Fay delighted to progress career through PGA Excel

Fay delighted to progress career through PGA Excel


Newly awarded PGA Advanced Professional Sean Fay praises new PGA Excel system and encourages fellow pros to challenge themselves in the process. 

Fay started out in the golf industry working at the PGA National Golf Academy at The Belfry as a custom fit technician. In 2012, he moved to Royal Dornoch as Assistant Professional where he was able to gain invaluable experience whilst completing his PGA training. This resulted in him achieving the Titleist Scholarship Award, graduating and becoming a fully-qualified PGA Member in 2015.

After seeking a new challenge to further his career, Fay took up the post of PGA Qualified Professional at Carnoustie Golf Links in 2017 and, under the guidance of Colin Sinclair, played an integral role in developing the retail operation, indoor performance centre and the Carnoustie Craws junior golf programme. The pinnacle of his time at Carnoustie was in 2018 when the club hosted The Open Championship.

Fay, who was also a lecturer at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) for the PGA Training Programme, is currently the Head of Golf at the The Carnegie Club. The 33-year-old explains why he is using the Association’s new PGA Excel system to continue to advance his qualifications and career.

What does it mean to you to become a PGA Advanced Professional?

It’s a great honour to be recognised by The PGA as an Advanced Professional. This is something I have always planned to do, however the last 12 months have really allowed me to provide the evidence needed to support my application.

The best examples of PGA Members that I know are those who not only have great experience, but have the relevant credentials and qualifications to match.

- Sean Fay (The Carnegie Club) - PGA Advanced Professional

How important is career progression to you?

Since PGA Excel was introduced, I always wanted to engage in the process to help with my career progression, yet I was conscious that I would only apply when I felt ready. I have recently become the Head of Golf at The Carnegie Club, so having Advanced status in some ways aligns to the role and allows me to further development the golf operation at the club.

Who inspired you to start your PGA Excel journey?

In truth, I was inspired by those PGA Members that have engaged with PGA Excel already. Members like Alex Buckner, who I know personally, who is such a great example of a young professional paving their way in the industry, becoming a specialist in something that he is passionate about. Then there are others who I don’t know so well, but appreciate the work they do, like Simon Wordsworth. I started my career at The Belfry in 2008 and Simon was a name that was spoken about a lot. To see these people get recognised for their commitment to self-development and those around them makes it easy to want to engage in this process.

What improvement have you seen in the new PGA Excel system?

I was aware of the previous system but never felt ready to engage in the process, so maybe that is a clear indication that the new process is a huge improvement. From my perspective, it is clear to see that more PGA Members across all walks of life are engaging and enjoying PGA Excel. In my opinion that is down to the acknowledgement of specialist categories and the ease in which you can complete the application in your own time.

How did you find the new PGA Excel online application process?

As I’m sure other PGA members have eluded too, it was enjoyable for a number of reasons. Being able to reflect on my journey in the industry to date through clearly defined questions, and supporting this with sufficient evidence, meant that I felt comfortable in justifying the decision to complete my application. Career and personal development have always been an important aspect of being a PGA Member since I began my training. PGA Excel now provides a great platform for members to showcase their achievements.

How will you use your new PGA designation to progress your career?

I’m not someone who likes to shout from the rooftops about personal achievements, however I do think it’s important that we back ourselves as PGA Professionals. I’m extremely proud of this achievement and it has given me the appetite to continue with PGA Excel in the future. In my new role I see this as an opportunity to mentor the staff who work at the club, hopefully supporting them on their own journeys into PGA Excel. I wouldn’t be setting a great example if I wasn’t willing to do this myself. I would like the staff at The Carnegie Club to all be recognised as extremely qualified individuals who are all always striving to become elite in their chosen fields. Gaining this designation is the start of this process.

Why was it important to you to move up a designation through PGA Excel?

It would be easy to become comfortable and not want to advance or be recognised as an PGA Advanced Professional or beyond. We are in an industry full of talented people, so to challenge myself and want to improve and align with others is something I consider extremely important. The best examples of PGA Members that I know are those who not only have great experience, but have the relevant credentials and qualifications to match.

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

I would tell every PGA Member to challenge yourself, go out of your comfort zone and really try to become the best version of you. Personal development and completing a PGA Excel application is sometimes not easy, however the reward and satisfaction beyond the process is worth it.

PGA Members, start your PGA Excel journey now and showcase your impact and achievements to employers and the industry. Easily check eligibility, track progression and apply digitally for your designation upgrade.

CLICK HERE to get started.


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