PGA Excel: The ultimate benchmark for golf facilities and pros

PGA Excel: The ultimate benchmark for golf facilities and pros


As a former PGA Trainee of the Year and PGA Fellow Professional himself, Mike Shrieve is someone who embodies PGA Excel's value at his golf facility. As Director of Golf at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club in Berkshire, he champions self-development through PGA Excel, encourages his staff to pursue this opportunity and explains the significance of PGA Excel to other golf facilities and the wider golf industry.

Why is self-development important to yourself and fellow PGA Members?

“We are blessed as PGA Members that there is so much opportunity to develop ourselves through CPD education, networking opportunities and sharing of knowledge. PGA Excel gives PGA Members the opportunity to collate evidence on our progression and impact throughout our career (which in my opinion, is a worthwhile exercise for any PGA Member) and benchmark it against our peers. It offers the chance to be recognised by our Association, which can further inspire and motivate individuals to continue to progress.

“Completing my PGA Excel application earlier this year was one of the most worthwhile pieces of time I’ve invested in myself in years, and I would recommend it to any PGA Member purely as a reflective exercise. To be awarded ‘PGA Fellow Professional’ status was the icing on the cake and is something I’m extremely proud of.”

Why is PGA Excel important for golf facilities?

“Firstly, having PGA Members who have been awarded different membership designations via PGA Excel can boost the profile of the Pro themselves and the facility, which could lead to more members engaging with the Pro’s services, whilst also attracting new business from afar.

“Furthermore, the framework also offers clubs the evidence that their Professional staff have engaged with self-development and gives the opportunity to be proud of them for going ‘above and beyond’ in striving to be better.”

Why should the wider golf industry start appreciating the importance of PGA Excel?

“Our industry and the wider hospitality industry has some fantastic education pathways and methods of recognising achievement. PGA Excel is just one as it enables PGA Members the opportunity to also be recognised for their accomplishments - sharing these ‘success stories’ will ultimately benefit the PGA Membership as a whole as we can learn from these successes.

“In addition, when businesses across the golf industry are recruiting, having the various designations allows clubs to benchmark candidates who are applying for different roles, be it in the PGA Professional, PGA Manager or PGA Coach.”

Why do you see it as essential for your staff at Bearwood Lakes to continue their career progression through PGA Excel?

“I have been fortunate in my career to have been surrounded by leaders who inspired me to always keep progressing. As a result, the development of my team members is something I am very passionate about and we have the full support of Bearwood Lakes to provide the opportunities to access and attend industry leading education.

“PGA Excel not only allows them to document all of their impact and evidence, but also provides a clear framework of what is expected to achieve higher designations. This in turn shapes their development plans and ultimately, what their future may look like.

“The golf industry that we operate in as PGA Members is becoming increasingly competitive, and I see PGA Excel only gaining more and more momentum as the months and years progress. Therefore, I place a tremendous amount of value in my team members engaging with PGA Excel as early as soon as they can, as it can help to give that competitive advantage over their peers.

“Having other PGA Professionals and multiple team members engaging in self-development helps to raise the whole performance level of the team, enabling us to offer world class service to our members and thrive as a business. On a more personal level it also holds me accountable and inspires me to keep progressing as a leader and as a PGA Member.”

What skills and qualities do PGA Members bring to golf facilities?

“The traditional ‘PGA Professional’ will be a welcoming face and host, a best-in-class merchandiser and retailer and a brilliant coach (the PGA Unicorn). However, in 2023, the evolution of the PGA Member can be witnessed and we now see fantastic leaders and commercial operators with many occupying prominent management roles at some of the best facilities around the world.”

What would you say to other golf facilities to encourage them to hire PGA Members?

“There is no bigger brand in golf than The PGA and its Members bring an authenticity to any golf facility. Ultimately, I think any facility who is hiring should be doing so by looking at evidence of what an individual has achieved.

“I would point facilities to seek out PGA Members who have engaged in PGA Excel as they have been recognised by the Association with a ‘stamp of approval’. Furthermore, PGA Members who have completed a PGA Excel application have a ready-made record of achievement to present to prospective employers, which can be of real benefit.”

Shrieve has enjoyed a rapid rise in the golf industry after coming through the PGA Training Programme in 2018. Before that, he graduated from Bournemouth University with a First-Class Honours degree in Sports Management. Now, after eights years at The Grove, the 33-year-old is the Director of Golf at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club, Berkshire.

CLICK HERE to find out more about PGA Excel and what it means to the golf industry.

PGA Members are encouraged to start their PGA Excel journey today. 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 start your self-assessment.


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