Fourth in the series of articles about our coaches is written by James Moore.
My journey to becoming a PGA Professional was a little unexpected to say the least. My first golf experience was pitch and putt at Southsea with my mum and dad at a young age. My first proper experience of a 18 hole golf course was with my brother Miles when I pestered him to pay for me to play one Sunday afternoon and that’s when I really got the bug for golf.
My main sport until then had been football which I kept playing until my later teen years and also participated in most of my school teams such as tennis, basketball and athletics.
I remember taking my first block of golf lessons with the legendary Darren Porter at Portsmouth golf centre for my 15th birthday, then that leading me to purchase my first junior golf season ticket and playing 36 holes everyday in the schools holidays with friends that I now work with; Simon Andrews, Tony Lee and Steve Oxford and working my way to the fringes of the Southsea GC Junior Team. I fondly remember the best course Marshall, Brian Stevens funding my cheese and onion roll most days!
My journey to full time employment was still undecided until Terry Healy said “you’re here more than me would you like a part time job “, I nodded yes as I was a quiet lad back then. Looking back over the last 20 + years I guess it was fate that landed me in such a enjoyable job. The real work on my golf game then started to reduce my handicap to 3 and I also had to knuckle down to college courses to gain the appropriate qualifications to start my PGA diploma.
After starting my PGA Diploma I soon became very busy with coaching and custom fitting with a large social network of friends. I enjoy playing social golf and pro-ams and still do play a handful of events each year but with a fairly small amount of competitive experience it was obvious coaching and equipment technology was my stronger point. Over the last 20 years I have taken undertaken numerous seminars and training courses to keep my AA status with the PGA.
Some of my favourite training courses I’ve attended include the Titleist TPI level 1 and a day with Bill Morgan SVP of Titleist golf ball R&D when the Pro V1 ball was first released in 2000.
My first set of fitted Callaway X12 irons indirectly started my connection with Callaway golf products and since 2011 I have had the honour of being the Callaway Ambassador at Portsmouth Golf Centre. I pride myself of having the most up to date knowledge of their products and custom fitting that can be offered!
I’m also honoured to represent Galvin Green as a member of their recently launched Team 30 Ambassadors on their 30 year anniversary. I would say over my time at at Portsmouth Golf Centre, my passion has grown very strongly for equipment technology.
My enthusiasm for coaching has really developed over a long period of time, I think one of the main reasons is meeting some many different people from beginners, group lessons, roll up meetings and junior and elite golfers. I have been really lucky to have made so many great friends, I feel that being able to coach any level of golfer is important but being able to build a strong relationships with players over a longer period is the best way to see long term improvement.
Having three sons really keeps my wife and I really busy with sports especially football which is a really enjoyable and a nice way of relaxing away from golf. I’m really looking forward to getting back to coaching after this difficult and stressful time.