Adrienne Engleman – Tour player, retailer, entrepreneur, coach, author and now PGA Advanced Fellow Professional

Adrienne Engleman – Tour player, retailer, entrepreneur, coach, author and now PGA Advanced Fellow Professional


Since the 1990s, Adrienne Engleman has enjoyed a varied and achievement-packed career as a PGA Member.

To list just a few aspects from her life in golf, Adie – as she is popularly known – has acted as a Ladies European Tour player, businesswoman, author and volunteer Equality and Diversity Officer for England Golf. She is also a passionate golf coach, based at Colmworth, in Bedfordshire.

Earlier this year she was awarded PGA Advanced Fellow Professional status through the new PGA Excel process.

Talk us through your career to date…

“I started as a fully-qualified PGA Professional back in the mid-1990s. I ran a golf retail outlet and coaching academy in Essex. I then played on the Ladies European Tour on and off for several years, while continuing to run a couple of golf facilities – one in Essex and one in Cambridgeshire.

Unfortunately, I had to stop playing competitively due to a recurring injury. I instead became the sole proprietor of Cambridge Golf Academy, which fortunately – albeit with a great deal of hard work – became a thriving golf retail and coaching business. Subsequently, this led to then having the capital to be able to invest in purchasing a golf driving range and short game practice facility, situated at one of the nearby golf courses. Many years later, I sold the facility due to a major new housing development within the local area.

I made the impassioned decision that I just wanted to coach, and more so inclusively, so I completed one of the Inclusive Golf Coaching Disability Workshops. I then coached at several golf facilities in both Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, which led me to being both the PGA representative and the voluntary England Golf Equality & Diversity Officer (EDO) for both the Cambridgeshire and the Bedfordshire County Golf Partnership Development Groups. My role as EDO included being responsible for promoting golf at all levels, proposing some major amendments to the County Actions Plans and assisting with affiliating EG Inclusion Hub Clubs within both counties.

All of which, I’m proud to say, resulted in my being awarded the Volunteer of the Year Special Achievement Award for my Services to Golf in the Community. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as an inclusive coach, from coaching for the likes of Deafblind UK to being the Head Golf Coach for British Blind Sport, and from delivering teacher training courses at schools for such charities as the Golf Foundation through to project managing golf programmes for the likes of Sport England.

I’ve since become the professional at Colmworth, in Bedfordshire, and I’ve been at the club for the last eight years.

Although I embarked on and achieved my PGA Certificate of Golf Management Theory as part of the PGA Director of Golf qualification, I now continue to enjoy just coaching; inclusively, from non-disabled to disabled golfers, from complete beginners to advanced players, from individuals to groups, and from those aged as young as three through to 93. I absolutely love every minute of my chosen vocation!”

How important is personal development to you?

“Personal development is extremely important to me as I love to strive to be the very best version of myself that I can be and, in turn, have the confidence to be successful at whatever I choose and challenge myself to do. Whether that’s trying to be a better coach or simply trying to be a better person, I’ve always done, and will always do, my very best to continue to develop and grow – both professionally and personally. And not just in the hope that I’ll continue to generally improve my own quality of life, but also in the hope that I’ll be able to continue to help others improve their quality of life too.”

What made you want to begin your PGA Excel application?

“After being accorded the status of PGA Fellow Professional, I’ve continued to progress with my career, having most recently been accredited with the new status of being a Golf Monthly Top 50 Coach. Therefore, when I read about PGA Excel, I decided to fill out the application form in the hope that I could find out if my more recent professional and personal development could be seen to warrant a higher status – and I’m so happy and pleased to be able to say that it was!”

What do you make of the new PGA Excel scheme?

“The new online process seemed to me to be much easier and more straightforward than the previous APAL process. Starting the process with a personal statement helped me with the rest of my application as, with each Value Block, I could keep going back to refer to my personal statement to then assist me with each section progressing forward.”

How much does it mean to you to be awarded PGA Advanced Fellow status?

“Being awarded PGA Advanced Fellow status means so very much to me. For all your hard work to be recognised, and for your value to both the sport and your own professional association to be appreciated is utterly uplifting, and especially when you’ve spent so many years doing your best to uplift others.”

How will you use your new PGA status to promote yourself?

“I’ve already started to promote my new PGA status on the likes of my email signature, my website and my social media platforms, with new business cards and signage and on my ‘work’ clothing too. I say ‘work’ like that because I can’t really call coaching golf ‘work’!”

What would you say to other PGA Members to encourage them to start their PGA Excel journey?

“I’ve had a few of my fellow pros contact me recently asking for advice on how best to fill out their applications and my first piece of advice has been to fill out the online form by providing as much evidence as possible, whether that be uploading files or adding links. Just provide as much online and physical documentation as you can to support your application. My second piece of advice has been to think of it as submitting a massively comprehensive CV for a job application. You need to showcase your skills and expertise and, more importantly, your value, to show why you not only deserve an interview, but why you deserve the job!”

Does the Advanced Fellow Professional status help you showcase yourself to your club?

“Totally. My club have been so wonderfully supportive, not only in congratulating me, but by showcasing me further through their own website and social media platforms. So many of the club members, and even more so the owners of and the staff at the club have said to me, either face to face or by messaging me direct, how happy they are for me and how proud they are of me too. It’s been quite heart-warming.”

You wrote 50 Simple Tips for Simply Better Golf – how was this received and has it whetted your appetite for another book?

“My book has been very well received and with open arms too. Over the years, many of my students had often said to me “Adie, you need to write a book” and so I did! The feedback and the subsequent reviews have been so complimentary with even complete strangers from all over the world contacting me to say that they’d purchased my book and loved the simplicity of it. So, yes, it’s completely whetted my appetite for writing another book.”

What does it mean to you to be a Golf Monthly Top 50 UK coach?

“It means almost as much to me as being a PGA Advanced Fellow Professional. It’s an incredibly close second but, like I said before, for your hard work to be recognised and for your value to be appreciated, especially by your own professional association is priceless!”

What are the next steps for you with PGA Excel – have you fresh targets?

“Yes, I have fresh targets now, as the feedback I had from my PGA Excel assigned marker was so positive and encouraging. They explained to me that because most of my application spoke about my coaching career, I may have been even more successful in the ‘Coach’ Membership category, rather than the ‘Professional’ Membership category. Therefore, it’s my hope that one day in the not-too-distant future I’ll be able to apply for and subsequently be – with all my fingers and toes crossed – successful in being awarded the status of PGA Master Coach. Oh my... that sounds so surreal!”


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