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coronavirus

How the PGA are making thousands of calls to support members

A helpline service offered by the Professional Golfers' Association is getting in touch with more than 8,000 members during coronavirus
 

It seems like a Herculean task – trying to get in touch with more than 8,000 members, spread all over the world, in the face of a global pandemic.

But a helpline service, offered by the Professional Golfers’ Association, is doing just that and is offering advice as the coronavirus lockdown continues.

The PGA Helpline was set up within a week of the Covid-19 crisis gripping the nation and has now supported more than 5,800 members and over 1,500 golf clubs and facilities.

A team of more than 60 PGA staff were switched to manning the hotline and calling members – with the most vulnerable prioritised and contacted within the first few days of health warnings.

The work continues as the seven regional and overseas teams make a second wave of calls to those professionals not attached to golf facilities.

It will carry on until all of the PGA’s 8,000 plus membership have been contacted.

Rob Maxfield, PGA chief executive, said: “We knew we had to act fast. Even though we are dealing with massive changes to our own working practices moving the whole staff to working remotely, we were able to switch most of our admin and support teams to this frontline service answering the hotlines and making calls.

“It has been incredibly well received and our thanks to all those members who have contacted us to show their appreciation. This is what we are here for and in these challenging times I think many have found it comforting to know they are not alone.”

Helpline support has ranged from operating social distancing before clubs were closed, through to information about Government financial packages and highlighting the advice contained in the PGA’s coronavirus hub.

They’ve also made calls to, or dealt with enquiries from, more than 1,000 general managers and volunteer board members – not only giving advice on how to support professionals but answering financial support queries.

Maxfield added: “This is the first time we have reached out to golf clubs specifically although we have more than 20% of our Membership in Director of Golf or Management roles at facilities.

“We felt it was important to support those facilities that engage our members and are happy to extend whatever help and expertise we can offer during these difficult times and beyond.

“At some point we will be coming through this and it will be even more important that as an industry we act as one. We are in constant contact as governing bodies and with our representatives in Parliament and as the situation unfolds, The PGA will continue to communicate to the wider industry at large.”

Have the PGA helped you or your club during the coronavirus pandemic? Let me know how in the comments or tweet me.

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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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