Davey Barry is at the starting point of his career in golf. The Ballinlough native is working as an assistant pro in Douglas Golf Club while he also studies for his PGA qualification. Davey is in his second of three years and he’s enjoying the experience so far: “The first two years of the PGA Foundation Degree course have been really interesting” said the trainee. “We have studied a whole range of subjects from golf coaching to time management. It’s been a real eye opener for me, I used to think I knew quite a bit about golf, but learning from and talking to some of the best coaches and teachers in the game has shown me I need to keep my head in the books and keep studying. It’s been great learning from people with such a deep knowledge of the game of golf and added to that they have a passion for the game also.” The PGA course is not just a professional designation. It’s a degree level course with a focus on the business of golf as Davey explained: The business side of the degree has been quite challenging for me. Over the last two years though the course has helped with giving me a good understanding into the business side of our industry and again I have been very lucky with Stephen [Hayes, Club Pro in Douglas] as he has always helped here and involved me in the business side of the pro shop. This has made my assignments and exams a little easier because it is now part of my daily life. During the year we also spent a week over in the Belfry where we had a couple of exams and day long workshops helping us grow our knowledge in custom fitting, golf coaching, club repairs and business in general.”
The course is a wide ranging one covering interesting areas from Davey’s perspective: “Sports Science has become such a big part of golf now and I’m delighted we learn about this on the PGA course. We now live in a time when to play golf at a high level you need to be able hit the ball long, and maximizing your bodies potential is key to this. The study side of this can be difficult but I’m lucky to be getting help on this from a good friend of mine Mike Carroll (Fit for Golf) who has a sports science degree and is also TPI certified so he has been a huge help for me whenever I have a few questions on sports science. This year we also studied some of the metal sides involved in sports science. I have always taken huge interest in the mental side of the game and learning the theory behind it has been extremely enjoyable, this would defiantly be a side of the game I could see myself working in at a later stage in my career but for now it will be really helpful when planning team development programs.
Being a trainee in any profession generally means long tough hours, and that’s true in the world of a golf pro too: “As it stands I work 40 hours per week in the shop, study and complete assignments, coach fellow golfers outside of the shop hours, try to practice my own golf and play competitive golf as well. It has been difficult at times but I wouldn’t change it for the world and am looking forward to a long and very rewarding career in the golfing industry.” Despite the time pressures, Davey is very enthusiastic about the course and see’s the goal at the end. “I’m looking forward to going into the third year next year and growing more as a coach and custom fitter and getting fully qualified. I might even have a little more time for me and my girlfriend when I’m fully qualified!”