Following a successful pilot involving ten PGA Members from right across the island of Ireland, the Activator programme will now be rolled out as a national initiative.
PGA Members do a fantastic job in supporting beginner and existing golfers to participate in the game through coaching - by deploying an Activator to help them they can now reach even more people.
The Activator programme will provide individuals with the necessary training to help them to support their PGA Member in the delivery of quality experiences for participants.
Training days will be co-delivered by Golf Ireland and The PGA.
PGA Chief Executive Robert Maxfield commented:
“PGA Members are the gatekeepers of the game of golf, they do an incredible job in helping hundreds and thousands of people to access the game through coaching. We want to help our Members by providing them with a way to reach even more people, especially juniors. The Activator programme does just that”.
Golf Ireland Chief Executive Mark Kennelly said:
“We are delighted to launch the Activator programme in partnership with The PGA. The mission of Golf Ireland aims to unlock the immense potential of golf across the island of Ireland and this initiative will see a diverse and increased number of participants being catered for in clubs.
“We’re particularly hopeful that more female golfers will be encouraged to consider coaching as a future career by gaining experience as an Activator under the guidance of a PGA Professional, further supporting the work of the Level Par programme and the Women in Golf Charter.”
The role of Activator
The Activator is not a coach and no coaching training is provided within the scheme - coaching golfers remains the sole preserve of the PGA Professional. What the Activator can do is act as an ‘extra pair of hands’ within coaching sessions.
Tasks and duties they might undertake include setting up the coaching environment and area, welcoming people to the facility, taking a register, supervising and delivering non-technical games and activities, communicating with participants, posting on social media and dealing with follow-on communications with participants. There may be other duties which the PGA Member could ask the Activator to undertake and, as long as these do not include direct coaching, they are permitted.
Having an accredited Activator to help them could mean that the PGA Member is able to increase number of participants in each group.
Ultimately, it is the hope of Golf Ireland and The PGA that, with the support of trained Activators, PGA Members will be able to help more people to participate and enjoy the game of golf for life.
The scheme enjoys the strong support of the R&A, which recognises the importance of growing the sport and having a trained work force to support PGA Professionals through the activation of targeted initiatives. It has provided funding over a three-year period towards the Activator programme in Ireland, and similar programmes in the other Home Nations.