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Sports Ace Sails to Golf Degree Success

7.54am 29th July 2011 - People - This story was updated on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Andrew George (courtesy of Jamie Jones Photography)

A qualified sailing and ski instructor has added to his sporting prowess by eyeing life as a future PGA professional after gaining first class honours in Applied Golf Management Studies (AGMS).

Andy George, raised in Leicester and currently working at Machynys Peninsula Golf Club in Llanelli, is poised to pursue a richly-rewarding golf career after his achievement on the University of Birmingham/PGA accredited degree course.

The 25-year-old accomplished sportsman, who worked for a year as a captain’s mate on board a privately-owned yacht to help fund his degree, was one of 24 AGMS graduates – the only degree of its kind in the world to offer the opportunity to apply for PGA membership.

George, who has taken on a golf operations managerial role at the South Wales club, has extolled the quality of the degree course, describe by AGMS programme manager Dr Martin Toms has the ‘hardest degree at the university’.

“I was always interested in golf and wanted to find something that had the combination of theoretical and practical disciplines and this seemed a good option.

“I found the course really interesting. It’s good that it combines the likes of sport science, psychology, equipment technology and human resource management. It looks at the theory behind them and then you can put it all into practice, particularly on your placements.”

George has savoured life working at one of the country’s most prestigious resorts, Gleneagles – host of the 2014 Ryder Cup and home to the PGA Centenary course, as well as one of Wales’ most highly-praised venues Machynys Peninsula.

“Experience is the key now,” said George. “With only two placements under my belt and now starting the third one, it’s practical experience that we all need now.  ’m at Machynys Peninsula. I was offered the chance to go back as their golf services manager this year, which I have taken.

“I’m there full-time organising everything from society days, membership enquiries, members queries, custom fitting golf lessons – in fact any service we offer as a club will go through me to organise.

“I’m looking to gain considerable experience there before looking to climb higher up the management route and towards director of golf.

“Before that I was at Gleneagles for my first year and did jobs at the bottom of the ladder to learn the ropes and see how golf operations work. I then went to Machynys and worked there and had more responsibility as it’s a smaller facility compared to Gleneagles.”

The AGMS course, run jointly between the University of Birmingham and the PGA, arms graduates with a comprehensive knowledge of golf including business and event management, equipment technology, coaching theory and sport science. In addition, each student undergoes three work placements at the end of each year of study.

Gary Jackson, AGMS programme manager for the PGA said: “The AGMS course is among the most vigorous degree courses at the University of Birmingham and offers all students a solid grounding for a wide range of careers in the golf industry.

“The AGMS degree, which was launched in 2002, has seen many graduates secure excellent roles within the game and I am confident that the most recent graduates will be equally successful.”

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