TASS has taken the first steps towards helping European golf chiefs draw up a groundbreaking Dual Career Advice Service.

In the future players on the Ladies European Tour (LET) will be offered expert guidance on professional and personal development.

And Kirsty O’Connor, TASS Institutions Lead, flew to Germany this month to begin the research phase of the project.

“I was invited to attend the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters and talk to the players prior to the opening round,” explained O’Connor.

“During the trip I delivered a workshop to the rookie players where I explained the concept of Dual Career, its benefits and the importance of personal and professional development alongside golfing careers.

“The players completed a survey which provided an insight into their education background, current support network and resource availability, a self-evaluation of certain life skills, as well as their professional goals for the future and how they plan to achieve them.”

O’Connor – a talented golfer in her own right – spent day two conducting one-to-one interviews with more experienced members of the LET.

“The second group had been on the tour for some time and, in some cases, were considering careers after golf,” added O’Connor.

“I was able to establish the current needs of the players, as well as ask them to use the advantage of hindsight to look back and suggest what may have been useful to them as they progressed from being rookies to where they are now.

“The players were also asked to predict what kind of services and support may also be useful to them moving forward and ultimately when they start to plan for retirement.”

O’Connor will now develop a proposal for the LET’s Dual Career Advice Service based on similar programmes delivered at home and abroad.

LET Director of Development and Membership Mike Round added: “We want our members to have long and successful playing careers but studies into professional sportspeople suggest that investing in personal development whilst playing gives a more balanced life, can improve performance, helps to avoid mental health problems and prepares individuals for when their playing careers come to an end.

“In addition to the research being carried out by TASS the LET, through its membership of the Professional Players’ Federation, is learning about the education services and opportunities available to professional athletes in other sports.

“As part of the LET’s development strategy, the aim is to develop and deliver an advice service for LET members which would be a personalised so that it provides relevant advice to match the needs and aspirations of the player.”