Former banker fully invested in growing the game - PGA of Australia

Former banker fully invested in growing the game

PGA Professional Jamie Bashforth has had the joy of falling in love with golf at two very different junctures in his life.

First when he picked up a club as a 12-year-old, and then again almost three decades later when he played a round with a corporate client and was inspired to make golf his career – first through the PGA Institute and later the PGA Membership Pathway Program.

That willingness to shift and follow his passion after more than 20 years working in banking and health insurance has been a truly rewarding one for Bashforth, who is now dedicated to growing the game of golf in Queensland.

“I took a risk,” he reflects. “At more than 40 years old, I sold my property and went down to the Gold Coast to complete the PGA Institute program.”

Although Bashforth didn’t set out to become a PGA Professional initially, the quality of his game stood out while he was completing the Institute program – and enrolling in the PGA’s Membership Pathway Program became a reality.

“Again, I took a bit of a risk. I completed the PGA Institute course and then secured a traineeship at Riverside Oaks Golf Club in Sydney,” he adds.

A mature-age student, Bashforth remembers feeling a bit uneasy initially, but was buoyed by the diverse and engaging content he was learning.

Moreover, with a solid grounding in finance and corporate processes, he found the business side of the Program relatively straightforward.

“I knew where I wanted to head with it all so learning all of the golf-specific side of things was wonderful,” he says.

“From club repairs, to coaching, you feel like you learn everything there is to know about golf.”

Equipped with that raft of knowledge, and ready for a new career, Bashforth graduated as a PGA Professional in 2019.

On the move again, he headed back up north to accept a role as Assistant Professional at Gladstone Golf Club.

It was there that Bashforth first discovered a love for coaching and introducing newcomers to the game.

He took on the role of offering Get Into Golf – Golf Australia’s official beginner golf lesson program – there in 2020. After moving through COVID, he took the program to the next level.

“I was offering two two-hour sessions on Sundays, with the motivation being to try and get more women involved in the game up here,” he reflects.

What initially started as clinics on the range morphed into on-course action, as Bashforth helped participants to take the next step.

“We ended up running nine-hole shootouts for women. We would get the beginners and the members all together.

“Not many clubs could say that they would be getting 40 or 50 women out on the course all together. That was really cool.”

Bashforth’s passion for Get Into Golf has continued since a recent move to Bundaberg Golf Club.

There, he implements a similar model to the one he established at Gladstone, and the club and community are reaping the rewards.

“We are now seeing more and more women at the golf club,” he smiles. “Whether that is on the range, on the course, or even buying clubs in the shop, it is really good to see them following it through from the clinics.

“Some are even joining up as members of the club, which is fantastic, and certainly a driving force behind what we do.”

Proud to have seen the golf landscape change from what he describes as “not massively inclusive” when he first started out, Bashforth is glad to work in an industry that welcomes everyone.

“Now the audience we attract to the game is vastly different. People are showing up to driving ranges to give it a go and see if they like it,” he smiles.

“That’s a wonderful thing and so important for golf to grow.”

For more information on entry points into a career in golf, visit

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