Personal development through PGA Excel is key to Stroud’s success

Personal development through PGA Excel is key to Stroud’s success


Being a female coach, I often feel that I need to stand out from the crowd, and completing my PGA Excel application and becoming a PGA Fellow Professional is another way that I can do that.

- Nicola Stroud (Burnham & Berrow Golf Club) - PGA Fellow Professional

Welsh native Nicola Stroud qualified as a PGA Professional in 1994 and her golf career has taken her around the UK and Europe before taking on the role as Head Teaching Professional at Burnham & Berrow Golf Club in Somerset in 2018.

Stroud is a multi-award winning PGA Professional, the most recent of which being the 2022 PGA South West Coach of the Year.

Personal development is a high priority for Stroud and that is evident in the first announcement of PGA Excel awardees, with Stroud achieving the status of PGA Fellow Professional, having been awarded Advanced status in nine years ago in 2014.

What made you want to begin your PGA Excel application?

I achieved my Advanced status in 2014, so I thought it was about time that I went to the next level.

How important is personal development to you?

Personal development is very important because everything in golf changes so fast with regards to equipment and how we think about the golf swing, so coaching techniques over the last three decades, that I’ve been coaching for, have changed tremendously.

It’s so important to keep up with what the new findings are, and also to challenge yourself regularly - you’ve got to keep reviewing what you’re doing in order to grow and it’s what your clients deserve. Not only that, but I expect my clients to challenge themselves and reach their full potential, so why wouldn’t I, as their coach?

What did you make of the new online PGA Excel process?

It was good because there were very clear guidelines on how to complete it, whereas previously it wasn’t laid out in so much detail. Once you’ve read through the brochure, everything makes sense, and I could easily compartmentalise everything.

How much easier is the new process compared to the old APAL system?

The PGA Excel system gets you to think in a lot more detail and separate everything you’re doing. You can therefore more easily categorise what you’ve done, especially with your evidence, so it’s a lot clearer when you’re laying it out.

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

I’ve found that throughout my career, I’ve always felt that I want to prove myself and prove that I’m good at what I do. The Fellow Professional status actually gives you the evidence that you’ve done it, that you’re good at what you do, that you care about what you do and that you’ve been recognised by your governing body, so for me it was very important. Being a female coach, I often feel that I need to stand out from the crowd, and this is another way that I can do that.

Your students, colleagues and the members at your club have been celebrating your achievement with you via social media, how does that feel?

The members at our club care a lot about the club, so they also expect a lot of us as staff. They recognise that it’s a huge achievement and feel very proud that myself and my colleague David Haines, who is also a Fellow PGA Professional, are their professionals at the club, and they like to celebrate that - it’s nice to feel that your members are proud of what you do as well.

Will you continue your PGA Excel journey in the future?

Yes, I would love to be a Master Professional! That’s my ultimate goal. I want to keep striving to get better, reaching my potential and keep improving. If I can do that and also go through the stages, then that’s great.

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

All PGA Professionals should want to be the best they can be - personal development should be something that we all take pride in, and to be recognised for the work that you put in is only right, and something that we all deserve. If you feel that you’re going over and above, then why not get recognised for it? I say go for it!

PGA Members are encouraged to start their PGA Excel journey today.

This new framework enables you to demonstrate your impact and achievement to employers, golfers and the wider industry and move up through the designations.

Check your eligibility more easily, review your progression against a scoring criteria using a brand new assessment form, and complete your application digitally, whenever and wherever suits.

CLICK HERE to begin your PGA Excel journey.


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