Connie Chen, South Africa's tour ace and fellow tour winner Lydia Hall have enrolled on the PGA's three-year Foundation Degree in Professional Golf Studies to keep an eye on future careers once their touring days are over.
The duo joined fellow first year PGA assistants in the recent PGA residential courses at the PGA National Training Academy at The Belfry - studying a diverse range of modules including coaching, equipment technology, sports science and business and marketing.
PGA National Training Academy manager Dave Robinson commented: “Connie is one of thirteen overseas assistants attending the PGA National Training Academy over the next two weeks. Over the weekend she is also taking her Level 1 Coaching Qualification. It’s great to have Connie and Lydia here from the Ladies European Tour.
“We have liaised with the LET over the last few years promoting the course and slowly players and ex-players are taking up the opportunity to do the PGA training programme. We would like more female assistants on the programme so hopefully having two high profile players in our ranks will encourage more females to consider the foundation degree and training programme as an exciting career.”
PGA Professionals fill a wide range of roles within golf from traditional club pro through to director of golf and club management posts.
Former US Women’s Open champion Alison Nicholas is among those to have completed the course.
Chen, who landed her maiden LET title at the Tenerife Open last year begins her 2015 playing schedule in Australia next week at the RACV Masters but while in England she explained her reasons for undertaking the PGA training programme.
“Long term, thinking about the future, I don’t’ just want to be a player, I’d like to be more rounded and do a lot of different things and I felt that if I started the PGA course it would give me the tools to do that,” she said.
“Doing the foundation degree gives you more insight, knowing all the branches you can go into when you finish as a player whether retail, coaching, custom fitting or the business side.”
Chen began playing golf when she was ten and turned pro at eighteen when she got her LET card at the first attempt and is hoping to inspire children to take up the sport.
Photograph: Getty Images