PGA News

Kelly’s eye – PGA pro Ciara is on-call for the NHS

Birmingham-based PGA pro Ciara Kelly has teed up a temporary career helping the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by working as a call assessor for the West Midlands Ambulance Service.

The 22-year-old qualified as a PGA professional when she attained her degree in Applied Golf Management Studies at the University of Birmingham last summer.

Her first job involved working for England Golf as a county support officer for clubs in Warwickshire and Worcestershire, helping them with business planning, marketing, membership recruitment and retention.

“It was a maternity cover position that ended the same time as the lockdown started,” Kelly recalled.

“I was a little unsure what to do with golf clubs being closed because of the lockdown. Then I saw the job opportunity come up and felt it would be a great way to be productive and useful during it.”

Although her current role is a world away from a career in golf, the NHS is not totally alien territory to Kelly.

“My mum was a nurse in A&E for many years and now is a nursing lecturer, so I have quite a strong connection with the NHS,” she added. “And my dad’s a police officer so we’re very much a family with an emergency services background.”

Kelly has now completed seven shifts after undergoing a fortnight’s training and admits there are times the job can be stressful.

“You get a wide range of calls,” she explained. “Some people just need to speak to their GP about some recurring symptoms; others involve sending emergency ambulances out for major blood loss, potential heart attacks – things like that.

“There’s everything in between as well – you get a lot of mental health calls. And obviously at the moment there are a lot to do with coronavirus.

“It can be stressful, especially if someone is panicking on the phone. You have to remember that if someone is calling 111 or 999 it’s probably the most stressed they’ve ever felt in their life.”

Support in the form of a team of clinicians as well as her fellow call handlers is readily available, however.

“There are 80 call handlers on duty at any one time and there’s a team of clinicians made up of nurses, paramedics, doctors and mental health nurses,” she continues. “So if a caller needs to speak to someone with a healthcare background you can pass the call on. There’s plenty of people on hand to give support and advice.”

Looking ahead, Kelly plans to continue helping the NHS until the end of the lockdown and maybe for longer.

“The plan is to stay in golf,” she said. “But I intend to return to university in September or October to do a social sciences research Masters degree and apply it to the sport.

“In the meantime, I’m more than happy helping out the NHS.”

Tiley gets hands-on experience combating COVID-19

PGA assistant professional Steven Tiley is putting the hands that normally grip golf clubs to good use during the lockdown by helping produce thousands of bottles of hand sanitiser for the NHS.

The 37-year-old from Herne Bay, Kent, who is attached to Royal Cinque Ports is working for Nutraset, a business owned by his father, while the European and Challenge Tours are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Canterbury-based company usually produces food supplements but John Tiley has switched production to supply health trusts, key worker employers and care homes with hand sanitisers to help combat the virus.

Steven Tiley was facing several months without income until the Tours resume so working for his father is providing him with a financial life-line.

“I am getting paid so that is good because there are no tournaments and I can’t play for any money at the moment,” said the father of two.

“I am doing seven-hour shifts, four times a week, and also home-schooling the kids. “We can only work two people at a time and we do 500 bottles, then we swap and help make up the solution.

“You are not constantly on the machine for seven hours although there is always something to do. But I do sometimes look outside when it’s nice weather and think about playing golf. There aren’t many skills I can use from golf, but work colleagues have noted how driven I am. When you play sport you are constantly seeking ways to do it better. I just tend to try and do above and beyond all the time.

“At first, I didn’t think I would be cut out for it, you have to be very technically minded and it was so out of my comfort zone, but I am used to it now and producing 2,500 bottles on my shift.  Athletes self-motivate very well, particularly when you play a sport on your own and have to set goals.

“Every day I am thinking how I’m going to improve at golf and I have used that in the business, thinking how can I make this machine work better.”

Should the machine malfunction, however, Tiley has to summon help from his father who is self-isolating with his wife because she is vulnerable, having undergone a kidney transplant.

“We are having to do things through FaceTime,” Tiley explained. “When something comes up that I can’t fix because I am a professional golfer, he is getting frustrated down the phone because he could do it in five minutes.

“He is like ‘I can’t believe you can’t fix it’ and I reply, ‘well you try standing on the tee at the British Open, you can’t do that!’”

Tiley did that in 2010 at St Andrews, posting an opening six-under-par round of 66 only to be upstaged by Rory McIlroy who was three shots better. He also played in the 2013 Open at Muirfield, finishing tied-26th.

He earned a European Tour card for 2011 and 17 but has played mainly on the Challenge Tour.

He recorded his first victory on it in the Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in 2019 and the most lucrative of his career came a year earlier when he won the Farmfoods Par-3 Championship at Nailcote Hall, Warwickshire.

“The last couple of years have been really good until this!” he added.

 

Award-winning pro lines up legendary coach for online session

Award-winning Alex Mollin has arranged a live Instagram session with legendary coach Butch Harmon to help pros working with everyday golfers and raise funds for the Association’s Benevolent Fund.

Mollin has developed a strong relationship with Harmon since winning the Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year and Ladies European Tour Female Assistant of the Year awards in 2014.

“I first made contact with Butch five or six years ago,” recalled Mollin, a PGA Advanced Professional attached to the Royal Jersey Golf Club.

“I was looking at ways to develop myself as a professional and got in touch with him out in Las Vegas.

“I’ve been out there five times now and shadowed him working at his base at Rio Secco Golf Club.”

Mollin was due to coach in the PGA Swingzone at the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in July and hoped Harmon would stop by.  However, the tournament’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic has prompted her to come up with an alternative – the live Instagram session.

“It will last for an hour and be in two parts,” she explained. “Everybody associates Butch with working with elite players such as Tiger Woods but the first half will be aimed at coaching the everyday golfer.  The second half will be an ‘Ask Butch’ fun session in which people can put questions to him.

“Alongside that I’ll be doing some fundraising for the PGA Benevolent Fund. I do quite a lot of fundraising anyway and thought it would be a nice tie-in to help the Benevolent Fund.

“Not only has Butch generously given up his time to conduct the Instagram session but he’s also donated some signed bits and pieces – caps and books. These will be prizes in a fundraising raffle.”

The session will be accessible on both Mollin and Harmon’s Instagram accounts and the fundraising element conducted via  

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlexMollin

Further information is available via https://www.facebook.com/jerseygolfcoachg/