Byron Nel – Teaching Professional
The Country Club Johannesburg
|What led you to becoming a PGA Professional?
|From an early age I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the sporting industry, as I played every sport I possibly could. I was introduced to the game of golf at the age of 14 by my father and uncle, and after a few rounds of golf the “bug bit” and I was hooked for life. I then knew that my future lay in golf. Along with my passion for teaching and helping people, becoming a qualified PGA professional was the obvious choice. After completing Matric, I enrolled in the Golf Academy at Tshwane University of Technology and proceeded to complete a 4-year B-Tech Degree in Officiating and Coaching. During the same time, I also completed my PGA Diploma. I have been a proud member of the PGA of SA for over 10 years. I currently hold the classification of Class AAA and will advance to Class Fellow in 2021. I love what I do every single day and have never looked back.|
|How long have you been in your current position?
|I have been at The Country Club Johannesburg since October 2018.
I have been Coaching golf full-time since 2011.
|What does your job entail?
|Coaching of all members and guests of CCJ.
Hosting and running of all the junior and introductory golf programs, golf camps/events and junior holiday clinics for the club.
Coaching, Caddying and Mentoring my junior golfers at SA Kids and Golf RSA tournaments.
Assisting in the operations of the Driving Range facilities.
|Do you have any environmental or sustainability goals that you have met and would like to share?
|It is vital that we look after our planet by recycling and saving energy and water. My goal would be to see golf courses more self-sustainable in the future, which would mean less water usage, and a reduced chemical and machinery footprint in golf course maintenance practices. I teach my junior golfers golf course etiquette, such as repairing pitch marks and divots, to instil upon them respect for the golf course from an early age. After all, they are the future of golf and how golf courses will be maintained.|
|Please give us a brief outline of the path you took to lead you to your current position||I started my coaching journey part-time while still studying. I used to coach PlayGolf at a school in Centurion. I loved every minute of it and that is where I realised my passion for coaching and my love and patience for helping the youngest of aspiring golfers. Once I finished my studies and completed my PGA Diploma in 2010, I started coaching at the Centurion Golf Village for the GFG Golf Academy for a year and a half. Following this I decided to move back to my grass roots (Durban), where I worked and coached at Mt Edgecombe Country Club and Umhlali Country Club, respectively. After just over 2 years in Durban, I received a call from a friend who had taken over the driving range at Blue Valley Golf Estate. I decided to join him there and ran the driving range and all the junior and introductory golf programs. During this time, I worked alongside the Gauteng North Golf Union with some underprivileged schools in Olievenhoutbosch to introduce their kids to the game of golf. In 2016 I was fortunate to start work at The Els Club Copperleaf with one of the best golf coaches in the country, namely Mr. John Dickson. I worked alongside John at Copperleaf from the end of 2016 up to September 2018. We then both got the opportunity to move to The Country Club Johannesburg in Woodmead to take over the coaching. We have been at CCJ since October 2018 to date. I am extremely happy to be associated with someone of the teaching calibre of John Dickson as well as the prestigious club and facilities of CCJ.|
|Why do you feel that you would be a good candidate to win this award?
|GROW GOLF AWARD:
I feel that I am a great candidate for this award due to my passion and energy I have for junior golf and to develop and grow the next generation of golfers. I love making the game fun and exciting for junior golfers and beginners to learn in a friendly environment. I feel that golf teaches us a lot of life lessons along the way, that sometimes “you get good breaks from bad shots and bad breaks from good shots”. Therefore, I teach my juniors how to cope and handle adversity on the golf course, and to always carry with them the life lessons and values that golf teaches us.
I feel that I am a great candidate for this award due to my passion for coaching and helping people. I strive to always improve my own knowledge and coaching abilities through seminars and courses. I find that this is key for me to continually improve as a coach and to ensure that my coaching services is of the highest value to everyone that I teach. I always want to make the game simple and easy to understand for people of all ages and golfing skill levels. I connect well with people and love to share in their stories and interests, as I believe that golf brings people together.