PGA offers instant access to SA's top teachers
JOHANNESBURG (15 December 2014) - A lesson with your nearest PGA professional is now just a click away, with the PGA of South Africa offering an online booking system that gives you instant access to this country's over 500 qualified PGA professionals.
Through www.bookagolflesson.co.za, the official online booking system of the PGA of South Africa, it's easier than ever before to improve your game. And better golf means more enjoyment.
Jamie Gough, the 2014 Golf Digest SA Teaching Professional of the Year who works with many of the European Tour's top players, believes it's essential for any golfer to take advantage of a South African teaching system that is world-class.
"We've always done a good job in South Africa with our instruction," he says. "When you think of how many great players we have produced, it's because our foundations here are so good."
Gough has been a professional since 1983 and has worked with most of the stars of South African and European golf, including Miguel Ángel Jiménez. Jiménez epitomises the enjoyment good golf can bring.
"He is so competitive, but he plays his best golf when he is having fun," says Gough. "He knows how to entertain, and he's happy to do so because he just loves the game so much. You can see the players who have a genuine love for this game. I was at the Open a few years ago, and we were on the range when it started to pour with rain. So the golfers, caddies and all of us ran for cover. But Tom Watson just stayed out in the rain and kept hitting balls. He just loves it so much."
Gough believes it's essential for anybody starting the game to get the basics right with a PGA professional.
"I can see immediately if somebody has been taught properly as a child. The fundamentals that Ben Hogan used are still the same today. The basics of grip, alignment and posture haven't changed. If you get the basics right from an early age, then you have a much better platform from which to go forward. I've got no doubt that you don't have to be a natural at ball sports to play good golf. You can be taught to become a better player, and that's the beauty of this game. That's where your PGA pro becomes invaluable."
As golf instruction now goes digital, Gough recalls one instance where good old-fashioned experience cannot be replaced.
"French professional Victor Dubuisson played the Masters for the first time earlier this year. His caddie, Mick Doran, is one of the most experienced in the game. During their practice round at Augusta National, Mick was telling Victor where to hit it, how to read the greens and so on. That's when Victor stopped him and said, 'Mick, don't worry. I know this course. I've played it many times on PlayStation'."