In 1984 a group of PGA Professionals got together and after lengthy discussions Tartan Golf, the forerunner for today’s TGI Golf Partnership was formed. Sat in the room that day at Haggs Castle Golf Club was Carluke PGA Professional and Walker Cup player Andrew Brooks, who went on to become Pro at Royal St Georges for 16 years. Now, 34 years on, Andrew’s son Michael, himself a Walker Cup player, has taken on the role as chairman of the TGI Golf Partnership.
The duo have the rare distinction of being one of only three father and son pairs to represent GB&I.
The Malton & Norton PGA Professional has taken over the role from Clitheroe’s Paul McEvoy, who completed his three-year tenure in February.
Brooks represented GB&I in the 1997 Walker Cup, where he was paired with a 17-year-old Justin Rose, who shot to fame a year later with that shot at Royal Birkdale. Shortly after the Walker Cup, Brooks turned pro giving himself three years to make it on Tour.
“I didn’t want to spend so long trying to get on tour that I got myself into debt, so while I was trying to get my break I was working at Royal St George’s with dad and doing my PGA training so I had something to fall back on,” explained Michael.
When things didn’t work out on the tour Michael took his first PGA Professionals role at Castletown GC on the Isle of Man. There he was in charge of looking after the stock in the shop and got plenty of coaching hours under his belt.
“Working at Castletown was a steep learning curve,” he explained. “As a busy hotel there was also the hospitality side of things to look after, so you’d be dealing with high end corporate guests, you’d meet them at the airport and organise their golf for them, the whole package. It was great fun.”
However, during the winter months things got very quiet and Michael soon developed a thirst for a Head PGA Professional role.
He moved to Malton & Norton Golf Club in Yorkshire in 2008 and wasted no time becoming a full Partner of TGI Golf.
He said: “My father was at the very first Tartan meeting and Castletown is an associate Partner, so I’d been in and around TGI Golf for a very long time, I was always going to join the group.
“The support on offer from TGI Golf is second to none. I’m one of those guys who looks at his shop and if I can’t see anything wrong with it I’ll make an appointment with my Retail Consultant to come in and have a look, as that second pair of expert eyes is sure to spot something. Likewise, if I’m ever stuck or see a problem and I don’t know how to deal with it, I know there’ll be someone at the end of the phone who is able to assist.”
Michael joined the Board of Directors in 2013 and says he has learnt a lot from watching former chairmen Gordon Stewart (Cawder) and McEvoy in action and is keen to continue the great work they have done.
He is also keen to see first-hand the hard work that goes into running the group by the staff, who he believes are the key component of the group.
“One of the things I really want to push as chairman is the team at TGI Golf. They are so dedicated to what they do and I firmly believe every Partner should be making the most of the expertise that is available to them,” he said.
“The same goes for the Board of Directors, we are all available to Partners if they have any questions about the group, want some advice or to pick our brains on anything. We have a great board, who are all very good at separating the day-to-day running of their own businesses from that of running the group as a whole.”
Managing Director Eddie Reid, added: ““Michael has added real value since coming onto the board and from a group perspective it is wonderful to welcome a chairman whose father was one of the founders of the original group. Michael has grown up under the umbrella of the Partnership and has seen the positive impact it has had on both his, and his father’s, businesses.”
Michael officially took up his post as Chairman following the group’s AGM at Fairmont St Andrews on February 7.
TGI Golf Partnership tgigolf.com