Aspiring golf professionals in emerging European golf markets are now taking their first steps on a structured career path towards full PGA qualification thanks to the PGAs of Europe’s INITIAL PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (IPE) initiative.
IPE is available to all member countries who do not operate PGAs of Europe recognised professional education, and already six students from five countries have successfully passed the course, four of which have gone on to start the process of enrollment in a fully recognised PGA qualification programme.
A pilot programme was put into operation during the autumn of 2011 and the wisdom of IPE, shaped under the general umbrella of the PGAs of Europe’s Education Committee’s recognition guidelines, was confirmed as ideal to fill the need for which it was created.
Students from Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Greece and Malta attended two residential sessions, (both in Holland), took part in six virtual meetings, completed nine assignments, constructed a portfolio of evidence, undertook practical assessment and was interviewed. Two qualified tutors delivered the training and practical assessments were conducted by PGAs of Europe qualified assessors.
As Tony Bennett, PGAs of Europe’s Director of Education explained: “The concept for IPE was born at our Heads of Training Summit in Lisbon in 2008 where it became clear that we should support the development of a first steps professional education programme. As a result we formulated a three-months IPE programme that gives all PGAs access to an introductory level of coach training while touching on issues around developing both the sport and the industry.”
The ability to provide indigenous, appropriately trained golf professionals can really help to develop the sport especially now that Golf has reached Olympic status. An appropriately trained workforce of golf professionals also sends a positive message to the national federation who often need help in their efforts to develop the sport, attract newcomers and discover talented players. The Ryder Cup European Development Trust has been very supportive throughout the development of the programme and this support is continuing in to the first full year of implementation.
So with the introduction of IPE, the education of golf professionals in emerging markets has climbed the the first rung on what has been described as ‘the education ladder that never ends…’