Two talented and dedicated individuals who have served the PGAs of Europe superbly over a period of many years Martin Westphal and Paul Wesselingh, have been recognised in the latest Accreditation for Professional Achievement and Learning (APAL) awards presented to reward ‘the wide and varied expertise of PGA professionals’.
Westphal has been granted ‘Fellow’ status in recognition of his pioneering approach to transforming Berlin’s Markischer Golfclub Potsdam which was an ailing business concern until a radical new approach transformed its fortunes.
As a former director of golf at the Markischer club in the late 1990s, he was shocked to discover three years ago that the Berlin club was bankrupt and eager to step into the golf management business, Westphal, saw an opportunity and, after initially renting it, bought the club outright with investors in October 2010. He has gone from employing one to eight PGA professionals, membership has increased to 1,200 and the number of rounds per week has rise from near zero to 1,400.
The 49-year-old, who has been a PGA pro for 32 years and a British member since 2006, has had to take a radical approach to meeting the modern demands of the golf industry creating an appropriate annual subs/green fee pricing system, changing the infrastructure of the club and converted part of the restaurant to make the pro shop bigger. Westphal also implemented a creche where kids can be left in a safe environment while parents play a round of golf.
Other developments have been the implementation of physiotherapy and sports science services and a massage and training room, and plans are also in the pipeline for a centre for physical fitness and another for education; the latter because it has become the education centre of the PGA of Germany’s junior section.
Westphal, who is a member of the PGAs of Europe Education Committee and has also worked in the R&A-funded Golf Development Programme for 14 years, is optimistic about the future but believes other clubs need to adapt in similar fashion.
Wesselingh, who has combined traditional club pro and manager duties at Kedelston Park, Derbyshire (UK) with playing success, culminating in victory at this year’s ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship on the European Senior Tour, has also been given PGA Fellow Professional status.
As a distinguished contestant in PGAs of Europe tournamants over the years he has also won the association’s 72-hole strokeplay championbship.
David Colclough, PGA head of member education said: “The APAL awards recognise the commitment, and above all impact, that many PGA members have in the golf industry, whether as club professionals, coaches, directors of golf and many other roles.”