Recently qualified Certified Putting Instructor (CPI) Robert Irvine is looking forward to the future at Douglas Park Golf Club with the addition of a brand new state-of- the-art facility at the club, located only 6 miles from Glasgow.
“We will be opening an indoor studio in April so I will have access to good teaching facilities at all times of the year. The studio will have a putting area as well as hitting area with Trackman,” said Irvine.
In preparation for the facility opening, Irvine, who is passionate about coaching and holds a B.Sc. in Sports Science from The University of Edinburgh, decided to become a Certified Putting Instructor (CPI), taking advantage of a special opportunity presented by the PGA in Scotland, as he anticipated helping many more people with their putting.
“The CPI Course presented a structure and pathway to teach putting and that was key. It helps you present information in a consistent way that is repeatable and was a holistic look at every aspect of putting. It was very prescriptive, especially in terms of things like stance, ball position and length of the putter and it reinforced much of what I teach,” said Irvine who believes that his new CPI qualification helps validate his knowledge and will help him create and package lessons for the many students that seek his expertise.
Douglas Park has 800 members in all categories and is a very active, family friendly club with a large ladies membership which has been boosted by the clubs participation in “Get into Golf” which attracted 25 new lady members.
“Get into Golf has been extremely popular and we look forward to rolling it out to more gents and juniors this season,” said Irvine, who himself was introduced to the game at 7 years old by his father.
Generations of golfers have played together at Douglas Park and the building of the new teaching facility has been made possible by a generous donation from The Watson Foundation, founded by John M. Watson OBE, one of Scotland’s most successful businessmen, philanthropist and is an Honorary Member of Douglas Park Golf Club, as were his late Father and Mother.
“The new building will be a great teaching facility, a centre of “golfing excellence” which will be wonderful for Douglas Park Golf Club and will help attract golfers to the club. I have tremendous regard for Robert, who is a first class professional. He is a hard worker with only a short period in the summer to teach outdoors and this will allow him to teach year round,” said Watson whose love of the game began at 12 years old and as a 4-handicap youngster helped out in the club pro shop.
Reflecting on the changes he has seen in the golf industry over the years, Watson, who built and ran a hugely successful printing company, John Watson and Company, has some interesting insights.
“The hardware side of the business has gone. However, the club professional has to embrace the new change and look at what they can provide, and that is teaching. If the professional can improve technique in putting, or any part of the game, and reduce someone’s handicap from 12 to 8 or 8 to 4 then word will get out and people will flock to the pro to get help with their vision for their game,” said Watson.
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf and the CPI Course, former longtime USGA Technical Director and inventor of the graphite shaft said,
“Robert is extremely fortunate in having someone of John Watson’s insights and understanding of business to support his entrepreneurial spirit, being able to take advantage of The Watson Foundation’s kind contribution not only to Douglas Park Golf Club but to the game of golf itself. We wish Robert every success with his new venture and hope that other professionals will follow Robert’s lead in recognizing the value and business benefits of the CPI Course.”