The PGA of South Africa’s drive and research into better understanding the needs of the South African golfer has become a model that has caught the interest of both the PGAs of America and Great Britain and Ireland.
Last year, the PGA of South Africa launched its ‘Valuing the PGA Professional’ programme, which is aimed at influencing the golf industry.
But under its player development focus, the PGA of South Africa is now also influencing how its members move the golfer along the golfing pathway to a level where he or she is comfortable to engage with the sport at either a beginner level playing regular social golf or ultimately becoming fully engaged and committed to the game.
‘Player development revolves around identifying the specific need of each individual golfer – who is the customer – and understanding why they play the game. You would assume all golfers play the game for the same reason, but we all have our different goals and ambitions within the sport,’ says Ivano Ficalbi, the chief executive officer of the PGA of South Africa.
The programme sparked interest from the PGAs of America and Great Britain and Ireland to attend a recent seminar on the topic by the PGA of South Africa.
‘This provided the opportunity for input and critique from key role players from other PGAs. The feedback from both PGAs is that the programme is perfectly positioned to drive more engagement and therefore more participation,’ says Ficalbi.
According to Ficalbi, the player development programme encourages golfers to have more fun playing the game. This in turn leads to them playing more golf and utilising the golf facility more to the betterment of the club and sport.
‘Player development refers to any person of any age, colour or gender being introduced to the game of golf and then moving along the golf pathway to a level that they experience the most fun from the sport.
‘This could be at the committed level where a golfer would join a club and play weekly or to the level that they would play once a month from the forward tees to simply enjoy the friendship and outdoors.’