Kat is a highly experienced, knowledgeable and professional Coach who cares deeply about the success of her clients. She has invested time and money in learning, technology, and development, covering all aspects of the game, from mental side to technique of putting, short game and long game. She owns and uses the latest Trackman and video analysis, wrist and ground force technology where appropriate. Kat has been lucky enough to work with players of all abilities, from complete beginners, to national amateurs, to professional players.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
My story to becoming a PGA Professional is not a typical one. I hope that my story provides you with some confidence and comfort in your own journey, and may even inspire someone to pursue a career in coaching as I have. Although I was introduced to golf as an 11 year old, my dad was in the army and we moved around a lot, meaning I didn't play much as a child. I did however love sport at school and would play pretty much anything and everything given the chance. I only played golf a handful of times until my mid 20's. Having left school at 18, I travelled and worked abroad in Norway, Germany and Singapore. When I came back to the UK aged 23, I looked for ways to meet others through sport. I started going to the range and taking lessons before I joined Hurtmore Golf Club in Surrey. It was there I got my first handicap and my love for golf was truly ignited.
My moving days continued as I changing jobs every few years, working as a police control room operator and housing officer for the council before I relocated to Sussex. I left the public sector to become a high street recruitment consultant. Recognising my restlessness and lack of job satisfaction and now in my mid 30's I knew I wasn't where I was supposed to be. My handicap was down to 11 and I started to wonder about a career as a golf coach. I had no idea what was required and started to search for roles in golf, when a position at Mid Sussex Golf Club in Sussex came up. I applied and got the job! I worked in the shop as a retail assistant then as Retail Manager until I got my handicap down to 5 and was able to apply to The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) in 2008.
BECOMING A PGA PROFESSIONAL
It's quite a process! Apart from the minimum academic requirements, I had to pay for and attend a 2 day induction at The Belfry (PGA Headquarters) where I was provided with an overview of the 3 year training programme and what it meant to be a PGA member. I was the only woman and one of the oldest there. Many of the young lads had played for their County, some for their Country. Most still dreamed of playing on tour. Then followed the most nerve-wracking part, a 36 hole playing test. Held at a regional course on a specified date. I had a maximum score of +14 over the 2 rounds to beat. Sounds easy when you're off 5 but I had never played golf that way before, or since. Your whole career on the line. Talk about pressure. I failed a few times and had to pay each additional time just to add insult to injury, before I eventually succeeded at Clandon Regis near Guildford, Surrey. Many failed. I played with one guy who played on the EuroPro Tour who tearfully told me he wasn't going to stay for the 2nd round after shooting 94 in the morning. Another guy I worked with played off 1 and failed the playing test 7 times before finally succeeding! Then the hard work started.
Having viewed myself as a sporty person when younger I struggled a bit with the academic elements initially. A three year distance learning Foundation Degree through the University of Birmingham. Assignments each term, with exams at the end of each year, combined with the pressure of 7 rounds of competitive professional golf of no more than +6 over or less each year to determine whether or not you could progress to the next year. All while holding down a full-time job. I surprised myself on both parts and succeeded without much difficulty. I passed all assignments and exams without the need for any resits. My grades and confidence improved, receiving more merits and then distinctions with each year. Once all the academic elements were completed successfully, the final exam is a coaching and club fitting practical to gain entrance into the PGA, plus a recommendation letter from an existing PGA member. This included: a 30 minute lesson to a complete stranger while being watched; a club fitting exam; and demonstration and explanation of an awkward lie and a short game shot. We had to pick two cards off the table to determine which shots we would have to cover. I arrived only to realise I had forgotten my golf shoes - oops, rookie error! A quick stop at the pro shop, £120 later and I was ready. My coaching examiner was Jim Christine, PGA Master Professional and Head Professional at Worplesdon Golf Club. A well respected, well known Coach, so I was very nervous. I needn't have been. Everything went well and he was very encouraging. I passed the coaching exam, explanation and demonstration. I flew through the club fitting practical and was advised by the examiner I should consider a career specialising in it, but knew that wasn't my path. It was always and only ever a coaching career for me. I was in. No more a Trainee, but a fully fledged PGA Professional with a Foundation Degree in Golf Studies.
