Melton Golf Club: Former Notts cricketer becomes new club pro

Alec McKinlay was brought up in Beeston and still plays club cricket for boyhood club Attenborough EMN-170215-085047002
Alec McKinlay was brought up in Beeston and still plays club cricket for boyhood club Attenborough EMN-170215-085047002

While adept on the fairways, Melton Golf Club’s new PGA professional Alec McKinlay is equally at home at the crease.

Alec made the short journey from Stapleford Park to replace Dan Bailey who returned to Lutterworth last month after almost three years at Melton.

Alec McKinlay spent three years as golf pro at Stapleford Park before making the short move to Meltom GC EMN-170215-084946002

Alec McKinlay spent three years as golf pro at Stapleford Park before making the short move to Meltom GC EMN-170215-084946002

The multi-talented sportsman was a latecomer to golf and right up into his late teens still held out hopes of a future at Trent Bridge.

“I didn’t take up golf until I was 19 or 20,” he said.

“Cricket was my 100 per cent commitment until I was about 18. I went to Australia to play cricket for a year which was great, and when I came back I decided I wanted to pursue other avenues.”

A promising batsmen, Alec represented Nottinghamshire through the age group sides and into the academy and played a handful of Second XI games before deciding a change of summer sports was needed.

“I was hoping that cricket would be the career path, but it didn’t really happen so I looked for other things to do,” he added

“I have a good eye for a ball and good hand-eye co-ordination so going from cricket to golf wasn’t a massive step and I could do both to a decent level.”

Alec completed a golf and leisure management degree at De Montfort University, in Lincoln, He then progressed to a PGA foundation degree in business management at Birmingham University while working as an assistant at Trent Lock Golf Centre from 2001.

His first professional job came at Maywood Golf Club before moving on to Belton Woods, near Grantham, and then Stapleford Park where he has spent the last three years.

He said: “At Belton and Stapleford it was more of a management role so it’s nice to come back into more of a club professional role which is where it all began for me.

“There will be more coaching now and getting involved in club competitions and the day-to-day running of the club.

“These days as a club professional you have to flexible and multi-skilled.

You have to understand retail, be on top of the membership side, and the coaching side; it’s not just about the golf aspect anymore.

“You have to think about different revenue streams to make a successful business and assist the members in running the club because it’s a very cutthroat industry at the moment.”

Now 40, with a young family at home in Rothley, Alec is also keen to develop budding young talent at Melton, carrying on the good work of predecessor Neil Curtis, as well as encourage non-members to play.

“I’d like to build up the junior section and get some more yougn blood into the club and grow the membership as a whole,” he added.

“There is a really strong membership of about three to four hundred, and while most clubs have been losing membership, here they have been sustaining and even increasing it.”

* Golf tuition packages are available for all abilities from newcomer to scratch and single-figure golfers.

Call Alec and his team on (01664) 569629 for more information or email alecmckinlay@hotmail.co.uk