...if you are going to work within the golf industry this is the best opportunity you will have to put yourself in the driving seat for industry leading positions.'
I am currently employed full time by St Andrews Links who manage the state of the art teaching facility as well seven golf courses, including The Old Course; home to the 2010 Open Championship. I was initially employed as a full time golf coach, working with golfers of all ages and abilities utilising leading teaching technology. Within my role at the Links I also lead the coaching side of the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association which looks to increase participation and golf opportunities within the town as well as deliver performance coaching to emerging golfers.
I have since gone on to be contracted for services part time by St Leonards School as their Director of Golf. I oversee the development and delivery of the golf programme and provide coaching to their elite golf team utilising the facilities at St Andrews Links.
Through the winter I also work part time as a Scottish Golf Development Coach with the Scottish Golf Union where I produce plans for support and coaching for talented golfers in Scotland. I develop and deliver content and structure of training sessions for the squad and individual players to ensure they reach their full potential.
After graduating I started my coaching career at World of Golf in London before moving onto a teaching position at China’s largest golf school.
Outline the course you studied at the University of Birmingham and how it benefited you?
I studied the Applied Golf Management Studies Degree (AGMS) at the University of Birmingham. Simply put if you are going to work within the golf industry this is the best opportunity you will have to put yourself in the driving seat for industry leading positions. The modules were led by respective leaders in the field which meant the education was first class. The course was broad enough to allow you to decide the path you wanted to take and the third year dissertation allowed you to specialise in a subject area increasing your knowledge and employability. T
he golf industry is a tight knit community and whilst I didn’t realise its benefits at the time, you are graduating with future leaders in the industry. Therefore one of the biggest benefits for me was creating a great network of friends that I will no doubt have working relationships with in the future.
How did you find your first year in Birmingham?
I thoroughly enjoyed all my time at University. The first year was an eye opener as it was the first time I had lived away from home but I made great friends who I still keep in touch with now. The work load was enough to keep you focussed but there was enough free time to get involved with societies and socialise.
How did you find campus life?
The Edgbaston Campus at the University of Birmingham is stunning and gave an authentic university experience. Being away from the city centre meant you could separate your work and social life. Only being a short distance from the city centre meant it wasn’t difficult to head into town after a day of studies.
How did you find living in Birmingham?
I thought that Birmingham was a great city to study at. It was small compared to London so it felt easy to get anywhere but still had something to offer everyone. Living in Selly Oak in the second and third years was a great experience as most students lived in close proximity to each other resulting in a friendly sociable community.
Any tips to pass on to students thinking of coming here?
Studying here goes way beyond your degree classification. Lecturers are there to help you out so gain as much knowledge and information as possible. They are also well connected in the industry so try and make good impressions. Put effort into modules even if you have no intention of pursuing them. I didn’t want to be a coach until I graduated and felt like I had to relearn a lot of the material when I started out in the working world. Make the most of your free time and get involved in more activities (probably my biggest regret!).
What are your aspirations for the future?
I intend to continue furthering my education within coaching and undertake the UKCC Level 4 qualification next year. It is important for me to stay at the forefront of coaching processes and I want to keep enjoying learning. I hope to keep making progress with performance golfers and become a national coach for the Scottish Golf Union. Eventually I would like to work within planning and management of performance programmes for the SGU or similar governing body.