In their own words: Robert Maxfield

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire September 24, 2019 21:54

Writing exclusively for The Golf Business, the CEO of The PGA explains that from novices through to Open champions, the PGA professional plays a pivotal role in their development.

Behind every great player is a PGA professional and over the course of another busy summer we’ve seen, once again, examples of the excellent work of those PGA members ‘behind the scenes’ coaching of the world’s top players and promoting the value of a PGA professional.

I often refer to PGA members as being at the ‘coal face’.

These are the men and women who are working day in, day out to deliver on the aspirations of the golf industry, whether it’s helping golf clubs succeed as a business or recruiting more children into the game.

We also have a core group of coaches who work full-time with the top players on both the PGA Tour and European Tour.

The four Majors are seen as golf’s chance to shine on the world stage and they present an opportunity for PGA professionals all over the world to be in the spotlight.

Robert Maxfield

This influence was again brought home to me following the US Open in June when, in his post-event interview with the press, one of the first people Gary Woodland thanked for his success at the iconic Pebble Beach course was PGA Master Professional Pete Cowen. Pete is coach to dozens of household names in the game and is widely regarded as one of the top golf coaches in the world.

In July we witnessed The Open Championship return to Royal Portush in Northern Ireland and those scenes on the final day as Shane Lowry lifted the Claret Jug will live long in the memory. But what was key to the Irishman’s success? Edinburgh-born Neil Manchip.

A PGA Fellow Professional, Manchip has worked with Lowry since his amateur days and played a key role throughout the week behind the scenes in Lowry’s corner.

A walk along any practice ground at a major Tour event will find at least a dozen PGA members working with golf’s elite players.

You’ll most likely find PGA Master Professional Phil Kenyon on the putting green. Phil is seen as the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to improving your putting game.

Major winners such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson all seek his advice because Phil is seen as the expert in his field. On the driving range you’ll find Denis Pugh, perhaps one of the most high-profile swing coaches in the game.

Denis is a key part of Francesco Molinari’s team and has played a hugely important role in transforming the Italian into a Major winner.

Golf is the envy of many other sports in the UK and Ireland for its network of professionals for players at any level.

Francesco Molinari of Italy talks with swing coach Denis Pugh talk during a practice round prior to the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush GC. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Any amateur golfer or beginner has at some point sought the advice and skills of a PGA professional. This includes elite players at the top of their game. Long may that continue.

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire September 24, 2019 21:54
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