The leaves have turned and are falling, the days are getting shorter and the jovial club professional flanked by members and visitors has been replaced by a lonely figure standing in the pro shop from dawn until dusk hoping to catch a glimpse of a customer. Okay, we admit that this is a bit of a reality stretch, but for many PGA professionals, there are some hard months ahead before they see their next busy period.
The modern day golf club in the height of summer is a busy place, a hive of activity that takes many moving cogs to keep going. Secretaries, numerous committees, club captains…they all come and go over the course of time, but generally, the one constant at any golf club is the PGA Professional and it’s at this time of the year when they need our support more than ever.
The PGA Professional is often the lifeblood of the club, a central figure who sees members on a regular basis more than anyone (well, perhaps apart from the bar staff!). A good quality PGA Pro is a real asset to any golf club and it’s a position that should be cherished by everyone involved in the running of the facility.
Who else will be there at the crack of dawn opening up the Pro Shop ready for the monthly medal or weekly roll up, ready to greet members and visitors alike with a smile and a word of encouragement? And who is there four or more hours later to hear about the one that lipped out on 8, the nailed drive on 12 and the triple bogey on 18?
Obviously, that’s all a little tongue in cheek, but in reality, the PGA Professional has studied the game of golf for many years, has the qualifications and experience to prove it and is the only true golfing expert within the club.
There are many facets to a PGA Professional job but let’s have a look at some of the vital skills and roles they possess that can help your golf club and you as a golfer:
That nasty fade or snap hook has started creeping back into your game. You can’t putt to save your life or your wedges have suddenly started zipping across to the other side of the green rather than nicely running up to the cup…who do you go and see?
Of course, there are many avenues available to help cure any issues you might have. YouTube, social media, magazines, there are no shortage of options but there’s nothing better than getting hands–on advice from an expert who has a genuine interest in your game. As luck would have it, the cold winter nights are perfect for working on some swing improvements with your PGA professional.
You could be looking to take your first steps in the game or you could have a little one who’s inspired by Rory, Jordan or Rickie. Your first call should be to your local PGA Professional, they are the only people who can get you up and running in this wonderful game.
Even if you’re a seasoned campaigner who’s been treading the fairways for decades, it’s never too late for a lesson and it’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about…after all, the very best golfers in the world have lessons every single day.
When you’re heading for one of those lessons we’ve talked about above, you’ll probably be delighted to hear that many PGA Professionals now employ the leading ball flight technology to assist in their coaching.
This technology will help both the pro and you see tangible figures relating to your game, showing statistics such as swing speeds, ball speeds, spin rates, distance, all sorts that will demonstrate exactly what you’re doing and how you can change it to make your game better. Not to mention indoor swing studios, which are springing up at golf clubs meaning you can have lessons in the warmth all year round.
Technology also plays a key part in what is becoming a massive weapon in the arsenal of the PGA Professional, custom fitting.
Custom fitting used to be a luxury reserved for the best players in the world or something reserved for the real golf nuts, however, in recent years it has become an essential process in getting the right clubs for you. With the majority of manufacturers bringing new clubs to market before the new season, there’s never been a better time to take a look in your bag.
The world’s top manufacturers are now producing equipment that is so technologically advanced that it can only be used if it is fitted to your swing and your characteristics, so being custom fitted is a must.
Fortunately for you, the PGA Professional is the figure most trusted by these brands to ensure their equipment is used to its full potential, with PGA pros fully trained in their fitting processes.
What’s more, the tangible numbers given by launch monitors means there is no hiding place for manufacturers anymore; the numbers do not lie. As a result, the equipment being produced now is better than anything we’ve seen before.
You may not want/need/be able to afford new golf clubs on a regular basis or you might simply have too much love for that old 3-wood that you can’t part with, however, over time all of your clubs will require at least the grips changed as they wear and become slick.
As the only part of the club that comes into contact with your body, it is essential that you keep your grips fresh, and who can make those changes for you? That’s right, the PGA Professional.
No golf club is complete without the warm welcome of the Professional’s Shop. The congregation area where members enter comps, pay for the twos’ club, pick up their pre-round refreshments and catch up on club news.
Of course, there is far more to a Pro Shop than that and statistics show that around 60% of golf purchases are now made in the Pro Shop as PGA Professionals have switched onto retail trends and made visiting their stores more of an experience than a simple necessity. Your club professional is relying on you to support them so they can maintain this great service that they offer. So, if you’re thinking of Christmas gifts for a golfing friend or helping someone get started, why not visit your local PGA Professional?
As mentioned at the outset of this article, the PGA Professional truly is one of the only people within the golf club who has a full understanding of every aspect of the sport.
Having studied for at least three years to gain those magical three letters, the PGA Professional has never been so prepared to assist in all areas. This is why the pro usually sits on as many committees as feasible within the golf club. Greens committee, handicap committee, competitions, you name it, a pro’s expertise and experience can assist in all areas of the golf club.
They are also the perfect sounding board for you to learn about the game, recommend travel destinations and companies, pick up hints and tips and generally get more enjoyment out of golf.
So, why not go in and ask your local PGA Professional for advice – you may be glad you did!