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pga professionals

Is there still a place at our clubs for the traditional pro?

They’ve come under pressure from franchising, and some clubs have decided to take services in house, but is a great club pro more important than ever? Steve Carroll met with industry experts to find out
 

They are first port of call when we turn up for a round. Whether it’s checking you in for a competition, giving your game a much-needed MOT, or just sparing a couple of minutes for a chat, the traditional PGA professional is the heartbeat of our clubs.

And yet in recent years, the role – like so many others – has come under pressure, as some clubs have looked to take services in-house, move to franchising, or re-evaluate the position altogether.

But what is the value of a good club professional? What is their role and how do they assist in the smooth running of a club and help to make our hobby all the more enjoyable?

Over the course of the next hour or so, we’re going to find out. We’ve lined up figures from every part of the journey, from the professional themselves, to the retail operation that stands behind them, and, of course, the governing body that represents them and looks after their interests.

And so we ask, are the services of a great club pro more important than ever?

From the Clubhouse Podcast: Is there a place for PGA professionals?

We’re joined by Mark Rogers, head professional at York Golf Club for more than a decade and a Specialist PGA Professional, Foremost Golf managing director Andy Martin, and PGA business relationship officer Sam Carr to discuss why the humble pro remains so important to the present and future of the grassroots game…

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Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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