PGA Professional Sarah Walton has become the first woman to gain the PGA’s director of golf (DoG) qualification. Walton is head pro at Kington where she has a busy role including the brief of raising the Herefordshire club’s profile.
Her commitment to making a success of her first head pro post was behind her decision to enrol on the DoG programme, which covers seven core management units. “I didn’t know too much about the qualification but I spoke to the course leader John Mulgrew and he said come to the induction day – you’ll enjoy it – and I did,” she says.
“Kington was my first role so it was a logical step to fill in any gaps in knowledge and experience that I had. Being a smaller club, I’m very hands on and work closely with the club committee to help move the club forward. One of the main parts of the DoG course which helped me a lot was to look at my strengths and weaknesses to help with career planning moving forward and to learn about areas where I need more experience or can improve my knowledge.”
Walton sees the role of the PGA pro as pivotal to the success of any club and comments, “We are the first point of contact for club members and visitors. How we interact is absolutely key to our success, especially here because we don’t have a full time manager/club secretary.
“As pros we have to earn respect and it’s up to us to prove our worth and if we do the job well we can show our value and worth to the club.”
To date 51 pros have gone through the DoG programme which assesses individuals ‘knowledge and understanding’ and ‘competence’ across seven core management units: Personal, Strategic, Operational, People, Financial, Marketing and Customer Service, and specific areas of expertise.
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