Date: June 13, 2016
Author: PGA of Australia

Education Excellence

PGA Trainees work extremely hard both on and off the course to improve their chances of success in the golf industry. All PGA Trainees receive outstanding guidance throughout the three year PGA Trainee Program, but there's no doubt a little bit of extra support can go along way.

For Mark Alison (2014) and John Burrough (2015) – the leading national academic performers and Year 3 Titleist FootJoy Excellence in Education Award winners of the past two years – that additional support comes in the shape of PGA Professional Gary Booby, who has earned an outstanding reputation as a golf industry employer and mentor.


As the Head Professional at The Ridge Golf Course & Driving Range, Booby has done everything in his power to assist Alison and Burrough with their respective educations.

"Both Mark and John were exceptional Trainees and I tried to expose them to all facets of my own business during their Traineeship to enhance their learning opportunities. My primary focus with all PGA Trainees is to provide them with the practical skills and experience on the job so that there is plenty of opportunity to put into practice what they learn in their course work," says Booby.

"I also work closely with the Trainees to identify their strengths and areas? of interest so that we can continue to grow those areas together."


Booby has been a long-term supporter of the PGA ACE Program, which he credits for a lot of his own golf career development.

"The ACE Program has given me ?a better understanding of the course expectations and what PGA Trainees go through from an academic perspective. Hopefully I have given them some? of the skills that will see them forge successful golf industry careers in their own right," Booby says.

"I was fortunate enough to have some very good mentors both within and outside of the golf industry when I was younger. I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to pass on some of the skills and knowledge I have learned onto the PGA Trainees."


Booby's wish appears to be right on track, with Alison taking up the role as Director of Golf at Pacific Dunes Golf Club and Burrough landing a position as an Assistant Professional at Concord GolfClub.

It is hardly surprising to see a PGA Trainee the calibre of Alison do so well – especially considering he was crowned the 2014 NSW Trainee of the Year and 2014 Australian Trainee of the Year – but such a strong career move clearly represents a vote of confidence in the program as well as the graduate.

"The changing nature of the golfing industry has meant there is more emphasis on our Trainees needing strong business and management skills and experience to fully equip them to fulfil the job requirements of working in golf clubs," Booby says."It is satisfying to see staff achieve success in their roles. It is a real buzz for any employer to see their PGA Trainees graduate after working so closely together during the three years of the PGA Trainee Program, and for them to win such prestigious awards on top of that is very rewarding."

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