Golf had always been a passion for Elliot Beel yet it existed largely on the periphery. While a career in golf was part of the plan, life continued to get in the way.
Golf had always been a passion for Elliot Beel yet it existed largely on the periphery.
While a career in golf was part of the plan, life continued to get in the way.
There was a stint working in a sports retail in Brisbane following time spent overseas, his interest in golf leading to a sales position at Drummond Golf.
He was playing well enough to represent Ashgrove and went through the entire Brisbane District Golf Association Pennants season undefeated before he and wife Jo decided to relocate to Mackay, winning the 2009 Mackay Toyota Men’s Open.
They had their first child in 2010 – a second would follow little more than a year later – and Beel was working part-time in the Mackay Golf Club pro shop with Jeffrey Reid.
The first time he considered undertaking the PGA’s Membership Pathway Program was in 2011 but a diagnosis of osteoarthritis prevented him from playing golf for the next 18 months.
It wasn’t until 2018 that Beel – at the urging of his wife and following the departure of Joseph Rickman – approached Reid with the idea of becoming his 43-year-old PGA Associate.
“The opportunity came up to work back in the industry and I was like, ‘Yep, let’s go,’” says Beel, who completed the Membership Pathway Program in 2021 and was named the National PGA Associate of the Year.
“I’ve always enjoyed the coaching aspect and wanted to be able to impart my passion and my knowledge of the game, particularly to young kids. I enjoy that side of things.
“The only real way I could do that was to venture down the Membership Pathway Program.
“I knew what I was getting into. Having a family at home, we knew it was going to be a challenge, but we went into it with our eyes wide open.”
Given his sales experience and familiarity with the membership at Mackay Golf Club, Beel’s transition was a smooth one, but not without its challenges.
Two school-aged children leave little spare time in the day yet Beel was able to manage his time, utilise Mondays for the completion of assignments and maintain a high standard in terms of both education and playing throughout his three years.
“Having that experience on my side and being more of a mature-aged student helped me in some areas,” Beel explains.
“I had a lot more ability to manage my time better and I had the attitude towards assignments of, ‘I’m going to get in, get stuck in, get it done and then move on to the next one as quickly as possible.’
“I wasn’t concerned about how old I was. It was the pathway to where I wanted to go.”
Now working as a PGA Professional at Mackay, Beel is intent on making good on the intent that he first told Queensland State Manager Broc Greenhalgh and Joe Janison in his interview before embarking on the Membership Pathway Program.
“I said in my interview that my goal was to grow the game of golf in North Queensland,” says Beel.
“That was what I went in with and I’m trying to do my best to honour that.
“We’re running junior programs now, we’ve got ladies programs in the mix and we’re trying to introduce more and more people to the game.
“You can play golf with a friend. You don’t need to have a team. You can play it on your own. You can play it with mum, play it with dad. It’s that type of sport.
“I think there’s a lot of potential to grow it, without a huge amount of burden.”
Applications are opening soon for the Membership Pathway Program. If you have a passion for golf and for helping others visit www.pga.org.au/membership-pathway-program for more information on how you can become a PGA Professional.