21 Jul 15
Hat's off (l-r): AGMS graduates Jordan Patmore, Joseph Way, Mark Jackson, George Scott, Daniel Scoble
The success story of the Applied Golf Management Studies (AGMS) degree continues as the class of 2015 returned to the University of Birmingham to get the fruits of their labours – that cherished certificate.
A culmination of three years’ work was celebrated in glorious sunshine – and in the presence of PGA Captains past and present in the guise of Neil Selwyn Smith and Nicky Lumb.
And there was plenty to celebrate with three of the graduates – Tom Hefford, Mike Major and Wojciech Wasniewski - securing prized First Class honours.
The degree has also proven very successful for women over the years and this time was no different, with Evie Carter, the only woman in the class of 2015, collecting her degree.
The AGMS course, run jointly between the University of Birmingham and the PGA, arms graduates with a comprehensive knowledge of golf including business and event management, equipment technology, coaching theory and sport science.
Graduates of the course are highly-sought after. Hefford (pictured right) has secured a full-time position with Edgbaston Golf Club, Major (left) is heading out to Dubai Creek in two months after spending the summer at Quinta do Lago in Portugal, while Carter (centre) is an assistant pro at Erewash Valley.
Gary Jackson, AGMS programme manager for the PGA, said: “It was very rewarding to be able to be present to witness another successful group of AGMS students graduating. The class of 2015 were a pleasure to work with and many of them are already reaping the rewards of their hard-work and dedication by securing jobs in this country and abroad. I am very confident that, between them, they will make a lasting contribution to the world of golf in a variety of different roles and carve out successful careers for themselves. I wish them every success for the future.”
PGA.info got the thoughts of Tom, Mike, Wojciech and Evie on the AGMS degree, what it has done for them and what the future now holds.
“I am absolutely over the moon, I can’t quite believe it and I’m really, really proud of myself. I’ve had difficulty with academia the whole of my life and so I’ve had to put a lot of time and effort in. I’ve made sacrifices, especially from a social aspect.
“I’ve had to spend extra time at golf to keep my standards up and managing time has been a massive for me and something really worked and improved on.
“The highlights for me have been the support and opportunity that’s been on offer both from the University of Birmingham and also the PGA. The support has been there 24 hours a day seven days a week.
“Another highlight is the amount of doors and opportunities that have opened up as a result. It’s something you hear about on the open day and on interview day from other AGMS graduates that have gone all over the world and it sounds too good to be true but actually it’s spot on. I can’t wait to get out there and get my teeth into it.
“During the first year we got an opportunity to work with Edgbaston Golf Club. I put forward ideas on what they could improve and from doing a really good job I was asked by the director of golf to come Edgbaston, where they offered me a placement.
“I was invited for a second summer placement and I was pondering whether to go overseas and broaden my horizons but I decided I’d get more weight on my CV being at Edgbaston, so I stayed and took control of junior golf co-ordination; society and event management and really took it. In my second year I made their promotional video, which reached considerable amount of views.
“I have now been offered a full time position and have the reins as junior golf co-ordinator, society and event and communication management.”
"I was happy and pleasantly surprised as I was trying not to expect anything before the results day. Even though my grades throughout the degree indicated that I had a high chance of achieving a first class classification, the weight of the final exams and the dissertation meant that truly anything could have happened
"It doesn't feel like work when you do what you like, and it was the same for me for the major part of the degree. The content was just interesting and I actually preferred the academic, critical and theoretical side of the degree, rather than the applied, practical content. Also, being able to interact with world-class experts at the University was truly inspiring
"I had a million ideas on what to do with my life after finishing high school in Poland, and couldn't decide on one track. A friend of mine who studied in Birmingham many years ago showed me the AGMS degree and after many sleepless nights I decided to give it a try, as it was one of the few very specific ideas on what I could do at University. I focused on fulfilling the entry requirements and decided to give it a go, just for a year. I moved to England, enjoyed the first year of the degree and stayed.
"I spent my first and second year placements at my home club in Poland, running junior camps, beginner courses, corporate events etc. Additionally during the summer breaks I sought out opportunities to experience different parts of the industry and spent some time in the administration side of the golf club, helped out at a major European golf event, assisted with a golf course calibration process, attended a number of CPD courses and shadowed coaches in Poland, Sweden and Germany.
"At the moment I'm completing my third year placement at Leadbetter Golf Academy at La Manga Club in Spain, working as part of the team of coaches. Also, in June I started working as a coach at a small, developing golf club in Poland (Kamień Country Club) where I will continue to work full-time from September onwards. Having enjoyed the academic challenges I've also enrolled in the part-time MSc Sport Coaching degree at the University of Birmingham that's due to start in September."
"When you decide to do a golf degree you know you’re going to be surround by a lot of males, and coming from an all-girls school it is a bit difficult but you get used to it.
"I started playing golf at the age of 12 as my dad booked me some junior lessons and I developed through that to the county squad and just loved it.
"I knew when I was in Year 8 that it was the course I wanted to do as I knew someone doing the AGMS. That’s what I’ve worked for throughout my school years.
"It’s been hard in patches, especially the transition from school where you are spoon fed to here, where you have to seriously study. I thoroughly enjoyed my dissertation and working at England Golf at the moment.
"With this degree you have endless opportunities to go out there and prove you can do it.
"For my placements I stayed local to home and I really enjoyed being out and developing junior sections.
"I’m currently an assistant pro at Erewash Valley and doing voluntary work with England Golf and the Women’s PGA. I’m also working towards my full PGA status.
"I was surprised at the result but I knew I’d worked very hard. I knew if I did my best I’d have a chance of getting it. I was on the golf course when I got the news – which was quite appropriate.
"Originally I was going to go to Durham to do accountancy but then I started to work at the golf club. I then decided to go on and do this degree.
"I’ve loved it, especially with the variety of topics. It equips you well for the industry. On my placements, I did Huddersfield Golf Club the first year, then last year I went to Quinto do Lago in Portugal and Im going back there to do a final placement.
"I’m doing Portugal for two months and I’ve just accepted a job in Dubai as golf operations internship at Dubai Creek. It’s a 10 month contract and I’m also looking at becoming a PGA Professional I just have a couple of more things to do and then that’s it."
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