The PGA in Scotland’s Allan Martin has received one of the highest European golf development honours, the PGAs of Europe President’s Award for Golf Development (Individual) 2014.
The award was presented to Martin at the Gala Awards Dinner supported by Rolex at the Association’s flagship event, the 2014 Annual Congress, and gave Martin an opportunity to step into the spotlight:
“To receive the recognition of fellow PGA Professionals and the industry on the European stage is very special indeed,” explained Martin. “Receiving this prestigious award has raised awareness of the work I and many others do day-in day-out as PGA Professionals. I’ve done nothing special, however at the same time this necessary work is often overlooked…now its been brought to the fore and into the public eye.”
Martin’s work has been heavily focused towards golf development since he became a qualified PGA Professional in 1996. Based at Buchanan Castle Golf Club, Martin has contributed to a number of projects that have looked to develop the game specifically with the pilot for Scotland’s ClubGolf junior golf initiative, the 2010 Junior Ryder Cup Coaches Conference, and has also been a mentor for numerous Assistant Professionals across the years.
But perhaps one of his major achievements is with the development, mentorship and friendship with Paul McIntyre, a young man with the incurable genetic condition, Becker Muscular Dystrophy. Paul’s condition severely weakens the muscle tissue of the body leaving most sufferers unable to walk by the time they are in their thirties and, as the heart is also a muscle, it can often lead to serious coronary complications.
Martin met Paul when he was 18 and took an interest in encouraging him to play golf to aid his fitness and help him to focus on developing his social interaction and awareness of others. The club’s positive social environment drastically improved Paul’s self-confidence and enabled him to appreciate that there were opportunities for him and that Muscular Dystrophy wasn’t a barrier.
He encouraged Paul to play and improve his skills both on and off the course, teaching him to read and write having recognised that Paul was dyslexic, which was likely to be a main cause of his previous bad reputation and behaviour within his local community.
Martin used golf and their trusting relationship to improve and maintain Paul’s physical fitness whilst also helping him to learn to read and write.
“Paul is a one off, a character, a true inspiration,” said Martin. “He is the embodiment of how sport can inspire individuals to achieve things they can only dream of.
“The opportunity to help Paul has, in turn, inspired me to continue to mentor and support the next generation of coaches in our sport, both volunteer and young PGA Professionals, throughout, and in the remotest areas of Scotland.”
The Annual Congress sees a diverse range of individuals involved with PGAs throughout the PGAs of Europe member countries come together to share information and knowledge, something Martin was proud to be a part of:
“The Congress was a wonderful occasion in a wonderful setting. The camaraderie of the diverse nationalities represented at the event was wholly positive and wonderful to be part of.
“A free exchange of views, the sharing of ideas and the platform created to encourage PGAs to come together to turn challenges into opportunities is a wholly positive experience for all concerned.”
Find out more about all of 2014’s Award Winners here: http://eur.pe/2014AnnualCongress.
For more information and news visit the Annual Congress Hub Page (http://eur.pe/2014AnnualCongress), follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search the hashtag ‘#AnnualCongress’ or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.
The 2014 Annual Congress Gala Awards are supported by Rolex and the Ryder Cup European Development Trust and hosted by Gloria Hotels & Resorts – for more information on the event partners visit http://eur.pe/2014AnnualCongress.