Meet the PGA professional: Mike Bradley

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 10, 2021 14:26

The head PGA professional at Hollinwell Golf Club talks about the range of work he gets involved in, the free coaching the club offers to juniors and a playing career that included an appearance in the Open Championship.

What daily challenges do you face in running a pro shop and teaching?

Being everything to everyone, we have so many different roles – monitoring the first tee, teaching, expert in all CDH admin, competitions, rules, bookings, fittings, repairs, trolley / buggy breakdowns… psychiatrist and clairvoyant (knowing when fog will rise and ground will defrost)!

When teaching you have to manage the pupils’ expectations. Often they want instant success, which happens very rarely. One of the worst, but also one of the best things about the job, is its diversity, we have so many different faces.

There is a constant flow of new golf products – how do you manage your stock to serve the needs of your members and visitors?

We have to keep really up to date with all current trends. With a small membership like Hollinwell has, it is very difficult to stock everything, but one of the many benefits of being a TGI Golf partner is that we have access to everything even if we do not stock it.

Most of our clothing has the golf club’s logo on it, which is popular with both members and visitors and as of April last year we are rebranding from Notts GC to Hollinwell.

How do you manage your day?

I set aside time for coaching and admin, but when you have so many different facets to your job things do tend to change quite quickly. You’d be surprised at how many people ring up and want a lesson in half an hour and are quite put out when you say you are busy.

What are you doing to support junior golf and introduce kids to the sport?

There are three PGA coaches at Hollinwell and we all really enjoy coaching the juniors. We have a junior coaching session every Wednesday evening from 6-8pm, where all our juniors are welcome and they can bring a friend along with them (parent free zone). This is free of charge for the juniors as it is paid for by the golf club.

Are you trying to attract more women to golf?

We have quite a large ladies’ section. With Hollinwell being quite a challenging course it tends to attract quite a lot of elite players, many of them in the younger age bracket.

Do you have any programmes in place such as academy membership to make it easier to introduce beginners to the game?

Our juniors, up until they are 11 years old, only pay £100 a year, this is staggered all the way through their education (still only £320 when at university) and early working life until they reach 32 when they become full paying / playing members. This is staggered to try and retain the younger members as they start their working lives.

A lot of PGA pros are having to be a step ahead of their competitors in their offerings and technology – what additional added value services do you provide?

I invested in a swing studio approximately four years ago, with the Foresight GC2 and HMT launch monitors in store. I am also a regional performance centre for Mizuno, all of this enhances the coaching and fitting experiences at Hollinwell.

When did you join the TGI Golf Partnership and what was it about it that attracted you?

I have been a proud partner of TGI for over 21 years. When I first joined my first and probably only thought was to get best buying terms. But as time went on I quickly realised there is so much more to the group than just the buying terms, they are just a mere fraction of what’s on offer.

Has TGI Golf been of benefit to you as a PGA professional?

Not only has it benefited me as a PGA pro, it has helped me immeasurably with my business, the support from EVERYONE at TGI is second to none. The group is one big happy family, with partners, staff and everyone involved working together, I cannot thank them enough.

What year did you turn professional and what have been your career highlights, both playing and employment?

I first turned pro in 1984, passing my exams in December 1987. My career highlights – being head professional at Hollinwell, winning the TGI Golf Partner of the Year in 2014 and being asked to be a director of TGI Golf.

Playing highlights are playing in the Open at Troon in 1997, winning the Leeds Cup in 1999, the Northern Rock North East Masters in 2003 and representing England in TGI Golf’s Partnership Trophy twice (winning in the first year).

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 10, 2021 14:26
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