PGA Excel – Recognising Impact Across the Golf Industry

PGA Excel – Recognising Impact Across the Golf Industry




PGA Excel was launched in November 2022 as the new assessment framework that enables PGA Members to demonstrate their value and expertise to employers, golfers and the wider the golf industry. Replacing the old APAL system, PGA Excel will continue to recognise and reward PGA Members for their impact and achievements, and enable them to move up through the membership designations.  

The PGA’s Executive Director for Membership, Tristan Crew, explains why PGA Excel is a real benefit for employers of PGA Professionals and the wider golf industry.

CLICK HERE to find out which PGA Members are among the latest awardees as part of the PGA Excel assessment framework.

CLICK HERE to find out more about PGA Excel and what the designations mean.

So what is PGA Excel?

For almost 30 years we’ve had an Accreditation of Professional Achievement and Learning (APAL) system in place that recognises PGA Members for their impact and achievement. Put simply, it’s about how you have used your education and experience to deliver impact and achievement.

We’ve spent the last six months reviewing and overhauling the system, with a number of significant changes being implemented. These reflect the changing and varied roles being fulfilled by PGA Members across the industry, make the process of applying much clearer and enable PGA Excel to be more easily understood by the industry.

Overall, the process is now much easier and enables PGA Members to demonstrate to an industry employer a tangible value of what they can deliver on and what they have learned over a period of years.


PGA Excel measures Members’ submissions in the three individual specialities of Professional, Coach and Manager. The four main areas of assessment relate to: specialist knowledge, business management; golf growth and development; professional representation.

Submissions are marked by a group of professional markers and moderators to ensures accuracy, consistency and quality assurance. Finally, gradings are ratified by the PGA Board of Directors prior to being awarded to the individuals.

What are the membership rankings or designations?

Different membership rankings or designations are awarded through PGA Excel, enabling PGA Members to use these bands and the accompanying logos to market, promote and differentiate themselves from other PGA Members.

The designations of Advanced, Fellow, Advanced Fellow and Master apply to all three Member specialisms of PGA Professional, PGA Coach and PGA Manager.

PGA Master status represents the pinnacle of achievement, having only been awarded to just 61  individuals in the Association’s 120-year history.

For employers and the wider golf industry, the PGA membership designations achieved through the PGA Excel process are a valuable way to identify and recruit individuals to specific roles, where specific skills and experience are required, as well as being a stamp of approval and expertise. For a PGA Member, it enables them to articulate and demonstrate their value to a prospective or existing employer by displaying their accumulated impact throughout their careers.

Why is PGA Excel important to the golf industry?

PGA Excel is about recognition of an individual’s capabilities, which can obviously be an extremely beneficial reference point for those that are that are looking to recruit PGA Members or for certain roles with golf facilities. This elevation of professional standards and clear identification of the impact an individual’s learning and development has had is very positive for the golf industry. There is a clear correlation between highly-skilled and motivated staff and the overall success of every element of a golf facility.

Put simply, better PGA coaches make golf more enjoyable, which leads to more people playing golf. Better PGA professionals improve standards across all elements of a facility, whether it’s club fitting, retail, dealing with club members, operations or marketing… which in turn leads to a more efficient, popular and profitable facility. Better PGA Managers produce better run facilities or clubs, which of course speaks for itself.

We want employers or deployers of PGA Professionals to look at the individuals within their facility and encourage them to engage with PGA Excel because it benefits everyone. This is about driving standards – measuring, rewarding and recognising that impact and achievements of PGA Members in a way that will positively affect the golf industry and also golfers and customers.

CLICK HERE to find out more about PGA Excel and what the designations mean.


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