Mowbray makes his mark with PGA Advanced Fellow Professional status

Mowbray makes his mark with PGA Advanced Fellow Professional status


Hampshire-based club professional Ian Mowbray is among a handful of PGA Professionals to be awarded Advanced Fellow status in the first batch of awardees in 2024.

Mowbray, who has been the club professional at Liphook golf club for over 20 years, is a shining example of an individual who is committed to self-learning. Alongside his role as club professional, Mowbray sets aside time to study and continuously learn.

He has recently completed The PGA’s ASQ Level 5 Golf Club Management Studies diploma and plans to carry on his studies in between coaching and the day-to-day role of running a business. We spoke to him about the PGA Excel process he used to gain his Advanced Fellow Professional status and the importance of the recognition that comes from furthering your career.

Congratulations on being awarded Advanced Fellow Professional status. Why was it important to you to do the PGA Excel submission?
PGA Excel allows you to gain recognition within the industry, which is nice to have. More importantly the status allows you to be able to use it at your golf club to promote yourself within your membership. I think if they see that you are someone who is committed to self-improvement and personal development then the members respect you more.

I think that as club professionals it is important that we communicate what it means to our members, to the influential people within golf clubs - the club captains, the secretaries, the committee members. As I think they are the ones that need to know and understand more about it as ultimately they are our employers.

How do you think employers view the PGA Advanced Fellow status and why do you think it is important for them to understand and appreciate PGA Excel?
I think it should weigh a lot of importance with employers. If you get two people applying for a job who are of a similar standard, but one of them has a higher qualification from The PGA, then you would like to think that would give that candidate the edge. I imagine that at the typical golf club, their club secretary, committee member or captain for instance, don’t know much about it, so it’s important to communicate that.

Is there any advice you could give to other PGA Members looking to start PGA Excel?
Put the time aside to do it because it’s very worthwhile. Don’t be deterred by what you must complete. Also use your PGA Regional Development Officer for help and advice or if you have any doubts, I certainly did. And think about your specialism – you can stay as a PGA Professional but there’s also the option to be a PGA Coach or PGA Manager if you want to and that can be done straight away.  

If you get two people applying for a job who are of a similar standard, but one of them has a higher qualification from The PGA, then you would like to think that would give that candidate the edge.


How much time did you put into the application?
It took me quite a few months to submit my application, in fact I missed the October submission deadline just because the summer months are the busiest time of year for me. So, it’s definitely worth doing in the winter time when your business is quieter. I think that all PGA Professionals should be using PGA Excel to further their career, completing CPD and gaining points and knowledge. If you want to be seen to be one of the best in your field then you need to strive to do that.

How simple was the process?
If I’m honest I found the process tough, writing about myself didn’t come easily for me. But that’s because I’m not an academic individual. I struggled at school, but I enjoy learning. Whether it’s just reading books, watching old coaching videos or more formalised learning such as completing a degree. I just enjoy the process of learning. I particularly enjoy a variety of learning across a wide spectrum of the business - teaching, retail, display techniques - things involving communicating with the members. All the things that I enjoy I am constantly trying to get better at.

Do you think that completing ASQ Level 5 Golf Club Management diploma contributed to helping you get your Advanced Fellow Professional status?
Yes undoubtedly. I started the diploma just before Covid, so it was a good 3-4 years of study. I took it to further myself, not because I’m aspiring to move into golf club management. I just wanted to have the qualification and to have the knowledge. I wanted to learn more things that would benefit my business because I enjoy being an all-round club professional. I wouldn’t necessarily want to specialise in just one thing. I’ve never wanted to be solely a teacher or a manager, I like the whole aspect of the job. All components of the day-to-day role.

How important is CPD and on-going learning to you?
It’s very important. I was at the TGI Business conference at The Belfry a few weeks ago which I always enjoy attending. It’s really good to continue learning and going to seminars and various things that The PGA organise. I encourage my staff to do the same. I think it’s really important that they try to better themselves as well.

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


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