Wembley Golf Course General Manager Josh Madden intends to tap into the knowledge base of PGA Professionals at the grassroots level to help drive the game forward in his new role as Member Director of the PGA of Australia.
Madden’s addition to the PGA Board was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting and provides a direct connection between the PGA Professionals delivering the game across the country and the highest levels of decision-making within the PGA.
Golf has experienced an explosion in popularity in the past 18 months and Madden is adamant that if we are to maintain that level of interest and continue to grow then the input of PGA Professionals will be vital.
“Retention and engagement are going to be so important in the next few years to capitalise on the growth that we’ve seen,” said Madden, the 2020 PGA National Management Professional of the Year.
“We have a really great opportunity to grow right now and I’m confident that PGA Members are the key providers in this space.
“If we can engage and help people to enjoy this great game no matter the version they try first – whether it’s mini golf, the driving range or par 3 courses – we have a great chance to shift our participation numbers.
“If we can get people to enjoy this great game half as much as PGA Members do then we’ll be looking good into the future.”
A full member of the PGA since 2008 having completed the Membership Pathway Program at Surfers Paradise Golf Club, Madden spent eight years working for the PGA itself including close to three years as the State Manager for Western Australia and South Australia.
A member of the WA committee for the past three years, Madden believes that there is insight within PGA Professionals that only comes from working at the coalface.
“I’ve worked internally for the PGA and I know how dedicated the team are but, when you aren’t doing it day in day out in the pro shop priorities change, and I now totally understand that,” Madden said.
“We need to listen to the members because they see and feel the marketplace and what customers are hearing and experiencing.
“Before the surveys are collated the PGA Members behind the counter and on the lesson tee know what’s happening. The difficulty is listening to that undercurrent and providing strategies that can work in regional areas, public golf and then private courses.
“It’s not easy, and we are bound to make mistakes trying to encompass everyone’s needs. That doesn’t mean we give up, we just have to keep refining the offering and keep learning and pushing.”
Although he has his own ideas and philosophies that he wants to bring to the boardroom, Madden said a key aspect of his role will be to bring to light the wonderful initiatives being instituted by PGA Professionals throughout Australia.
“I don’t have a monopoly on good ideas so I really try to listen and learn from all of the Members that I talk to and make decisions based on good information,” he added.
“We all have different career perspectives and experiences which shape our thoughts and the way we interact. I know my career experiences are unique and I hope that my perspective is able to make a difference.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and really hope I can help.”