I was awarded Advanced Professional status in 2016, and Fellow Professional/Coach status in 2019 as a result of my coaching achievements to date. PGA Fellow status puts me in the top 3% of over 8,000 UK PGA Professionals.
In 2015 I continued my further education and completed an Advanced Certificate in Golf Coaching with Merit through the University of Birmingham (UoB). I went on to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in Sport Coaching with Distinction. I took a year out before returning to complete the final dissertation (research project) to be awarded an MSc in Sport Coaching, graduating in December 2020. My academic journey has helped me become more critical and reflective coach. I have also come to realise that finding something you are interested in helps maintain focus and achieve success. Having always believed I wasn't academic, I now realise that self-limiting belief held me back and that I just wasn't engaged in the subjects covered at school. I am currently considering a PhD!
The first two years of my PGA journey were spent at Mid Sussex Golf Club as Retail Manager. I started coaching in 2008 and loved it. I would have continued there but the club was sold and my position was made redundant. I had been having some lessons near to where I lived in Rustington, and the Head Coach there, PGA Master Coach, Steven Orr, invited me to join the team as a full-time coach. The first and only female coach to have worked at Cranfield Golf Academy (CGA) and the only trainee. I had just begun my 3rd year as I started there in September 2010. Steven is a highly knowledgeable and curious coach who is on a quest to learn as much as he can about golf. He has so many questions and luckily for me, he was in charge of my coach training. CGA Coaches had regular training sessions through the year. We were watched as part of our coach development and this definitely helped when it came to that final coaching exam. After 9 years at Rustington, I was ready for a change and new challenge. My grounding there was invaluable and I could not have asked for a better mentor.
The Head Teaching Professional role at Hurtmore Golf Club was advertised around the time I had started to look at my options. Remember that club where it all started for me? I applied and got the position, starting in July 2019. I built my coaching business from scratch and quickly became very busy. COVID-19 hit and I got busier than ever once we returned to work. A chance connection at the end of 2021 resulted in an invitation to join Head Club Professional James Crawford at Waterlooville Golf Club in Hampshire. After some consideration, and despite having a very successful coaching business, I decided to make the move and joined the team in January 2022. My first members' club position. It's taken some time to build my coaching business back up but at the time of writing, I'm at my busiest and my diary is almost at capacity. I'm enjoying being with other coaches, although working very much independently as a self-employed Head Coach.
ENGLAND GOLF & COUNTY COACHING
In 2014 I started working for England Golf, initially as Manager for the South East U16 Girls' Squad, moving up to become the National Manager of U18 Girls' squad in 2016. I also worked as a County Coach between 2016-2021, working with U12 Surrey Boys, U14 Sussex Academy Boys & Girls, and U18 Sussex Boys' Development Squad.
LOVE.GOLF WOMEN'S COACH
While at Hurtmore, I missed the camaraderie of other coaches and so joined the love.golf coaching community, with a focus on increasing the number of women playing golf. The love.golf philosophy is built on academic and market research carried out by PGA Professional Alastair Spink which established that women prefer to learn while playing on the course. I have been delivering women's group coaching sessions since 2010 at CGA Rustington and built a good reputation as a specialist in this area, winning a regional award and being a semi-finalist for a national award.
My coaching holiday business was born in November 2013 with my very first women only trip to Spain. I now run women only coaching trips at least twice a year, with the occasional mixed trip. Check out the coaching holiday page for the latest holiday information.
Having read my story, I hope you have a better understanding of where I've come from and get a sense of how I constantly strive to be a better coach through academic and coaching achievements and experiences. Some of those experiences are uncomfortable and not easy, but I also recognise those are the moments where I grow the most. All in a bid to help you become more successful in your game. I hope our paths cross soon, whether that's face to face, or online. Reach out if you think we might be a good fit.