Meet Emma Harris, Assistant PGA Professional
11 June 2018 / Golf /
Ever thought about a career in golf? Need some inspiration? To celebrate The Grove’s affiliation with Troon Golf, the world’s largest golf management company, and its great initiative, ‘Women’s Golf Month’, we hear from our 22-year-old assistant PGA professional, Emma Harris, who turned her passion for the game into a career…
Following the Dream: Emma Harris at The Grove
I love golf. I love playing it. I love watching it. My passion for the game was ignited when our family moved from Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire to the Isle of Man when I was just two-years-old. Little did I know at the time that this move was, in fact, a ‘setting the seed’ moment for my career in golf, helped also by our new location, close to the Isle of Man’s stunning Castletown Golf Links. I picked up my first golf club when I was eight and as my enjoyment of the game grew, so did my competitive spirit, so much so that I went on to play in many local and county competitions.
My big break came when I turned 10. I was selected to play for the England A Team and enjoyed the experience immensely for the next seven years. The location of our family home meant I spent a huge amount of time travelling by ferry between the Isle of Man and the UK mainland – there were some very long days, some very late nights, and some pretty rough sea crossings! – as I trained and competed with the squad, but I loved it all. I always knew I wanted to work in golf and this led me to a two-year golf scholarship in the USA at Flagler College in St Augustine, Florida, where I studied sports management and business.
Career at The Grove
It was from here that I returned to the UK, just over a year ago, and started my role at The Grove. As I was growing up, I had a few part-time jobs serving in restaurants and cafes that proved to me that I loved working with, and serving, the general public. I now meet so many different customers each day. Whether I’m working in the Golf Shop at The Grove, directing guests to the course or teaching on our practice facilities, it is the interaction with our visitors that gives me a real buzz. Of course, golf has traditionally been a male-dominated sport and career choice, but that is quickly changing. Our standards of customer service here at The Grove are outstanding and it creates an incredible learning platform. Our Director of Golf & Leisure, Anna Darnell, is also female, and she is a fantastic inspiration to me as my career develops. I am currently one year into my three-year Sports Management degree with the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), I love learning, and I am excited about what the future holds. Day-to-day, I’m hugely enthusiastic about my individual and group coaching sessions at The Grove. I teach women, groups of juniors and only this week started to introduce a four-year-old girl to the game for the first time. She was amazing! Could I give every newcomer to the game one quick tip to make their first shots easier? That’s an easy one…It would be to avoid leaning back during the swing and trying to ‘lift’ the ball in the air. Teaching new golfers to hit down and through the ball is a consistent challenge I have to always overcome with new pupils.
Plans for the future
Looking forward, and in addition to my responsibilities at The Grove, I am also hugely excited about the summer period as I have been asked by Mark Day, a PGA Fellow Professional and a coach for England Golf, to assist him with some regional England Camps, helping to inspire up-and-coming boys and girls to become better players. With all this golf taking up my life, you think I would relish the opportunity to forget golf for a while when I get home in the evening. Not so…I live with Maxine who runs The Grove’s Halfway House – she is my new ‘mum’. But then again, she is a dab hand at making a great coffee and sausage sandwich in the morning!
To book a golf lesson with Emma call The Grove on 01923 294266