BEN Thompson is looking forward to the new challenges a change in his golfing career has given him after being appointed as the manager at Sale Golf Club – one of the youngest in this role in the country.

Thompson said: “I started my career in professional golf at Cavendish in Buxton.

“I then moved to Hazel Grove, working for their professional James Rowlands where I really learned there was a lot more to working in golf than what I had previously experienced at Cavendish.

“Being at Hazel Grove gave me the chance to meet all of the local professionals at other clubs in the Manchester and District Golf Association (MDGA) and this is what sparked my addiction for playing professionally.

“My first year or so at Hazel Grove was a quiet one, getting to know the members and playing a couple of local small tour events before starting my PGA qualification under the watch of James and I started to gain experience in the PGA events and MDGA.

“After qualifying for my PGA at Hazel Grove I decided it was time to go self-employed and after an inspiring trip to China to look for ‘the next big thing’ for my new business, Golo Golf, which I used predominantly for buying and selling second-hand golf equipment.

“But then a drastic change in the second-hand market meant this didn’t last as long as I had hoped.

“So I was then offered the position of one of the teaching professionals at Adlington Golf Centre in Macclesfield where I would stay for nine months before a change in personal circumstances led me to apply for the manager position at Sale.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and opportunities provided by James Rowlands and also not forgetting my Dad who recently passed away, for pushing me all the way even when I considered changing careers and quitting my PGA. He always encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional.

“I have been received very well at Sale and made welcome by every member I’ve met so far.

“My plans in the short term for Sale are to start up fitness boot camps for members and non-members of all ages, shapes, sizes and ability around the town to help promote healthy lifestyles, as I believe golf and fitness can help towards improving not only physical health but also mental health.

“I also plan to run Sale’s first ever pro-am that will be limited to 24 teams, with a healthy professional prize fund and lots of amateur prizes including ‘The Golden Shot’.

“Plans for a swing room at Sale are also at the top of my to-do list in the near future.

“Now I am a qualified PGA professional and personal trainer, I plan to add a diploma in golf club management to my list, working towards PGA AA status, and also in the near future complete my level-four personal training that will allow me to aid people in cardiac rehabilitation.

“The cardiac rehab is close to my heart as my father passed away from a heart attack due to having a weak heart and not being able to do any exercise.”