Trio awarded top PGA honour

Trio awarded top PGA honour


Paul Ashwell, Michael Braidwood and Kevan Whitson have all attained The PGA’s highest honour, the status of Master Professional. 

At the start of his career in 1990, Michael Braidwood developed as a coach and manager under the guidance of Kevin Stables in Montrose, Scotland and then worked at the Golf Academy at Gleneagles. Hisdevelopment at the former Ryder Cup venue led to a move abroad to Bahrain to manage the Royal Golf Club.

The 49-year-old spent more than 11 years at the facility before returning to Scotland for a brief spell with Braemar Golf Developments as their operations director, which included regular work overseas in Moscow, Russia.

In 2014 he took up the role of Director of Education at the Club Managers Association of Europe, Braidwood oversaw and helped develop the hugely popular Management Development Programme, which was delivered across European and the Middle East.

Braidwood, who is an assessor for the PGA’s Director of Golf qualification, currently works as the General Manager of Education City Golf Club in Qatar and has no fewer than seven PGA Professionals within his team.

“I am very proud to become a PGA Master Professional,” said Braidwood. I think persistence, patience and productivity have all helped.

“I love all facets of our profession but nowadays you have to specialise in one. So I have specialised in being a generalist. I still like to play golf and I like to keep in touch with what other coaches are doing. The advancement in coaching in recent years has been remarkable.”

Paul Ashwell (above) is the director of golf at St Ives Golf Club, where he has been based since 2013, and has coached players of all ages and ability at club, regional, national and European Tour level.

The 57-year-old, who was based as Wyboston Lakes Golf Club for eight years, has worked for England Golf coaching a number of national sides and he has also helped develop the careers of Tommy Fleetwood, Danny Willett, Eddie Pepperell and Tyrell Hatton through the England Golf Development Pathway.

Ashwell coached Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnson to his maiden European Tour title in 2016 and has also published a book ‘Golf – Skills of the Game’.

“I feel extremely proud and honoured to have achieved PGA Master Professional status,” said Ashwell. “Throughout my career I have admired the achievements of PGA Master Professionals and to be part of that esteemed group of people is very humbling. This recognition is definitely a highlight in my professional career.”

“Coaching has been my specialty and passion and I consider myself very fortunate to have had a career that has allowed me to help others.”

Kevan Whitson joined Royal County Down Golf Club in 1992 having grown up on the east coast of Scotland playing on some of the oldest links course in the world.

When Whitson qualified as an assistant at the Royal Burgess Golfing Society in Edinburgh, he was one of the youngest professionals in the history of the PGA.

Over the years Whitson has coached many top amateurs and touring professionals. He is ranked by Golf Monthly as one of the top 25 teachers in the UK.

Whitson is also a highly sought after speaker and acts as a consultant to the Golfing Union of Ireland and the Irish Ladies’ Golf Union.

During his time at Royal County Down he has provided valuable input to many leading championships held at the club, including the Amateur Championship, the Irish Open, the British Ladies’ Amateur Open Championship, three Seniors’ Open Championships and the 2007 Walker Cup.


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