Students at Hartpury looking to become the next big thing in the world of golf were given a unique insight into the industry by the first British amateur golfer to make the cut at the Masters, Peter McEvoy.
McEvoy, a well-decorated amateur player who many expected to turn professional, impressed upon the students the importance of realising there is more to the golf industry than simply being a player.
“I've had a career in golf for 35 years now, both as a player and through running my own company, and I find that young people don’t necessarily always have a well-rounded perspective on the breadth of the industry,” he said.
“There are so many different routes you can take with golf, like club operations for example. I know a lot of people who have gone into running golf clubs and resorts and have been hugely successful. Marketing, event organisation, player management, media and coaching are just a handful of alternatives that are available to people wanting to work in the industry.”
McEvoy is a two-time Amateur Championship winner and also holds the low amateur title from the 1978 and 79 Open Championships. He is also the only golfer to have won the Eisenhower Trophy as an individual, team player and team captain.
“I never turned professional; people would have expected me too but back when I was making my decision, there really wasn’t as much money in the game and I was a solicitor by trade and I decided to choose that option over going pro,” he said.
“Very quickly I decided to set up my own company working in the golf industry and, as a result of that, I’ve seen the wide variety of opportunities that are available within it. It didn’t stop me from playing though and I carried on as an amateur and I’m still playing now – only enough to annoy myself, of course!”
Hartpury’s golf programme continues to produce top level golfers with Tyler Hogarty and Ben Loughrey having recently turned professional after playing on the amateur circuit. Graduate Ryan Pope, a former top 10 Under-18s English golfer, is currently honing his skills in America on one of the country’s top university golf programmes.
“Everyone comes into a sport wanting to be a player and unfortunately that’s not always the case so I’m just trying to give young people an idea of what other opportunities are available to them should the playing side not work out the way they had imagined,” added Peter.