Huddersfield Golf Club’s Alex Keighley has created history by becoming the first female PGA Professional to sit on the board of the TGI Golf Partnership, golf’s leading retail services group.
The 34-year-old former Ladies European Tour member is one of two changes to the board decided at the group’s AGM on Wednesday night (7th October), as TGI Golf looks to the new breed of PGA Professionals.
Also becoming a director is 31-year-old Paisley Pro Andy Carlton, who was the group’s youngest ever Partner of the Year when he won the coveted award in 2013, the same year that Keighley was voted Newcomer of the Year.
TGI Golf Chairman Paul McEvoy (Clitheroe GC) welcomed the new additions to the board of directors, which is made up predominately of PGA Professionals.
He said: “The role of the PGA Professional has changed dramatically over the last few years and both Alex and Andy have been at the forefront of a new breed of PGA Pro. They both have great qualities and desire in their own businesses and I have no doubt they will be great assets to the board.
“TGI Golf has always been a forward thinking organisation and by introducing an element of youth to the board of directors we believewe’ll continue to move forward and help PGA Professionals from all backgrounds to strive.”
Alex Keighley added: “It is a real honour to join the board and I’m looking forward to working closely with my fellow board members and everyone involved in the group.
“Throughout my career I’ve often been the ‘first lady’ to do this or that, and it’s always a nice feeling. Hopefully I’ll be able to bring a new perspective to the discussions and decisions made.”
Andy Carlton added: “It’s a real honour to be invited to join the board, I’m excited to get started and learn from the wealth of experience there as well as pass on my thoughts and ideas.”
While there are two additions to the board there are inevitably two pros leaving with Stuart Syme of Drumoig Golf Centre stepping down to concentrate on his role as Captain of the PGA in Scotland, while former PGA Captain Parnell Reilly has called time on his illustrious career as a Professional.
Parnell, who joined the board in 2008, added: “It’s been a fascinating experience to see how professionally TGI Golf has been run from the inside.
“We have always had an incredibly diverse group of Pros sat on the board – people from municipal clubs, resorts, young, old etc – now to welcome a female pro to the fold gives a whole new perspective, it’s great to see the continued progression of the group.”
TGI Golf Managing Director, Eddie Reid, paid tribute to Parnell’s work and efforts during his time with the group, saying: “Having a man of Parnell’s stature, experience and level headedness has been a tremendous help to everyone involved in TGI Golf.
“It has been a pleasure to work alongside him over the past seven years, to listen to his words of wisdom and see the way he is willing to pass on his wealth of knowledge to fellow Partners has been an honour.
“Everyone at TGI Golf wishes Parnell the very best in his retirement and Stuart well in his role.”