Shiella Cowan Hood
The first female head golf professional in BC, Shiella Cowan Hood is one of 700 golf professionals across the province.
Shiella began her career working at a golf course in Manitoba while completing her university degree in Physical Education. She was encouraged to become a professional golfer by the pro at that course, but she did not know whether she should do that or carry on with her plan to teach. She ended up doing both: turning pro and teaching the skill and love of the game to others.
Golf professionals provide education and training to groups interested in learning the game or perfecting their technical skills. They can work at one golf course or freelance at several locations, conducting day schools for special groups and providing classes or one-on-one instruction for club members.
Every Canadian Professional Golfers’ Association (CPGA) professional must complete an apprenticeship program that includes a three-year Business or Golf Management diploma or a four-year university degree in business. This is followed by a four-year teaching program to help them to become expert instructors. Members are expected to constantly upgrade their skills to retain their membership in the CPGA.
Shiella is an advocate for women in golf: “There are a number of golf scholarships available for women — and 20 per cent of them are never claimed. Young women who have a talent for golfing may find they can play the game and have their education paid for at the same time.”
Her advice to people considering such a career is to realize that they have to work hard to be at an elite level, and then remember how they got there so they can pass their experiences along to those they are teaching.