Denis Pugh - Biography

By Denis Pugh


Denis became a professional golfer at age of 17 in 1972 and within two years, as a PGA member, was regularly qualifying for events on the European Tour. However, he started to make a living by substitute his playing with a Teaching Assistant's job at the busiest Wanstead Golf Club in London.

But the playing bug struck again and Denis qualified for tour school and regained his card in 1978/79/80. Although making numerous cuts on the tour there was no real money so Denis accepted a position with a Florida based sports management company. For the next two years, Denis learned a tremendous amount about coaching from various golf sources plus learned firsthand from Orlando based instructors David Leadbetter and Phil Ritson.

Splitting his time between management and learning coaching techniques Denis made a discovery about himself, he was the world's worst sports manager plus the urge to continue his professional golf career still burned within.

In 1982 and 1983, Dennis had his third and final attempt as a Tour Pro on the Florida minitours. This was highlighted by a win at a north Florida PGA event and in 1982 an invited to play in the Disney Classic event on the USPGA Tour in Florida.

However, in 1983 when expenses exceeded income Denis put to rest his dream of playing for a living and returned to England. He accepted the position as a club professional at Wanstead Golf Club. For the next five years, Denis combined retailing, teaching and the politics of golf club life.

During his time in Florida, Denis had built up a friendship with David Leadbetter which culminated in him assisting in the development of the David Leadbetter Golf Academies in Europe. Denis now realized that he wanted teaching to be a full time profession and joined the European Tour course at Quietwaters, located in Essex, England.

Unfortunately, after three years of development, the Quietwaters project ran into financial difficulties thus leading to the closure of the golf academy.

This set back gave Denis the opportunity to appraise his future and he decided it was time to leave the Leadbetter organization and become a truly independent golf instructor. After leaving Leadbetter's academy, Denis quickly opened up his own golf academy at the Warren Golf Club in Danbury. The club is owned by the Durham family and it's scenic beauty has provided a fitting backdrop for Denis' teaching career. For the first time since becoming a PGA member, Denis gained both financial stability and professional recognition. As of January 1, 2000 Denis was named the Head Professional at Wisley Golf Club located in Surrey, England. This "newly" designed golf club is considered one of Europe's most prestigious clubs and Denis is extremely excited about this new business venture.

With his newly found professional status, Denis was invited to speak all over the world which included him as a keynote speaker in 1992 at the USPGA conference in San Francisco, California. Denis has become the most requested speaker at European teaching conferences, appearing at every one of the six events held since 1990. His other appearances include PGA's of Britain, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, China & Hong Kong, Finland and New Zealand.

The conference stage gave Denis an ideal platform for TV appearances and he quickly established a niche golf market at Sky Television. Denis was known for his for his relaxed yet detailed approach to swing analysis and tour coaching perspective.

His media works includes the following engagements:

  • 1989-1992 Contributor Golf World
  • 1994-1995 Contributor Todays Golfer
  • 1996-1999 Contributor Golf Monthly
  • Articles in Australian Golf Digest, Asian Golfer, German Golfsport
  • Cover of German Golf Journal April 1999
  • 1993 Television commentary Australian TV
  • 1995 Talk Show host / New Zealand radio
  • 1997/98/99 Studio Guest commentary SKY GOLF US TOUR. 42 appearances at 19 events
  • 1998 Studio Guest SKY NEWS. 3 appearances
  • 1999 Studio Guest SKY GOLF EXTRA. 3 appearances
  • 1999 Instructional segments SKY GOLF EXTRA

The "Written Word," as a vehicle for his teaching concepts, has proved successful with articles appearing in Golf World, Today's Golfer and Fore Golf. Denis has now joined Golf Monthly as a staff teacher and also a monthly double golf feature as well.

Golf schools bring a number of people together to enjoy the learning experience and Denis brings his unique brand of swing knowledge, common sense and good humor to this environment. Regular visits to Germany are now a fixture in his summer coaching schedule.

In 1991, Denis was recruited to coach by the Italian Golf Federation. For five years, he headed the tee coaching scheme that identified and developed the six Italian Tour members that followed Constantino Rocca on to the European stage.

The Audi German Team followed suit and secured his teaching services that assisted both Thomas Gogele and Heinz Peter in gaining their individual professional European Tour status.

The experience provided by Apollo, and now MacGregor in sponsoring the new players training week in Spain, has allowed Denis a unique insight into what makes an outstanding young talent into a tour winner. Since 1990, he has contributed by this week to over $50 million worth of prize money won.

His most published work is as personal coach to over 150 Tour Pros since 1988. He can list numerous victories around the world professional tours by players using his coaching.

In 1997, one such player was Europe's Colin Montgomerie, who retained Denis services for that season. Monty went on to secure a fifth money title and only Ernie Els second shot at the 71st hole at Congressionals' U.S. Open prevented Monty from his first major tour victory.

The only remaining professional goal that Denis has is to achieve is to coach a player who wins a major. Whilst under his supervision he is confident that this will be achieved in the new millennium.



  • 1972-1975 Assistant Golf Professional Thorndon park Golf Club, Essex
  • 1975 Qualified PGA Membership
  • 1975-1976 Teaching Assistant Wanstead Golf Club, London
  • 1977-1979 European Tour Card holder
  • 1980 Client Manager International Sports Management London UK and Orlando USA
  • 1981-1982 Associate International Sports Management Golf Course Development Ocala USA
  • 1983-1988 Club Professional Wanstead Golf Club, London
  • 1987 Owner "GOLFLINE" telephone golf instruction
  • 1989-1991 Golf Director Quietwaters, Essex
  • 1992-1999 Principal Instructor / The Warren Golf Academy, Essex

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