PGA Excel first-timer Keogh heaps praise on new-look APAL system

PGA Excel first-timer Keogh heaps praise on new-look APAL system


I had looked at the APAL system but what made Excel so much better was how clear it was, and you didn’t have to do the whole body of work in one go, you could save it and come back to it.

- Adam Keogh (Woodhall Spa Golf Club) - PGA Fellow Professional

Adam Keogh started his PGA training in 2013, but the last 10 years have been jam-packed with activity. Keogh is currently the Head Professional and Academy Manager at England Golf’s HQ, Woodhall Spa Golf Club, Head Coach of Lincolnshire's county teams and he maintains a very successful playing career.

Last year he represented Great Britain & Ireland in the 2022 PGA Cup, as well as securing spots in a number of DP World Tour events via the PGA Play-Offs at PGA National Slieve Russell.

At the beginning of the year, Keogh started his first PGA Excel application to move up into a higher membership designation and earlier this month he was awarded PGA Fellow Professional status.

How important is personal development to you?

From a professional point of view, and you’d assume all PGA Professionals have the same kind of mindset where this is concerned, to keep developing is really important. Some of the guys told me from a PGA Tutor point of view that the training only gets you to the first step on the ladder, it’s up to you then as a PGA Professional to keep developing, year in, year out.

What made you want to begin your PGA Excel application?

First and foremost, on starting my PGA journey as a trainee in 2013, it was important to me to continue with CPD and continually develop what I do professionally. My ambition is to get to the very highest possible accolade that I could possibly get to.

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

I’ve actually gone straight from a PGA Professional to a Fellow PGA Professional, so it was a little bit of a shock to me but I’m incredibly grateful to the people marking and how they viewed the work and information that I submitted. I was looking to apply around the end of 2021, but at that time the changeover was in progress, so as soon as PGA Excel came in I was always planning on putting an application together as soon as possible.

I thought the PGA Excel system was brilliant. I had looked at the old APAL system but what made Excel so much better was how clear it was, and you didn’t have to do the whole body of work in one go, you could save it and come back to it. This enabled me to complete it over the course of about three weeks. It probably took me in excess of 40 hours’ work to do it, but I was able to just take time, read the marking criteria and the guides and go through it accordingly. This also gives you thinking time - to actually go away and consider what you’ve done, then come back and edit if needed.

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

It’s incredible really, it was a little bit of a surprise when I got the email as I didn’t assume it would be possible to jump levels, but it’s incredibly rewarding. I’m a really proud PGA Member, and on a daily basis you try to uphold the values of The PGA, and then when you read that only 3% of the membership has that level of designation or above, reflecting on that, that’s very rewarding.

Does the Fellow Professional status help you showcase yourself to your club?

Unless you’re a PGA Member, people don’t really have an appreciation of what the different designations of membership are. Master obviously speaks for itself and I’m very lucky to have met and know some Master PGA Professionals who have really changed the game in their own way, but the wider world needs to know more about it. However, unless PGA Members talk about it, how can we expect the wider world to know about it? I find it quite awkward to showcase myself on social media as I try to live a quiet life away from work, but it’s important as a representative of The PGA and as a proud Member of the association to showcase the good things that they’re doing as well.

PGA Members can start their PGA Excel journey today by CLICKING HERE.

Will you continue your PGA Excel journey in the future?

Definitely. Looking at the recommendations, the amount of years being a PGA Member and so on, I’ve only been a PGA Member since 2013 as a trainee, so that’s 10 years ago. I’d like to think if we were to go 10 years further down the road, it would be my ambition to continue moving forward.

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

The PGA Professionals that I work with, those that I’m in touch with, and those that are starting their journey who maybe seek a little advice from me, every one of them seems to have that mindset of growth and development. Naturally if you’re coming to the professional world from playing the game, which most younger trainees and developing players do, you’re continually striving to try and get better and that doesn’t stop when you work within the game either. I think most PGA Professionals have that mindset, and I think because the application process is so much clearer and so much more evidence-based now, more and more people will apply and obviously get higher levels of designation, which is a really good thing for The PGA too. It wouldn't surprise me in the future if certain designations were attached to certain jobs within the industry, which could obviously push it even more.

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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