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Gavin Cook – Why we should help the next generation of PGA pros

PGA Advanced Professional, Gavin Cook, has helped develop the careers of nine trainee professionals. Cook explains why it’s important for pros like himself to help and develop young Assistants.

How important is the role you play in bringing through and developing PGA Professionals of the future?
I’ve now had nine trainee professionals registered in the PGA training scheme and some were real self-starters so the main requirement for us is to lend support and advice when required, help out with practical training and act as a sounding board. Others needed much more involvement, encouragement and micro managing to ensure they were up to speed and work was handed in on time.

How much of an impact do you feel pros like yourself can have on a young PGA Assistant?
I believe the training professional can have a huge influence on a young Assistant, not only with regards their training, but also in shaping what they believe the role of a PGA Professional should be and how the job should be done. Seeing trainee professionals go on to achieve other things both in and out of golf and also hopefully passing on some life skills along the way can be very rewarding. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with some genuinely nice people over the years which makes the working day much more enjoyable!

Did you receive help and support when you started out as a young Assistant?
Whilst I was left mostly on my own through the academic portion of my training, I had a huge amount of help with the practical side of things and also with final exam prep from the head assistant who I worked under at the time. He’d completed the PGA training scheme the year before me, so his skills were up-to-date and he was keen to help.

What makes a good role model for up and coming PGA Assistants?
Someone who has a good work ethic as well as a desire to always try and improve and develop their own set of skill as a PGA professional.

Why should PGA Professionals provide help and support to Assistants?
By providing help and support you can not only set them off on a path to future success, but also gain a lot from it yourself along the way. Having an Assistant Professional working for you is very much a two-way street. The more engaged they are with the training and job in general not only the better they’ll be at it, also the better it’ll be for the work environment and also your business.