PGA Chairman Alan White is celebrating another landmark achievement in his career after attaining the Association’s highest honour, the status of Master Professional.
White has been a PGA Member for more than 30 years and succeeded David Murchie as the Association’s chairman in 2017.
The 58-year-old has helped thousands of people improve their game, from players with disabilities to Ryder Cup stars, in his role as head professional at Lanark Golf Club, Scotland.
Scotsman White, who turned professional in 1982, began his career as a PGA Assistant at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, before taking up his first head professional role at Murcar Golf, establishing it as one of the leading courses in the North East.
But it is at Lanark where White has firmly made his mark in the game. Among his achievements as the club’s head professional for more than 30 years, White has built and maintained a large membership, developed the junior academy and improved the venue’s facilities.
In addition, he has developed the careers of fellow PGA Members by hiring a minimum of two Assistants a year since 1998, ensuring they are involved with a development programme to progress their career.
PGA Scotland’s longest serving Chairman (2007-2014) also played a key role in the creation of a PGA training course in Scotland at the new University of the Highlands and Islands.
White commented: “PGA Professionals tend not to seek recognition for what they do, they just get on with it. However, to be recognised as to be worthy of the title of PGA Master Professional does feel very special.”
Philip Taylor, a Member who has provided employment opportunities to more than 40 pros, many of whom have gone on to gain significant roles in the game, has also been award the status of PGA Master Professional.
After skipping school to watch the 1969 Ryder Cup and that famous concession by Jack Nicklaus, a 10-year-old Philip Taylor was hooked on golf. Under the tutelage of George Tomlinson, Taylor learnt everything about the game as an Assistant at Bootle Golf Club before spending five years at the prestigious Sunningdale Golf Club.
In 1985 Taylor secured his first head professional position at Surrey’s Tyrrells Wood Golf Club and a year later he was involved with the creation of the Foremost buying group, which now has more than 1,000 on-course retailers.
While at Tyrrells Wood, Taylor alongside his brother Chris, came up with the concept for Pachesham Golf Centre, a facility aimed at giving people from all walks of life access to golf, and in the early years they helped create the pathway for more than 400 people to access golf club membership.
As a general manager and currently managing director, Taylor’s achievements at Pachesham over three decades include building turnover and maximising revenue across all areas of the business, hiring eight numerous PGA Members to support the facility’s rapid growth.
“Initially I was surprised, but l’m delighted to have been awarded the PGA Master Professional status,” said Taylor. “My 42-year PGA career path may not have followed the more traditional route, but I hope it inspires others to believe in themselves in the knowledge that anything is possible.”
Meanwhile, also honoured in the awards with PGA Fellow Professional status are: Carl Bianco (Woking Golf Club), Craig Lea (Myerscough College), Callum Nicoll (London Golf Club), Mark Roberts (Queenwood Golf Club).
The following Members have achieved the status as PGA Advanced Professional: Joshua Harvey (Edgbaston Golf Club), Greg Paterson (St. Andrew’s Links), Mark Pilling (Prestbury Golf Club), Matthew Pryke (GolfTech – China), Deana Rushworth (Witney Lakes Resort), Mark Sanderson (Bedlingtonshire Golf Club) and David Tottman (Wrotham Heath Golf Club).