Birmingham, England: The international appeal of PGA qualification has been highlighted by three Chinese students aiming to make their mark in the sport.
Zhang Zaixing, Li Zi and Xiao Se recently attended their first residential school at the PGA Training Academy at its PING House headquarters at the Belfry.
The trio, who are linked to Beijing Shichahai Sports School in the Chinese capital, are enrolled on the first year of the PGA training programme in Professional Golf Studies and all spoke in glowing terms of their experience in England.
Zhang, aged 32, hails from Beijing and only started playing golf when he was 20 but hopes to carve out a career in coaching having previously studied golf facility management at Beijing Sports University.
“The PGA programme provides all the best knowledge we need to work as a professional in the golf industry,” said Zhang. “I’ve been impressed how all the programme material is up to date along with the newest techniques and I especially enjoyed the equipment technology module.
“It has helped me recognise what are the most important factors in building a golf club, and how to improve a golfer’s performance through custom fitting.”
Li and Xiao, aged 24 and 26 respectively, both harbour playing ambitions and compete regularly on the male and female professional Tours in China and feel the programme will have benefits on their games.
“I’ve enjoyed all aspects of the programme – especially custom fitting and equipment technology. That was my favourite,” added Li.
Matthew Davies, Development Representative for the PGA, based at Mission Hills in China, said: “We have developed a very strong relationship with the Beijing Shichahai Sports School ever since the principal, Mr Liu, visited the PGA National Training Academy in 2011.
“As an Olympic training school, Shichahai is one of the national key sports institutions under the direct leadership of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports. With golf now part of the Olympic family, the school is looking to develop highly qualified coaches to develop elite Chinese golfers of the future.
“We are delighted to have the three enrolled on the PGA training programme and look forward to working with Shichahai to enrol more students in the future.”
Dr Kyle Phillpots, the PGA’s Director of Education and Career Development for the PGA, added: “This year we have attracted students from a number of different countries around the world highlighting the international appeal of the PGA training programme.
“In the coming years we look forward to welcoming more students from China, and other countries in Asia, as the game of golf grows in the region and the demand for highly qualified golf professionals increases.”
The PGA training programme is a unique part-distance learning, part-residential programme run by The PGA and accredited by the University of Birmingham.
The PGA has been involved in training and educating golf professionals for more than 50 years and now runs all its programmes from the National Training Academy at The Belfry.
Students cover a wide range of modules including; Golf Coaching, Sports Science, Equipment Technology and Custom Fitting, Psychology, Business Management, Rules, and Personal and Career Development.
With over 25 full-time staff, plus tutors, mentors, markers and examiners, most of whom are drawn from the ranks of qualified PGA Professionals, the PGA National Training Academy offers the premier professional golf education programme in the world.
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