Degree to Red Sea: It's a Fairway to Egypt

Posted on Tuesday 8th July 2008

Success is par for the course for one University of Birmingham student. Not only is Lucinda Davies making history by becoming the first female professional golfer to work in Egypt, but the 22-year-old is set to graduate this summer.

Golfing ace Lucinda is Head Golf Professional at Taba Heights Golf Resort in Egypt, where she teaches the sport to beginners and serious players.

"It's proving to be the best move of my life as I'm teaching and working with golfers and non-golfers from across the world," said Lucinda, a trainee professional of the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA).

Lucinda will swing by the university on 17 July to graduate from the university's BA Applied Golf Management Studies (AGMS). Despite having achieved success in her professional career, the awarding of her degree after three years of study is better than a hole in one for this sporting pro. 

 Lucinda said: "The whole experience has been fantastic. I've had the opportunity to achieve my aspirations of working in golf. The course has given me knowledge in all areas of the golfing industry, along with coaching qualifications and the opportunity to turn professional. The position I have now would not have been possible without this degree."

Since completing her studies earlier this year, Lucinda has swapped her role as ladies champion at her home club, Peterborough Milton, for Taba Heights (details) where she plans to establish herself and develop her career. 

Lucinda said: "I'm thrilled to be working in Egypt and hope my experience make a real difference to the coaching team. We have in place here the opportunity to develop a fantastic golf learning centre for experienced golfers or absolute beginners."

It's been a decade since Lucinda's father first introduced her to golf. She realised her potential when she was selected for three consecutive years as a member of the England regional training squad (U18). She turned professional after an outstanding amateur career that saw her undefeated representing British Universities and nominated Sports-woman of the year. She also holds numerous course records and spent a year at university in the USA on a fully funded golf scholarship in 2004. It was during this time that she decided to enrol at Birmingham.

She said: "I wanted to stand out. I love the sport and the degree is so unique that I knew it would help me find the perfect job- teaching somewhere warm where I can develop the game, getting more juniors and ladies to play. Plus the programme is supported by the PGA, which is recognised worldwide."

The three-year Applied Golf Management Studies programme is a result of a partnership between the University of Birmingham and the PGA. It links a high level academic qualification with a vocational professional one.  The degree combines applied academic and theoretical aspects of sport management and science related to golf, with vocational aspects of the game. 

Dr Martin Toms, Programme Manager of the AGMS degree, said: "Lucinda has been a great ambassador for golf, the University and the PGA and her employment at Taba Heights just goes to show the international respect she has gained. It is also interesting to note that a number of other students have already found employment before graduation - and not just in the UK. Lucinda is an excellent example of the vocational opportunities afforded by this strong partnership, and also of the truly International reputation it now has."

Lucinda may be a professional golfer, but she says that only 2.5 per cent of all PGA members in the UK are female. She hopes this figure will rise as a result of more females studying for the AGMS degree, and she hopes her success will inspire other females to take up the sport.

Lucinda said: "When I was growing up there was no access to a female professional, which would have been beneficial. I would love to set up an academy in the UK as golf is definitely a male dominated sport. I aim to develop the women's game and to become a role model."

ENDS

Media information: Anna Dingley, University of Birmingham Press Officer, 0121 4158134/07769 952763, email a.j.dingley@bham.ac.uk

Notes to Editor:

Lucinda graduates from her AGMS programme on the morning of Thursday 17 July. For further information or to arrange an interview/photography, please contact Anna Dingley in the Communications Office on the numbers listed above.

The BA (Hons) Applied Golf Management Studies degree is based at the University’s School of Education. Topics studied include Sports Science and sports psychology; biomechanics; business management including retail management and marketing strategy; materials science at the School of Engineering to study the composition and behaviour of golf balls and clubs, as well as coaching theory.

The University of Birmingham is a university that excels in sport.  Students can compete in a variety of sports in the largest Intra-Mural Sport programme in the country.  At a higher performance level the University competes in more than 40 different sports. The University consistently comes second out of the 140 institutions that compete in the British Universities Sports Association (BUSA) tournaments and has Sports Scholars who represent their country at their sport.

Taba Heights is a picturesque resort on the Sinai Peninsula with views across the Red Sea to the Arabian, Jordanian and Israeli coastlines. As a member of the coaching team, Lucinda offers a variety of activities relating to guests learning and developing their golf, including being one of the first PGA Pros worldwide to teach using a Nintendo. 

The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) has been at the forefront of developing professional golf and promoting the interest in the game since 1901.  Headquartered at the Belfry and with seven regional offices, the PGA represents nearly 7,000 qualified professionals at home and overseas. In addition to education and training, the PGA is also involved in the staging of the Ryder Cup, as well as other international, national and regional tournaments and events plus is a key stake holder in the England Golf Whole Sport Plan to make England the leading golf nation in the world by 2020.