First PGA Excel awardees of 2024 revealed

PGA Master Manager Peter Downie is among the latest group of PGA Member who have achieved a new membership designation through the Association’s PGA Excel framework.

Launched in 2022 to replace the previous APAL system, PGA Excel enables PGA Members to demonstrate their impact, achievements and value to employers, golfers and the wider industry as they move up through the membership designations.

PGA Excel awards are presented every quarter, and following another period of assessment The PGA is delighted to announce 20 PGA Members have been awarded a new designation which demonstrates their impact and achievement within their membership category of PGA Professional, PGA Coach and PGA Manager.

Commenting on his new designation, and becoming only the 63rd PGA Member to achieve Master status, Peter Downie – the General Manager at Clearwater Bay in Hong Kong – said: “As a long-serving PGA Member, to say I am proud to have been awarded Master status may be a slight understatement, and only shows the power of perseverance. To all my family, friends, and peers who have stood by me throughout my career, their contributions have been truly priceless. I also have to be grateful that I have mentors who push me. I studied, I submitted and I succeeded – thank you for helping me on my Excel journey.”

The following PGA Members have been awarded in the following categories:

Master Manager
Peter Downie – General Manager at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, Hong Kong
Advanced Fellow Professional
Ian Mowbray – Club Professional at Liphook Golf Club

Advanced Fellow Coach
Matthew Chalmers – Certified Personal Coach at GOLFTEC Singapore
Thomas Davies – Owner and Head Coach at Performance Golf Slovakia

Fellow Professional
Gareth Davies – Head Teaching Professional at Abbeydale Golf Club
Duncan Driver – Head Professional at Lyme Regis Golf Club
Christian Foreman – Director of Golf at Sunningdale Golf Club

Fellow Manager
David Addison – General Manager at Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club
Benjamin Stimson – Director of Golf at London Golf Club
Martyn Hamer – Head Professional at Davyhulme Park Golf Club / Smart Golf Ltd
Samuel Stephens – Golf Operations Manager at Plymouth Golf Centre
Stephen Banks – Director of Golf at Laguna Lang Co, Vietnam – Banyan Tree Resort

Fellow Coach
Lee Wilson – PGA Coach at Horsham Golf
Sam Everson – Head Teaching Professional at Harrogate Golf Club
James Freeman – Head Teaching Professional at Retford Golf Club

Advanced Professional
Michael Kanev – Head Professional at Aberdour Golf Club
William Urwin – Head Professional at Whitchurch Golf Club
Michael Lindfield – Head Professional at Golfschule Straubing
Andrew Thorne – Coach, Custom Fitter & Club Build Specialist at Worplesdon Golf Club

Advanced Coach
Jordan Cook – Teaching Professional – Dubai Hills Golf Club

PGA Master Manager – Peter Downie
General Manager at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, Hong Kong

James Freeman, from Retford Golf Club, is another to have moved up in the latest round of PGA Excel awards. After a successful playing career that was cut short by injury, Freeman now has his sights on the top of the coaching tree. “I’m just one of those people that, when I do something, I have to do it well,” he said.
“I thought that I would love to be an Advanced Coach – then once I’d achieved that I thought why not keep pressing and trying to keep going. To now be an Advanced Fellow Coach is fantastic – it’s quite a big step up. The framework is well within everybody’s reach and you just have to put some time into it.
“It’s a brilliant system and they give you a chance to specialise in an area that you’re most interested in which, for me, is coaching.”

Ian Mowbray, from Liphook Golf Club also achieved Advanced Fellow status and outlined the importance of PGA Excel as a means of demonstrating value to influential people within the golf club environment. “PGA Excel allows you to gain recognition within the industry, which is nice to have. More importantly the status allows you to be able to use it at your golf club to promote yourself within your membership. I think that as club professionals it is important that we communicate what it means to our members, to the influential people within golf clubs – the club captains, the secretaries, the committee members. They are the ones that need to know and understand more about it as ultimately they are our employers.”

Barassie Golf Club General Manager, David Addison, was also quick to praise the PGA Excel initiative: “It’s important to tell people about your skills,” he said after being awarded PGA Fellow Manager status. “More and more, I think clubs will look to The PGA and say, ‘we are looking for a manager, can you help us out?’ Having this accredited status just shows the membership of Barassie that they have someone with expertise. It’s a huge benefit to the club.”

Commenting on the success of the latest cohort of PGA Excel awardees, Tristan Crew – PGA Executive Director – Membership, said: “Congratulations to all 20 PGA Members for being awarded new PGA designations through PGA Excel.

“These PGA Members have been through a rigorous application process where they have successfully demonstrated, in detail, their impact and achievement across their career in the golf industry. They have met the progression criteria that underpins
PGA Excel and are clearly succeeding in their chosen fields.

“We are continuing to see more PGA Members each month start their PGA Excel application and the golf industry too is now better able to understand the importance of PGA Excel itself and the value of PGA Members advancing their designation status upwards to Advanced, Fellow, Advanced Fellow and Master.”

CLICK HERE to find out more about PGA Excel and what the designations mean.

CLICK HERE to read more from Tristan Crew about the importance of PGA Excel
to the golf industry.

PGA Members can find out more about PGA Excel by CLICKING HERE

For more information email

As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.