A FORMER county team-mate of Ryder Cup hopeful Andy Sullivan has chalked up his own notable victory after taking top honours on his route to being a PGA Professional.
Jamie Carney, based at Robin Hood Golf Club near Solihull, has secured the prestigious Lord Derby Trophy and a cheque for £1,000 at the Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year awards after coming top of the Year Two assistant professionals on the PGA Foundation Degree.
The 24-year-old, who was in the same Warwickshire amateur team as European Tour star Sullivan, was recognised for his achievements at The PGA’s annual graduation ceremony held at the University of Birmingham on Friday April 22, where former Ryder Cup winning captain Bernard Gallacher was the guest of honour.
Carney collected the trophy from the current Lord Derby and cheque from Matthew Johnson, Titleist brand director.
“I’m really chuffed as I have taken this very seriously and put in significant time and effort,” said Carney.
“When I finished school I wanted to play and so I was a full tie amateur until I was 21, getting to plus three. I played for the county in some events with Andy Sullivan, and I also represented England boys.
“I wanted to do the PGA Foundation degree rather than go down a playing route.”
Carney was introduced to the game by a friend’s grandad, who took him down the range. He then joined Shirley Golf Club aged 11 and was indebted to his dad for supporting his passion.
“My dad worked shifts for Cadbury so he would pick me up from school and take me to the club to practise for a couple of hours before he would go to work.
“He’d stand with me, go and pick up balls and take me to events. He didn’t play golf, but my dad’s dedication and support is the reason why I got to where I did in the game and the opportunities I now have. I am very lucky to have a dad like that.”
The PGA training programme, encompassing the three year Foundation Degree, was founded more than 50 years ago and covers all aspects of golf including business, equipment technology and repairs, rules and tournament organisation, sports science and sports psychology.
Training and education remain an integral part of The PGA – it also runs an honours degree in association with the University of Birmingham and this year has launched a new partnership with the University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland.
Once qualified, PGA Members undergo a process of continual professional development to keep them up to speed with all the latest developments in the sport and wider golf industry.