England and Wales (North) Region
11 Apr 14
A Yorkshire-based PGA Professional who wanted to be a dentist as a child has crowned a successful career in golf by joining the PGA Board of Directors.
Moortown head PGA Professional Martin Heggie succeeds John Heggarty, the Royal Liverpool head pro who has stepped down after 23 years.
“It is a big honour to join the board, I’ve always tried to do my bit for The PGA,” he said.
“When people say what does The PGA do for me, my standard answer is what do you do for The PGA? It is a members’ organisation so it relies on some of the members giving their time.
“As an industry I think we have seen some tough times and we are starting to see a little bit more growth in the game. There are various initiatives to get people into golf and The PGA needs to be at the heart of that.
“The challenge for PGA pros is to do a more professional job up front at the club and make themselves the figure head of the club and be involved in all aspects of the club right through to being on the social committee.”
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “We’re delighted to welcome Martin to the board, he has been a long-serving member on Yorkshire and North Region committees and brings a wealth of experience to the role.”
Heggie began his golfing career as a young assistant at Lyme Regis where his father was club secretary, later moving on to become head pro at the UK’s first Ryder Cup venue, Moortown, where he has been for the past 11 years.
“At 18 I originally thought I wanted to be a dentist but Lyme Regis appointed a new pro Andrew Black and my dad arranged a meeting with Andrew for me to see if I wanted to be his assistant, and the rest is history" he said.
One of his biggest challenges came when he joined Moortown – succeeding Bryon Hutchinson, a past PGA captain and head pro at the Leeds club for 40 years.
“It was a big change for the club when somebody has been there that long but I made some changes with an extended and refitted pro shop and latterly developed a swing and putting studio I still like to think of myself as a traditional club pro if there is such a thing nowadays and try and play with the members regularly.”
The 49 year old, who has attained PGA Advanced Professional status, remains passionate about golf and concedes the golfing world is infinitely more desirable than any dentist’s surgery.
“I only wanted to be a dentist because all the dentists had Wednesdays off to play golf,” he adds.
“While I was never had any aspirations as a tournament player, I love golf and the golf environment. It’s a great place to work.
“I live just round the corner from Moortown and walk my dog to work every morning, not many people have that privilege in life where, they can take their dog to work and walk up the 18th at Moortown every morning to work.”
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