The most common question that anyone who works in the golf industry invariably receives is this: How often do you play?
The perception that a job within golf opens up time to play is far from the reality but Victoria Park Professional Murray Lott worries the balance has tipped too far in the other direction.
Lott is part of the four-man team that will represent the PGA of Australia at the Four Nations Cup in South Africa from September 2-4 at Kyalami Country Club.
Reigning PGA Professionals Championship winner Jamie Hook, Matthew Guyatt and TJ King make up the rest of the team who will face off against PGA Professionals from South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.
It is a rare opportunity for those who work at the coalface to reengage their competitive instincts and take pride in their performance, performance that Lott insists PGA Professionals throughout Australia should not feel guilty about pursuing.
A former player and caddie on tour, Lott now splits his time between coaching at Victoria Park in Brisbane and playing the SParms PGA Legends Tour and believes there are benefits in keeping his game sharp.
Shortly after turning 50 last year he won his first Legends Tour event at Mt Warren Park, the opportunity to compete with his contemporaries providing balance both on and off the golf course.
“I understand why PGA Pros may feel guilty for taking time to practice or play – I’ve experienced that myself – but in my view maintaining a certain playing standard is actually a really important aspect of the job,” Lott says.
“Playing golf is why we became passionate about joining the PGA in the first place so finding the time to play nine or 18 holes helps to keep that passion alive.
“In previous roles at other clubs, playing a midweek comp was a great way to stay engaged with the members and develops a personal connection that can translate to provide a higher level of service.
“I also believe that if members or your clientele see you playing well and shooting good scores that there is an enhanced sense of pride in the person representing their club.”
Being selected to represent Australia is an achievement that has also turned heads within the Lott household.
His three sons in particular have been impressed that their old man can still mix it with the young bucks to the point that he will represent Australia in an international competition.
It’s another reason that Lott is adamant that continuing to play has been beneficial throughout his career.
“When the kids were younger it was tougher to find the time and I am extremely grateful that I now have this opportunity to represent the PGA of Australia,” he adds.
“Playing has not only been of benefit to my status as a PGA Professional but it makes me a happier and healthier person.
“It is my stress relief and my joy.
“I’d encourage everyone to play in the PGA Professionals Championship and to do so guilt-free.
“You never know where it might take you.”
There is a change to the qualifying criteria for the PGA Professionals Championship in 2022.
State-based qualifying will only be required if there is an excess of entries for the PPC Final at Yarra Yarra Golf Club in Melbourne from October 10-11.
To enter the PGA Professionals Championship Final visit the Tournaments and Events section of the Member website.