As it happened: Day 1 at the Golf Business Forum/ PGA Expo – PGA of Australia

With delegates present from around the country and throughout the industry, PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman kicked off the day by welcoming all PGA Professionals.

“PGA Professionals have a huge role to play, promoting all walks of golf and helping to bring new people into the game,” he explained.

Closely aligned to the inaugural Australian Golf Strategy – one that is built upon having more Australians playing more golf, and positioning the sport as one to be enjoyed by everyone for life – Kirkman stressed the role that PGA Professionals play in that.

“PGA Professionals can create a positive, welcoming and encouraging first experience for everyone,” he said. “That allows us to set up our future golfers for success from day one.”

From there, high-performance coach and founder of FlowCode Golf Academy, Rick Sessinghaus shared his insights on achieving a state of flow – one that allows for peak performance both on and off the golf course.

“We are always performing – no matter what role we play in the golf industry,” said Sessinghaus, who has coached two-time Major Champion Collin Morikawa for nearly twenty years. “The key to peak performance in that sense, is to be entirely present and in the moment.

Expert in golf retail and golfer engagement, Ian James dazzled the main auditorium in the afternoon session. Prepared to challenge traditional ways of thinking, he was determined to inspire PGA Professionals to strive for success at their various clubs and facilities.

Keen to impress upon the audience that PGA Professionals are the “Chief Engagement Officers” at any golfing facility, he emphasized the importance of creating meaningful, enduring relationships with golfers.

“Less than 15% of golfers play in order to compete,” he said. “More than 80% of golfers get out on the course in order to connect and spend time with their community.

“The natural progression from that is that the PGA Professional needs to spend time with the golfer and then the golfer will respond.”

Going on to share a range of models that Professionals and General Managers can implement in order to maximize a mutually beneficial relationship, it all boils down to one thing for Ian.

“We want to create a situation where the golf club wins, the golfer wins and the PGA Professional wins,” he said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”

Embracing the broader theme of where the game of golf is heading, Ian addressed how valuable PGA Professionals are in making the game more accessible to more people.

“The quickest way we can help people to enjoy their golf is to change their challenge; giving them something that they can achieve and feel like they are succeeding at,” he explained. “Improving their competence is important, but thinking outside the box is key, we need to be more inclusive as a sport.”

The unmissable industry-wide education and networking event will continue tomorrow, with a range of PGA Professional-exclusive content to look forward to.

To view the full program and check out who will be speaking tomorrow, click HERE