Tristan Crew, Executive Director – Member Services, answers some of your queries regarding the latest changes to the broadening of PGA Membership categories announced last month.
Why is The PGA considering broadening the Membership categories?
We know that around 28% of our Members are in management roles and therefore it is incumbent on us to support this group as much as any. Developing a Business Management Division (BMD) will not only allow us to support the entirety of our Members appropriately but will also allow us to influence those individuals that employ our Members and with it, influence the wider golf industry.
How do I get into the Business Management Division?
Through attaining The PGA Business Management Qualification or by submitting a portfolio of experience, qualifications and achievements against the set membership qualification criteria.
How are you going to regulate access for the industry workforce?
We are conscious that PGA Professionals have gone through a stringent testing period culminating in a formal academic qualification and additional PGA requirements. Entry into the BMD will be controlled by the development or accreditation of similar educational packages or by the recognition of previous training and/or experience. For the latter, entry into Membership will still be controlled by membership committees and each potential Member will need to gain the recommendations from two PGA Professionals alongside meeting stringent membership qualification criteria.
Why are we offering a separate coaching qualification and speciality?
We recognise that a number of individuals join the programme to specifically coach.We feel that there are several individuals who would access a modular course to become PGA Members purely as a PGA Coach rather than undertake a full three-year education programme to become a PGA Professional. The cost and intensity of this qualification will be equitable to the current foundation degree to ensure that there is no degradation in standards.
Will there be a handicap entry requirement for PGA Coach?
Yes, PGA Coach applicants will need to a handicap of four or under for males and six or under for females – the same requirements to become a PGA Professional.
Will individuals with the PGA Coach qualification be able to compete in PGA tournaments?
Yes, these individuals will be professional golfers forming in the professional division of The PGA, therefore they will be able to compete in PGA tournaments.
When will The PGA start to accept Members in the new categories of PGA Coach and PGA Business Management?
The qualifications and the support services for the new Membership categories are currently being identified with the aim to start accepting new Members by October 2020.
Why are we changing the Member- accessible brand?
The current crest is not used as widely as The PGA would like. Member feedback would suggest that the current crest is dated and difficult to embroider. We would like PGA Members to take great pride in their Association and use the brand as widely as possible. To this end we are modifying the corporate PGA brand for use by individual Members.
When will current PGA Members be able to utilise the new PGA Professional and PGA Coach brands?
From the 1 November 19 if Members have renewed their subscription. There are three new brands and the Crest. Who can use what and when?A PGA Professional – can use PGA Professional and PGA Coach plus the use of the PGA Crest from the 1 November 19.
PGA Coach – Once this category has been launched PGA qualified coaches will only be able to use the PGA Coach logo.
PGA Business Management – Once this category has been launched members of the Business Management Division will only be able to use PGA Business Management logo.
Will I be able to relinquish my professional status and still call myself a PGA Coach/Professional?
No, only members in the PGA Professional division will be able to coach or compete for money and call themselves a PGA Professional or PGA Coach.
How do I get my amateur status back?
Through the R&A. We are in communication with the R&A to try and identify an expedited route for those wishing to return to amateur status.
Can I return to amateur status and still coach for money?
No, The R&A regulations regarding amateur status do not allow amateurs to coach for money.