First in the series is an article from David Egan.
I had a different start than most in my PGA career. Like many I got into golf playing with my dad. I started by going to weekend group sessions at my local club, much like we do at the golf centre. I was also very lucky that we had two nine hole courses close to where we lived which as a junior gave me the interest to want to play more. My dad never actually joined a golf club and hence neither did I, we played many different courses on a regular basis. Another reason that I did not join a course was that I played many other sports inside and out of school, and never really had a ‘number 1’ sport, something that’s now encouraged as a lot of elite sports people have played a multitude of different sports before specialising.
I always had the intention to go to University and do a degree, I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to do, after not doing as well as I would have liked with my A levels I decided to study a completely different subject and picked Business. The only problem with this subject is that it does not give you a clear career path and only gives more options. After finishing University I decided that I wanted to take a career path in a field I enjoyed, after doing some research the PGA professional role appealed.
After securing a job at Portsmouth Golf Centre. I managed to get my handicap down to start the course and having already done a degree it made the process of completing the programme much easier. Coaching and equipment technology were new areas but I was already developing the skills at work to help get me through. Like most careers and professions you are always learning and I have completed numerous seminars and training courses since qualifying as a professional which is key to developing technical knowledge and keeping up with the latest technology.
From a playing perspective I was playing with better players and started playing in Hampshire events, having next to no amateur playing record I felt that I was still improving significantly into my thirties. The last few years I have enjoyed competing in regional events, competing at different courses and against different players has been great for my golf. I definitely would have liked more good results, but what golfer doesn’t!
My love and enthusiasm for coaching has grown more and more as my career has progressed, you learn a great deal through the sessions you do and the people you coach. Through my varied experiences of golf, I feel like I can relate well to different players needs and what they want to achieve; be that winning their monthly society, club championship or simply starting to play the game. Golf can be a hard game and I believe that building a relationship with a coach over a long period is the best way of improving.
Since we started the performance academy I have got to know players golf game as a whole, not just how they swing a golf club. This has benefitted both myself and the player in terms of helping them improve their scores. Going forward I am looking forward to doing my first coaching trip to Spain at the end of year (fingers crossed) and helping people get their game back on track after this difficult time.