Marshall plan sees designs for golf career succeed

19/04/2013

An aspiring golf professional has overcome a career-threatening back injury to finish second on the prestigious Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year awards.

Lee Marshall, from Halesowen in the West Midlands but who now lives in Bristol, was set for a career as a graphic designer - until deciding to take a chance on the three-year PGA Foundation degree after recovering from a ruptured disc injury.

The 29-year-old, based at Thornbury Golf Centre, was recognised for his achievements at the annual PGA Graduation ceremony at the University of Birmingham. He received a cheque for £2,500 presented by Titleist's European marketing manager Jonathan Dowdell and BBC TV newsreader and golf enthusiast Naga Munchetty, who was the guest of honour.

Marshall, who was also recognised for his performance in his coaching exams by PGA Official Supplier GASP Systems, said: "I was extremely surprised when I found I was second. I worked extremely hard in my final year so to finish up there is a great. This is massive for my career and great to have on the CV."

As a teenager, Marshall excelled in a number of sports reaching county level as a javelin thrower as well as being a successful race walker. But golf remained his passion and a scholarship looked to have his career on track until the injury threatened his dreams.

"When I was 17 I got on a two-year scholarship at The Belfry, where you had free coaching and use of the facilities, while studying at college," he said.

"But at the start of the second year was when I had the ruptured disc and that stopped me continuing.

"I went on to the West of England University and did graphic design, as the injury forced me to go with my second passion. When I finished university I did some part time graphic work but still thought about golf and decided to give it another go as the back had improved.

"I approached the head professional at Thornbury and he took me under his wing as an assistant. It was tough to get back to the standard I used to play at to meet the requirements but I achieved that to enroll. Since then, I have finished the top assistant in the region for the past two years in my studies and wanted to complete the hat-trick, which I have done."

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