Alasdair Good is the Head PGA Professional at Gullane Golf Club, one of Scotland’s most prestigious member clubs. He is renowned for providing PGA Assistants with their first step on the career ladder…
How important is the role PGA Professionals play in helping bring through and develop Assistants?
The role of the PGA Professional in the introduction to, development of and bringing through the next generation of PGA Members is fundamental to the success of those individuals and importantly that of the Association. It is vital that in selecting those to be the PGA Members of the future, we take into account the future demands of the role and appoint those who have the potential and determination to excel as leaders in golf.
How do PGA Professionals like yourself provide support to Assistants?
The impact of the PGA Professional starts long before they become a trainee. From their very first meeting they form an impression of golf and of the pro. In their formative years through school they will most probably have regular contact with the pro shop staff. If during this time, they see and enjoy positive experiences they will potentially be open to the suggestion of working in golf. Combine this with a high standard of golf, a basic understanding of the role of the PGA Professional, and a love of the game, they may wish to consider it a career for themselves.
Did you receive help and support when you started out as an Assistant?
My training started when I was given the opportunity to work at Royal Troon ahead of the Open Championship. This was a tremendous introduction to the industry and it gave me insights into many aspects of a successful business at a wonderful club. The key to learning is always to take advantage of every opportunity to find out more.
How rewarding is it for you to be helping Assistants?
I try to give my staff the same opportunities working with me as I would like for my own family. It is hugely rewarding taking in young people full of potential, training them up to be some of the best in the industry, then seeing them making their way at the highest levels all over the world.
What makes a good role model for up and coming PGA Assistants?
The PGA Professional is a hugely important role model. In everything the pro does in and around work they should be setting the best possible example to their staff. The pro doesn’t need to the best in class at everything as the job for many is so diverse and excelling at coaching, custom fitting, event management, playing, retailing and finance is impossible. The key is knowing where and whom to go to for specialist advice in continually expanding your knowledge so you can guide and pass on advice to your staff.
Why should other PGA Professionals provide the same help and support to the next generation of PGA Members?
I strongly believe every pro’s business would improve by having better trained, more knowledgeable supported staff. Not only would their business improve, but by staying current, their own knowledge will improve and help take their business, their club and The PGA forwards to meet the future challenges and opportunities.