Golf has evolved remarkably over the past century, with the arrival of television accelerating the pace of change phenomenally.
The PGA has always moved with the times, and is responsible for instigating many changes within the game. At the forefront of the ever-changing modern game are factors such as training, education, fitness and career development.
The PGA continues to set the standards in these and many other areas, helping to advance the sport itself and also the massive industry that has grown around it. The initial education programme for PGA Professionals has been identified as 'world-leading' which has in turn created a global demand for PGA Professionals from Great Britain and Ireland.
All PGA Professionals undertake their initial education through The PGA National Training Academy (PING House), the European Centre of Excellence for Golf based at The Belfry. This cutting edge facility enables the PGA Education & Career Development department to provide comprehensive learning opportunities in all aspects of being a modern day PGA Professional.
The Academy is the centre of learning for all aspiring PGA Professionals undergoing their three year Foundation Degree in Professional Golf Studies as the first step on the journey to PGA Membership. Students on the Applied Golf Management Studies honours degree course also regularly utilise the facilities at PING House.
The PGA Education Department based at the Academy continues to drive forward the quality of education and training on offer for PGA Members. The PGA has forged a formal partnership with the University of Birmingham in order to broaden the education opportunities on offer for PGA Members.
In 2015 it also launched a new partnership with the University of the Highlands & Islands which offers an honours degree in Golf Management at the University’s Dornoch base next to the world-renowned Royal Dornoch Golf Club. There is also a new Diploma in Higher Education in Professional Golf which will be studied while students are in work at Scottish golf facilities.
In addition, the PGA National Training Academy also serves as the hub for the on-going professional development programme which offers vocational education opportunities for all PGA Professionals. The programme encompasses every aspect of the work of a PGA Professional; from coaching and player development to retail and business management; with learning opportunities including formal qualifications, traditional seminars, online courses and 'just-in-time' learning resources.
PGA Members fulfil more than 50 different roles in over 60 countries around the world, from Club Professionals and course architects to retailers and elite level coaches. The education and career development opportunities delivered by The PGA ensure that PGA Professionals continue to have the knowledge, skills and expertise required to drive the golf industry forwards.
The PGA will always ensure that PGA Professionals have access to education and career development support of the highest quality – ensuring that PGA Professionals continue to meet the demands of all aspects of the modern game.