Hurst’s passion becomes a profession thanks to The PGA degree

Hurst’s passion becomes a profession thanks to The PGA degree

29/05/2024

Ethan Hurst’s sporting life used to involve a decent dollop of crash, a fair bit of bang and a considerable amount of wallop.

A native of Canada, the 26-year-old would regularly hurtle around on the rink as he immersed himself in the national sport of ice hockey.

When he wasn’t clattering and battering away at a puck he could be found in the rucks and muck of the rugby field.

Golf, meanwhile, was something of a tranquil retreat from the rigours and the rough and tumble of his other physical pastimes.

It would, however, become his consuming passion and, ultimately, his profession as a serious injury led to him focusing his energies on a more genteel pursuit.

“I tore my ACL playing rugby and I couldn’t really do many other sports after that,” reflected Hurst, who is a recent graduate of The PGA’s degree programme.

“My dad was a keen golfer and he got me into it. I’d always played it and after the injury I had to choose something that was a bit easier on the body.

“I was about a 10-handicapper at the time when I really started getting into it and in one summer, I dedicated all my time to getting better and got to scratch. I fell in love with playing every day.

“I went to University and played on the golf team there for four years and developed a love for tournament golf.”

Having earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree at McMaster University in Ontario, Hurst upped sticks and moved to Scotland with his partner (now wife) who was starting medical school in Dundee.

That’s when The PGA qualification was brought to his attention. Perhaps it was all meant to be? Hurst’s mother, after all, was originally from Solihull, barely 15 miles from The PGA’s HQ at The Belfry.

“I never really had any ambitions of being a pro until I came over here,” said Hurst, who would go on to do his PGA training at Alyth Golf Club in Perthshire.

“But I got talking to a couple of pros at Downfield where I had joined and they told me about The PGA programme.

“The whole thing really appealed to me. Initially, with my business degree, I’d wanted to become a teacher but with my growing love for golf I thought I could combine these two things and teach golf. The PGA has allowed me to do that.

“I liked the flexibility that The PGA degree offered; how you could work as you studied.”

Hurst’s competitive instincts, meanwhile, remain sharp and he underlined his talents last season when he shared the honours in the Tartan Tour’s 36-hole Order of Merit event at Strathmore thanks to a closing 65.

“I’d still like to scratch that itch of playing and see how far I can go,” admitted Hurst, whose ice hockey background has led to him playing golf left-handed.

“I had done lots of coaching and worked in the shop but over the last year or so, I’ve had the flexibility and the opportunity to get out and play more. There are some really good players on the Tartan Tour, the competition is great and I’ve learned a lot.”

Hurst’s golfing education, on and off the course, continues. “I can’t say enough good things about The PGA training programme,” he added.

“Growing up, I just played golf. I never looked into the science behind it. But through the degree, I got into such a wide variety of areas, whether it was club making, the business of golf, everything.

“If you’re a good golfer it doesn’t mean you’re well equipped for the golf industry. But you learn so much in three years with The PGA degree and I feel I have all the tools to work in it now.”

If you would like to find out more about PGA Qualifications, click here.

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