Khan.
“The success of Paul (Lawrie) and Ian (Poulter) is testimony to their hard work, skill and determination,” said Jones, who is also a board member of Ryder Cup Europe. “PGA members fulfil a range of vital roles within the golf industry including traditional club professionals, coaches, custom-fitters, fitness and biomechanic experts, directors of golf, club managers and retailers.
“But uniting them all is a passion for the game that still burns brightly for many who juggle their demanding roles with forays into PGA national and regional tournaments. And, as Paul and Ian have shown, the PGA route offers a potential springboard to international success.
“Through a strong national and regional schedule we are able to continue to provide playing opportunities for members while the PGA Europro Tour is another opportunity for aspiring tour players aiming to reach the top.
“I’m sure many of our PGA members who still nurse a desire to reach the top of golf will be inspired by seeing Paul and Ian involved in the Ryder Cup.”
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