Although she has spent nearly 15 years working in the golf industry in a variety of roles, Sylvia Bourne is finding a new level of satisfaction as she completes the Diploma of Golf Management with the PGA Institute.
A recipient of the Victorian Government’s Golf Scholarship Program designed to support the growth of the game in the state, Sylvia was able to enrol in the Diploma, as she balances working full-time at Keysborough Golf Club.
“I had actually been looking into the Diploma of Golf Management because the club had been encouraging us to upskill and do some more training,” she recalls.
“So when I received the scholarship, the timing all lined up and it all just fed into each other.”
Sylvia first started working in golf in 1997, offered a temporary position at the Metropolitan Golf Club. As it happened, a two-week role turned into a 12-year one that spanned reception, time as personal assistant to the General Manager, House Manager as well as time in the pro shop completing a business review.
“It all evolved very quickly,” says Sylvia. “I realised at that early stage that working in golf is so diverse and no two days are ever the same.”
Following her time at Metropolitan, Sylvia spent a decade running her own business. A challenging and rewarding period, it helped her to develop a skill-set built upon strong organisation and attention to detail.
“I was essentially helping small businesses remotely – managing appointment scheduling, as well as ensuring the implementation of strategies, procedures and policies,” she says. “It was fantastic being my own boss, but ultimately I came to miss the teamwork and collaborative workplace experience that golf provides.”
Returning to the sport in 2020, Sylvia took up a role in events management and membership at Keysborough Golf Club at the start of 2020. Her chance to return to a collaborative workplace environment, she is delighted to be back in golf at a time when the sport is booming.
For a club with over 1200 members, Sylvia is constantly kept on her toes, as she balances membership services with the management of functions, corporate events, as well as some marketing and communications.
“Membership has been booming,” she laughs “so it’s been a pretty busy time.”
“I guess I’ve got a good skillset from having run my own business, so I’m not afraid to dip in here, there and everywhere!”
Already with a solid grounding in the industry, Sylvia emphasises that study at the PGA Institute is giving her the added skills she needs to help her career in golf thrive, as well as setting her up for more success in the future.
“It’s fantastic, it really is,” she smiles. “It is helping me piece together everything from the different roles I’ve been in before and bringing all of my knowledge together.”
Keen to celebrate the breadth of the course too, Sylvia believes it gives students a range of skills to work in any number of roles throughout the industry.
“It covers off so much of what we do in golf, and a lot of the time, I don’t think people realise the diversity until they are actually in the industry,” she explains.
Already a fulfilling experience, Sylvia is looking forward to taking her career in golf to the next level upon her completion of the diploma.
With an eye to golf club General Management, she is happy to keep her options open.
“Ultimately, I probably see myself as an assistant manager or club manager down the track, but that’s not set in stone,” she says.
“I really just wanted to do this course to test myself, get accredited and see where it leads.”
Thrilled to have the chance to set herself up for success at the PGA Institute, Sylvia is proud to be associated with the program and the PGA more broadly.
“It’s an absolute honour,” she beams. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity I’ve had and it’s just a wonderful environment to be a part of.”
The PGA Institute offers Australia’s only Diploma of Golf Management qualification. Developed in partnership with golf industry bodies, it covers the best practice principles to prepare you for a career in golf.
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