Addison reaps the rewards of Excel-ing in his field with PGA Fellow Manager status

Addison reaps the rewards of Excel-ing in his field with PGA Fellow Manager status


As a talented teenager in his amateur days, David Addison went toe-to-toe with Rory McIlroy in the Boys’ Home Internationals at Portmarnock. Their subsequent professional careers may have diverged down very different paths, but Addison continues to find fulfilment in a golfing industry of wide and varied opportunity.

“Rory may have four major titles but he hasn’t got his PGA Fellow Manager status,” chuckled Addison. Through the PGA Excel process, which rewards members of the Association for their impact and achievements, Addison is savouring this additional string to his bow. His new stature came as something of a surprise, mind you.

“It was a bit taken aback when I got the call to say I’d been awarded PGA Fellow Manager status,” said Addison, who is the general manager at Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club in Ayrshire.

“I went through the PGA Excel process to gauge where I was in the market and I didn’t think I’d be as high a level to be honest. It’s a big honour to be given, especially as a younger manager.”

Addison’s hometown club of Barassie continues to reap the benefits of the expertise and experience he has accumulated during his career, with the PGA Excel assessment framework providing the ideal platform to showcase his attributes - Addison is now encouraging his PGA colleagues to embrace the process too.

“I’ve been a PGA pro for 15 years and I thought to myself, ‘I have got experience and expertise but I’m maybe not good at showing that off’,” added Addison, who also held posts at Muckhart and Rowallan Castle.

“That’s why I went through PGA Excel. If you have all the evidence to support your work, it’s a pretty easy process. It’s important to tell people about your skills. More and more, I think clubs will look to The PGA and say, ‘we are looking for a manager, can you help us out?’

“Having this accredited status just shows the membership of Barassie that they have someone with expertise. It’s a huge benefit to the club. We have plenty of experts in their own fields at Barassie and I’m just glad I’m one of them too.


“I run a Scottish Young Managers group and within that I would say about 40 percent are PGA pros. I’d tell people to go for it with regards to PGA Excel. Sometimes, talking about yourself and showing off evidence of your work is not easy. But you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and do it. I did that and talked about my career in a way that I may not have done before.

“The reward was a phone call saying I was being awarded Fellow Manager status. Something like that gives you the confidence that you are doing the right things. I’ll certainly be going to my PGA colleagues and pushing them to go through the PGA Excel process.”

PGA Members can find out more about PGA Excel by CLICKING HERE.

As a winner of the Scottish Boys’ under-16 title in his youth, Addison then embarked on a golf scholarship at the University of Akron. It was an eye-opening experience and one that would swiftly shape his future career direction.

“I played in a tournament with Keegan Bradley and that was when it hit home and I thought, ‘I’m not  going to make it as a tour pro’,” reflected Addison of the daunting standards that were set on the ultra-competitive US collegiate scene. “Being in America was a great experience but very early I realised I wouldn’t be a player.”

After returning to his native land and serving his PGA apprenticeship under the shrewd eye of Barassie head PGA Pro Gregor Howie, Addison had a stint in Tuscany which whetted his appetite for the hands-on, all-encompassing work of a general manager.

“Gregor was a great boss and said, ‘you’re not going to stay here all your life so go out and develop your career’,” said Addison, as he was encouraged to spread his wings. “The job in Italy was golf operations with a bit of coaching but within the first couple of months a few of us ended up running the entire club. At that point I got my first taste of management. And I didn’t look back.

“Being involved in everything as a general manager was the big draw for me and that’s why I went into that side of the industry. You’re not pigeon-holed and you work with the office team, the greenkeeping team, the food and beverage team as well as the pro shop. You have to be involved in everything. It’s a wide-ranging job and no two days are the same.”


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