What's involved in being a golf pro trainee

AT WORK: Jake Mitchell is happy to be following his dream of becoming a golf professional through the PGA trainieeship program, working with Andrew Grove at the Goulburn Golf Club. Photo: Darryl Fernance

AT WORK: Jake Mitchell is happy to be following his dream of becoming a golf professional through the PGA trainieeship program, working with Andrew Grove at the Goulburn Golf Club. Photo: Darryl Fernance

When Jake Mitchell was offered a job as a trainee golfing pro by Goulburn Golf Club professional Andrew Grove, he thought all his dreams had come true at once.

Jake has loved golf ever since he saw the movie Happy Gilmore.

He has been playing golf since 2003 and his keen interest in the sport also got his parents back out onto the green. “Dad started playing again to give me someone to play with,” Jake said. “I started playing at Tully Park and after three or four years moved to Goulburn.

“Russell Schmitt was my coach and his enthusiasm encouraged me to take golf seriously.

“Apart from the coaching I received early on from Russell, I have had very little coaching but I realised I was good at golf. I got to State in the Combined Catholic Colleges Golf competition and in 2010 made it into the NSWCCC team for the All Schools but didn’t get to play as I was the reserve, which was disappointing.”

 After leaving school in 2010 he worked as a barman and helped out in the pro shop at Goulburn Golf Club, all the while practising his golf and entering competitions. He won the Brett Ogle Junior Classic in Goulburn in 2011, his last year of eligibility. 

Now 12 months into his three-year traineeship, he is looking forward to the next 12 months and if he passes his studies, the opportunity to actually coach. He may have given instruction in the past but depending on his studies, mid June he may be doing some limited coaching.

 “I got through my first year ok and I passed my playing test, which is pretty stressful,” the 23-year-old said.  “I had to score 4.75 over par on my best 24 rounds out of 30.

“It has been good working and learning from Andrew The study is quite involved so it is a juggling act with study, getting assignments in on time, golf practice, competitions, and working. Time management is also one of the elements of our course which is administered by the PGA and conducted through Griffith University.

“There are four subject areas in the course, small business, game development, coaching and business management. Small business includes club development, running a small pro shop like this one and all the things you need to do to make it successful. Game development is all the things associated with improving my own game, time management and travel planning. The coaching segment includes teaching techniques, bio mechanics, working with kids and  and gaining a first aid certificate. The business management is about record keeping, profit and loss, business returns and legislation. This year will be more of the same, but there are things I learned last year I wish I knew years ago.”