PGA Welcomes new Members at Graduation Ceremony

PGA Welcomes new Members at Graduation Ceremony


More than 120 graduates celebrated their success and achievements with family and friends at the University of Birmingham as they were officially welcomed into PGA Membership.

The historic Great Hall at the heart of the University campus once again proved to be a fitting setting as graduates were joined by family, friends and staff in what remains one of the most important dates in the PGA calendar.

“The graduation is the biggest event in our year,” said Paul Wiseman, PGA Executive Director – Education. “It’s not just the biggest day for the education department, it’s also the biggest day for the Association as we welcome a new cohort into PGA Membership. The graduates today might not understand the significance of how important this day is. Many of these Trainees will be celebrating the end of the PGA Training Programme, but this is actually the start of something. This is the start of a membership and a relationship with The PGA that we hope will last 30/40 years and take them into a wide spectrum of roles and careers within the golf industry.

“As Director of the PGA Training Programme I just have an enormous sense of pride. This isn’t just a celebration of the PGA Foundation Degree or the Diploma for Higher Education, there’s so many different elements of the programme that come together through internal and external collaboration – and it’s made even more challenging with the wide geographical distribution of the trainees.”

Among those graduating was Josh Rowles, who is based at Apsley Guise and Woburn Sands Golf Club. Josh was working in the construction industry before deciding to follow his passion by enrolling on The PGA’s Training Programme. In addition to graduating, Josh was also named 2024 Trainee of the Year – an award sponsored by long-term education partner Titleist.

“I’m extremely proud and humbled to win this award, it’s a lovely validation for all the hard work I’ve put in. My journey to becoming a PGA Professional is not what you’d say is a normal route, as I was working as a project manager in a very stressful environment. Taking the plunge and joining the PGA Training Programme at the age of 28 is probably the best thing I’ve ever done and this award is the icing on the cake. To anyone out there thinking about making a change I’d just say go for it. Working in an industry that you’re passionate about is amazing and I can’t wait for the rest of my career now.”

To cap a day to remember, Josh also won the Custom Fitting & Technology Award, sponsored by PGA Partner, Golf Pride.

Another graduate to be honoured was Lucy Goddard. A former Ladies European Tour player based at North Middlesex Golf Club, Lucy was named 2024 Female PGA Trainee of the Year and receives the Beverly Lewis Trophy, named after the former PGA Captain and sponsored by the Ladies European Tour.

Speaking of the award, Lucy said: “It was a real shock, but a very nice surprise. I’ve had a great three years and I’m really pleased I did the course. I’ve learnt so much that I can take into my coaching to help other people and inspire them to achieve more in golf. The learning doesn’t stop, and it’s great that The PGA provides ongoing CPD to help us to continue to develop. I’m really excited for the future and being a PGA Member. I hope that by winning the Beverley Lewis Trophy I can also inspire other women and girls to follow in my footsteps and start their own journey in golf.”

The PGA Training Programme, encompassing the three-year Foundation Degree, was founded more than 50 years ago and covers all aspects of golf, from coaching and fitting to management and sports science. Ninety-seven per cent of people who graduate go on to work in the golf industry where they will undertake more than 80 career options.

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