PGA International Golf Institute graduate Drew Inglis is taking every chance that comes his way in a flourishing young career with plenty of potential.
By the age of 16 Drew Inglis played off a handicap of 4, but it was always the business side of sport that enticed him more than the idea of making it as a Tour Professional.
We all chase different dreams, and for Inglis, that dream is to one day represent golfers and other athletes as a manager. In the meantime, the PGA IGI graduate is happy absorbing information and walking through every door that opens up for him in the industry.
"I spent seven years away from golf as I studied at university and pursued other sports like rugby union. Then when I was 24, with half a degree hanging over my head and a lot of injuries holding me back, I decided to apply to study at the PGA IGI. I've never been an amazing golfer but I've always had a strong interest in business and sport. I think combining those interests makes sense for someone in my position," says Inglis, who also works casually at The Glades Golf Club in Queensland.
"My love for golf started to come back and the program seemed like a perfect fit given I also wanted to consolidate my academic study."
"I'd been combining business and property economics degrees, but my dream had always been to work as a player manager, so study through the PGA IGI's Diploma of Golf Management and the Bachelor of Business through Griffith University helps me pursue that."
While Inglis holds onto that specific long-term career goal, he also wanted to experience everything the game had to offer. "I went into the PGA IGI Program with a really open mind. I wanted to give everything a go rather than focus all my energy on just one area. I thought it was important to see what was out there so I could figure out which direction to take," he says.
"It was great to be exposed to all the different industries that exist within the overall golf industry. Study through the PGA IGI opened my eyes to a lot of areas and possibilities that I wasn't aware of as an outsider looking in."
"Golf in my opinion is a sport that's cool again. It's no longer an old man's sport; it's exciting and it's for everyone. A lot of my mates with shoulder and knee injuries from contact sports are now looking at golf and seeing a game that offers longevity. You can play it all year round and it's both social and competitive at the same time, which I think appeals to a lot of people. Jason Day and the other Pros at the top like Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy give a refreshing new appeal to the game for a younger generation."
At the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast last December, Inglis worked as a media intern in the PGA Media Centre. This opportunity gave Inglis practical experience interviewing Professionals, writing website content and acting as a point of contact for on-site journalists and other key tournament stakeholders.
"It was totally foreign to me. I'd never worked in that type of fast-paced media environment, but I loved it. There's nothing like learning on your feet," he says. "It was a varied role that kept me busy, and I learned a lot. It was also an excellent networking opportunity, I met a lot of interesting people."
Inglis was offered the media intern role following his excellent work as an intern project coordinator for the Road to the PGA, an amateur event held prior to the Australian PGA Championship.
"From August through to December I was going into the PGA Queensland office one day a week to coordinate things for the Road to the PGA. Everything I've done with the PGA over the past six months or so came about due to my study at the PGA IGI," he says.
"You're exposed to top-quality people. The guest speakers are all highly regarded within the industry and they offer a lot of great insights. You gain knowledge on a broad range of relevant topics, delivered by the experts in their field," Inglis adds.
"I feel like study through the PGA IGI has given me the knowledge I need to go out and work in the golf industry, and that's the whole objective. The role of a player manager means knowing a bit of everything. You have to understand how the industry works, from tournament operations to media liaising. I feel like all the different projects I've been working on are helping me along that path. I can see a pathway to a player management career. I know it's a tough area to break into, but I'm going to keep working towards it."
The PGA owns and runs three education divisions: PGA Academy, PGA International Golf Institute and PGA Centre for Learning and Performance. Collectively, these divisions offer traineeships, further education and performance coaching to PGA Members, Tour Professionals and the public, both domestic and international.
The PGA can assist anyone interested in a specialist career as a Teaching Professional, Director of Golf, Game Development Officer, High Performance Coach, Club Administrator, Golf Facility Manager or Tour Professional.
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