Matt Masters used to be called ‘Gadget Man’ by a few of his fellow PGA professionals in Hertfordshire due to his love of any new golf products, writes Tony Rushmer.
So it was rather fitting last summer when he swapped a coaching role at TopGolf to become European sales manager for Superspeed Golf.
The ‘overspeed’ golf training system, based around swinging two lighter clubs and a slightly heavier one, was something he had fallen for a few years earlier.
Masters, 47, said: “In 2015 I was resigned to the fact that through lack of play and fitness I was losing distance off the tee. I wanted to get back on track and fast, but knew I didn’t have much time to put into this plan.
“As soon as I heard about SuperSpeed Golf ’Overspeed Training’ and the fact that all that I would need to do initially was train for a total of 25 minutes a week to make distance gains, I contacted them straight away and got myself a set to train with. I saw amazing results within three weeks and I realised that here was a ‘gadget’ that really worked!”
Masters was so taken with the product and the training system (known as ‘overload/underload in other sports) that he started ordering stock to sell through his own website. The increasingly larger orders placed with Superspeed Golf brought him onto the radar of its owners and they invited him out to work for them at the 2017 PGA of America trade show in America.
Masters describes it as a “baptism of fire”. One day he’d be attending a press day playing 18 holes with key clients at Lake Nona, the next he’d be at Orange County National coaching all-comers how they could best utilise SuperSpeed Golf.
The company’s CEO and president were watching on with interest as he interacted with all types of customer and delivered strong sales. Masters was duly offered the opportunity to work full-time for SuperSpeed Golf and head up its European operation.
But he said: “I was hesitant to go straight into it, as I knew this would take me out of my comfort zone and away from the stability of the typical PGA role that I had previous pursued. I had only worked at four golf facilities as a PGA Pro in 28 years, so this was a big decision and change.
“However, as I continued to deliver golf lessons it came to a point where the SuperSpeed work was requiring much more time from me, so in September 2018 I took the plunge and became an employee of the company working full time.”
And Masters has been on a thrilling adventure ever since. He has travelled across Europe, attending conferences and seminars where he has met a whole host of PGA members. One such trip has led to SuperSpeed Golf’s first partnership outside of the US, forged with the PGA of Denmark. “I have been given free rein to drive European sales,” he said.
In taking the role Masters has really been given the chance to fully test himself – not least his public speaking skills. “I now present to fellow PGA members across Europe, tour players and high ranking golf officials from the many golf federations,” he explained.
As he has journeyed, Masters has benefitted from the experience and advice of a PGA Business Relationship Officer – specifically Fiona Champness. As well as the knowledge that Fiona is only a call or an email away, Masters has had quarterly visits from his ‘BRO’.
He said: “Fiona has guided me and helped me to ask key questions – and has helped me to make important decisions that have contributed to the path I am on.
“What I have found most beneficial is that you can mention anything in confidence and then get excellent advice from an expert.
“I would recommend any PGA pro who isn’t taking the opportunity of this free help and advice to use this service more. It has helped me hugely.”
You might think that with his newly-acquired fast-paced life that Masters no longer has time for his coaching passion. Happily this isn’t the case. The former Hertfordshire county coach (10 years in the position) has a strong link with Aldenham Golf and Country Club for whom he is engaged in an ambassador’s role. As well as promoting the club he can be found giving the odd the on-course lesson – an indicator that his love for golf burns just as strongly as when he came into the industry way back in 1990.