LET Female Assistant of the Year Harriet Key (right) with Beverly Lewis and

LET Director of Development and Membership Mike Round

A passion for coaching has paid off for talented young golf professional Harriet Key after she was named the Ladies European Tour (LET) Female Assistant of the Year.

The 27-year-old, based at Moor Park Golf Club in Hertfordshire, was recognised for her achievement at the annual PGA Graduation ceremony at the University of Birmingham today (Friday April 22).

Key was presented with the Beverly Lewis Trophy and a cheque for £1,750 from the LET’s director of development and membership Mike Round and Beverly Lewis, the first female captain of the PGA.

In addition, Key also secured a cheque for £1,500 after finishing third overall in the Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year awards, which she collected from Titleist brand director Matthew Johnson, former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher and PGA captain Nicky Lumb.

Key took up golf at the age of 12 and had a very successful amateur career, however it was swimming that led her down the coaching path!

“As well as golf I used to swim competitively but when I reached 18, I took the qualifications and I started to coach at my local club and really enjoyed it.

“I coached for five or six years and I knew that coaching was something I really wanted to do and I wanted to follow that path in golf.

“I had got down to plus one, having had an initial handicap of 54, and as an amateur played for the county. I enjoyed the team element but knew when I turned professional that I wanted to coach rather than play.

“I have really enjoyed the last three years, particularly sports science, the coaching and the residentials, which I always looked forward to.

“The pros at Moor Park have been brilliant in supporting me throughout that time and it’s a great place to work with some fantastic facilities.”

Key added: “I am absolutely delighted to have won the LET award and finish third overall. It’s nice to know that the hard work over the past three years has paid off.”

The PGA training programme, encompassing the three year Foundation Degree, was founded more than 50 years ago and covers all aspects of golf including business, equipment technology and repairs, rules and tournament organisation, sports science and sports psychology.

Training and education remain an integral part of The PGA – it also runs an honours degree in association with the University of Birmingham and this year has launched a new partnership with the University of Highlands and Islands in Scotland.

Once qualified, PGA Members undergo a process of continual professional development to keep them up to speed with all the latest developments in the sport and wider golf industry.

PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “The PGA Graduation day is always inspirational and gives me great confidence each year the game of golf is in good hands for generations to come.

“The quality of the graduates coming through our PGA training programme is second to none and there’s no doubt they are starting at the beginning of their careers which will take them to almost any corner of the world.

“I congratulate each and every one of them for their hard work and effort they have put into obtaining the qualification. I wish them all success wherever the game of golf takes them.”

Ivan Khodabakhsh, chief executive officer of the Ladies European Tour, added: “Congratulations to Harriet on winning the LET’s Female Assistant of the Year Award. At a time when more women and girls are getting into golf across the UK, it’s really important that we have first class female coaches who can inspire people, particularly women and juniors, to follow their enthusiasm and enjoy the game as a healthy sport for life. Our sponsorship of this award demonstrates our commitment to the development of women’s golf.”

Matthew Johnson, Titleist brand director, said: “We are pleased to continue our support of the Titleist PGA Assistant of the Year award, recognising this as a starting point of the PGA’s commitment to provide its members with a framework for lifelong learning.

“Titleist has had a long standing commitment to PGA professionals, we realise and endorse that they play a key role in the development and growth of the game across all levels, and we are delighted to support the next generation of qualified professionals, we look forward to working with them and would like wish them well with their future careers.”