An outstanding year both on and off the course has paid off for Invercargill golfer Cody Harper, who was recognised with two awards at the PGA Trainee Awards dinner at Millbrook on Monday night.
Harper was recognised as the top Year 2 Trainee, giving him free fees for 2014 valued at $4900, and also posted the top playing average, earning a full Titleist equipment contract - an achievement Harper admits came as a surprise.
Harper is in his second year of a professional traineeship, splitting his workload between Invercargill and Jacks Point Golf Clubs. The past two years have involved hard work, but it's something Harper is relishing.
"There is a lot of paperwork, but it's all about time management," he said.
"(The awards) were definitely something I aimed towards, but it was a surprise - a very good surprise."
Cody is a trainee under local PGA professional John Griffin, who said the awards reflected Harper's commitment and dedication to achieve at the highest level both academically and practically since undertaking his trainee professional apprenticeship in January 2012.
"Cody has put in the hours of study and practical work over the past two years during and outside his rostered hours of work at Otatara golf centre and Jacks Point golf operations," he said.
"With having to co-ordinate his time between both to generate the required hours to complete his apprenticeship, whilst also carrying out the daily tasks at these golf operations, he has also been able to find time to keep his own playing level at the very top level. This was highlighted by a round of 62 - an unofficial course record at Invercargill Golf Course. Cody has also received tremendous support from Otatara professional Scott Riordan.
"I am sure Cody will be very motivated to come out on top of his class next year as he enters his final year of his trainee programme."
Harper is already playing an active role in Southland golf coaching at all levels, from schoolchildren to representative teams, and this week is with the Southland men's team as it contests the national interprovincial tournament on the North Shore.
- © Fairfax NZ News