Martin Briede – Head Teaching Professional and Driving Range & Academy Owner

Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club

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Martin Briede

 

What led you to becoming a PGA Professional?

 

Growing up my love for playing golf and golfing environments led me to become a PGA Professional. My dream was to become the best player I could be and I pursued a playing career earning a Sunshine Tour Card on two occasions. During this period, I started working in the Pro Shop at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.

I enjoyed this environment and I completed my apprenticeship. Twenty-Five years later I am still at Royal. I soon found that I really enjoyed the teaching aspect of golf. During the merger between Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Clubs in the early 2000’s the golf courses were upgraded and the driving range and academy were established. I have been working is these departments since the development of the range and academy.

 

How long have you been in your current position?

 

I have been Head Teaching Professional for 16 years and Driving Range Owner for 2 years
What does your job entail?

 

My Job entails primarily of teaching golf. Teaching golf is my passion and vocation and therefore this is my primary task. My first priority is being available for lessons for members and their guests. Over the years I have prioritised junior lessons and school programmes. I also enjoy coaching elite players and BSI diploma students.

 

For the last two years I have managed the driving range. I am responsible for the operation of the range. I have two staff members who assist and have Gavan Levenson as a tenant  who strengthens our teaching capability in a huge way. The range also offers club fitting. Titliest have chosen Royal Johannesburg & Kensington as their current Gauging club fitting base.

 

Do you have any environmental or sustainability goals that you have met and would like to share?

 

As a teacher I see my role as an educator. I have always been conscious of the environment and I do try inspire pupils on the environmental importance of golf courses and their sustainability.  I am lucky to be associated with Royal Johannesburg & Kensington who are committed to environmental sustainability projects including water usage, approved fertilisers and habitats for birds and wildlife. My role is to try make students aware of this.

My proudest accomplishment was establishing a birding enthusiast club early 2000’s when I held the position of golf director. We organised bird lectures and even a field trip to the Kruger Park. I am a keen birder and always point out interesting birds out to my pupils.

 

Please give us a brief outline of the path you took to lead you to your current position  I have been at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington my entire PGA career. I started and completed my apprenticeship in the Pro Shop at Royal. After the merger between Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Clubs in 2000 I became Assistant Golf Director and later Golf Director. During this period the East and West Courses were upgraded and a redesign of the West led to the construction of the driving range.

Teaching has always been a passion of mine and my favourite part of the job. My fellow Golf Director Andrew Gunn and myself convinced the management to develop the academy buildings on the driving range I moved down permanently to the driving range became the Head Teaching professional and the rest is history.

 

Why do you feel that you would be a good candidate to win this award?

 

Coach – There are many candidates who are deserving of this award in our region. I feel I am a good candidate due to my love of teaching golf, I love getting up every morning to coach. I am constantly thinking, researching, learning and improving especially in the philosophy I am passionate about, the RightSidedSwing. I have a diverse range of pupils in terms of age and ability and try give my full attention and effort to each of these pupils. I believe it is my duty to try make the golfing world a better place by making the game more enjoyable for all. I am honoured to have been nominated. Thank you.

 

Grow Golf – A big part of my career has been dedicated to coaching children and juniors. I am a believer in The Long-Term Athletic Development model and have lectured and created material for this Module in the PGA Apprenticeship programme. I have golf coaching programmes running with two schools St Johns and St Andrews. We  have programmes for all age groups starting at Grade 0 using SNAG golf equipment.

I have been involved with Special Olympics for many years hosting training and events along with the PGA of SA. Last year The PGA, Royal and myself hosted the Special Olympic Qualifying Tournament for the World Games.This year we started a project of training caregivers and teachers to coach golf at their facilities. The Covid pandemic has halted this project but I am looking forward to restarting this project.