Sandercock now focussed on business and leadership after PGA Excel recognition

Sandercock now focussed on business and leadership after PGA Excel recognition


Six years as Director of Golf at Mount Juliet Estate and hosting two Horizon Irish Open’s, Matt Sandercock has more than earned his recently awarded PGA Fellow Manager status.

Matt Sandercock was honoured at the first PGA Excel Awards with the status of PGA Fellow Manager, which means he has shown significant and sustained evidence of impact and achievement, as well as excelling in his field for a large number of years.

The PGA Excel enables PGA Members to show their expertise and value to their employers and golfers as they move up through the membership designations, which Sandercock has done since transitioning from a PGA Professional into a management role at Mount Juliet, based in Kilkenny, Ireland.

“I’m more of a manager now than I am a coach,” said the Englishman. “I do much more of a management role so it made sense for me to do the management side of PGA Excel. I pushed for it so if I do look for future positions, it makes it obvious that I'm stepping out of the teaching and more into the management side of it.”

Sandercock wants to focus more of his energy and time into the business side of the golf industry and he felt the PGA Excel application was tailor-made for him.

“It was really easy to do online via the PGA Learn. For me doing back-to-back Irish Opens is quite a lot of content to do and upload so probably haven’t finished all of it just yet. It’s nice to be merited for what you do, it shocks you the number of things you have learned throughout the year.

“We work closely with 59club here. It’s nice to have something to aspire to, I'm more focused on running a business and less on coaching. If I'm going for particular roles in the future the award will hold me in good stead as opposed to just being a golf professional which is an all-round role. This is more of a specified role.”

During his time as Director of Golf at Mount Juliet, Sandercock has established a proven history in leadership, managing budgets and delivering exceptional service to guests and members of the Estate.

“My role as Director of Golf has always been around management rather than coaching,” he explained. “I do custom fitting still so it’s quite important all professionals remain capable of doing everything.

“It’s about allowing the ownership and management team here to realise the different categories I am available to do for them and that they are aware of the jobs I can do. We have a 15-person golf team, over 20 greenskeepers and a bar team and they all filter to me throughout the year and when you start looking at my role it’s more of a management role rather than just a golf role.

“It’s more all rounded from a management point of view which is more where the industry is going and where I think pros need to look at where they are going. Starting here with no budgetary experience now six years in doing big budgets for hotels as part of the golf element. The more you know, the better because you are well equipped.”

The highlight of Sandercock’s CV is overseeing the hosting of two Horizon Irish Opens in 2021 and 2022 where he was at the heart of all the decision making and planning. The 2021 event was the first pilot post-Covid event to be hosted with crowds in Ireland.

“All the DP World Tour contact came through me, all the meetings about parking, agronomy, pin positions. There wasn’t anything that I didn’t know was happening so every day you knew what was coming.

“We lost the first Irish Open to Covid, the second one was half Covid and there were a number of regulations involved with that. We were the first pilot event in Ireland which was huge. We had a lot on that one to make sure we got it right.

“Last year it was about hospitality and driving nearly 90,000 people through the doors and showcasing what Mount Juliet is to the public and rejigging their memories of Tiger walking down to the fairways and now Rory to the first Polish winner in Adrian Meronk. It was a great experience working with loads of different industries from all over the world.

“As soon as you know you’re hosting you’re working straight away from council meetings to infrastructure, signage in town and there’s a lot in it every week from marketing, staffing, the pro-am field, marketing etc.”

Mount Juliet has developed into a world renowned five-star resort where guests can enjoy much more than just golf. Sandercock was also nominated for Manager of the Year with 59club and he feels the PGA Excel programme has given him the opportunity to specialise in an area to further his career in the industry.

“We have a high-performance partnership with Callaway which we are very fortunate to have, not too many around in Europe. We fit Odyssey putters every day in the stroke lab centre, our grass areas are covered by top tracer so you can get your data before you tee off.

“We have a Michelin Star restaurant, Michelin Plate restaurant and the clubhouse as well as a health club, leisure centre, gym, equestrian and fishing. It’s not just golf here and that’s important for people to enjoy all activities and not just golf which is why my role is important to keep us expanding and create that five-star experience.

“This year I was nominated for Manager of the Year with 59club and it shows the management role is seen across the industry in golf. It’s not just for the golf professional of the year. The PGA Excel programme gives professionals the option to focus on what they really want to do and further their careers.”

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

CLICK HERE to begin your PGA Excel journey.  


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