Advanced PGA Professional
Was born in Fife Scotland, in a "wee" village just outside of St Andrews the Home of Golf. Kris initially in his young life was an avid hockey player. Not knowing it a fateful accident would lead Kris to his true passion golf and this connection between hockey and golf would spark his move to Canada. Kris says "as a young 12 year old I loved hockey, but I only practiced golf occasionally with my "Di" , this is Scottish for granddad. His Gran would kill him if he said it any other way, but it would be his "Di" that would fuel his passion for the game of golf.
Kris was playing hockey and during the game his skate lodged and he broke his ankle. Being the energetic kid he was, Kris was bored and so decided to put a plastic bag over his cast and play his first game of golf with his younger brother Blaine an already avid golfer. On his first hole at Auchterderan GC a long par three Kris hit his first shot on to the green and close to the hole and was hooked forever.
Kris started his amateur golf at Thornton GC and then became a member at St Andrews Links the Home of Golf. He had very successful amateur and professional playing career before realizing that his true passion was helping others achieve their golfing dreams. Anyone who knows Kris knows how personally he invests in his student success.
Kris has a strong playing prowess with multiple tournament wins, such as, the Scottish Fife Men's Provincial Championships, victories in Multiple Faldo Series events culminating in winning the Faldo Series order of merit. He also played and made the cut in the Scottish PGA in 2 consecutive years which was held at the 2014 Ryder Cup venue, Gleneagle.
Although Kris was a strong player, as mentioned, it's the next step in his education that he believes is his most valuable asset. After his playing career Kris join The PGA in Britain. This is the founding PGA and is credited as the leader in Golf Professional Education. All full members of the PGA in Britain must complete the Full Degree level Education offered in conjunction with Birmingham University. Kris excelled in his education and was awarded the Professional of the Year award in education for 3 consecutive years after achieving the highest mark in the entire country each year. This culminated in him being awarded the Thom Stewart Award for Excellence in Education.
After finishing his education Kris became the Head Teaching Professional at Burntisland Golf Club in Scotland, the 10th oldest club in the world. Pictured is Kris with one of his so called students "Old Jimmy" who in this picture is an incredible 94 years old and still walks the golf course and maintains a handicap of 14. Kris's says " I say so called student because as much as I may have taught Jimmy some swing ideas. I think he taught me way more about life and how to conduct myself and the respect that should be shown in golf. This man is a medical marvel and to anyone who meets him they will agree he epitomizes the word gentleman. When friends travel with me to Scotland we always play with Old Jimmy and he amazes them not only with his golf talent but the endless real life tales he has to tell, he could almost become one of Scotland's must see tourist stops". One of Kris's former students Mixu Paatelainen who is an former professional football (soccer) player and Finnish national team coach always joke that Old Jimmy is famous in Scotland, Finland and Canada, because both him and Kris always talk about him. Mixu Jokes that the Finnish FA know Old Jimmy better than they know him.
Along with old Jimmy, Kris credits another must mention friend Don West or "Westy" as he's known in Scotland with helping him develop in his young career. Kris says Westy is another true gentleman and considering he is 70+ and has a handicap of 2 is almost if not equally as impressive as Old Jimmy. Kris states "both of these men have played big parts in my life as a young golf professional. They have given me their time, their experience and the way in which these men are received by others is unbelievable. But most of all they gave me their friendship. They have taught me so much respect and considering what they have lived through help instill in me a good work ethic, no job seems hard to what these men have lived through. Jimmy used to say “Kris, life is easy, living it's the hard part".
These stories highlight what separates golf from any other sport, a young man and two "slightly more experienced" men established a great friendship that has survived years, even over international borders. Golf's greatest gift is that it can bring generations together and foster friendships that may never have otherwise existed.
At Burntisland, under the watchful eye of highly respected Head Professional Paul Wytrazek, Kris was allowed to develop his skills. Kris developed his own very successful academy called the Kris McGowan Golf School. Kris worked with player of all levels from the complete beginner golfer, elite club golfers and fellow playing professionals and continued to search for more education.
Kris always had a desire to travel and actually live in another country. Because of his hockey roots he had friends in Canada and decided he'd like to try living here. His first Position was teaching professional at the London Hunt and Country Club in London Ontario. At the Hunt Club Kris became a very popular member of staff and developed a large following of students in only his first year. Sadly due to Kris's work permit expiring he had to return home for almost 9 months before he could acquire another. Although Kris's entire family lives in Scotland, which is the part of living in Canada he finds hard, he had really taken to the Canadian way of life and loves living in Canada. After returning to Canada for the second time he started teaching for the Gary Bos Academy in St. Catherine’s and after a successful summer acquired a position at Golftown in Kitchener as the Head Professional. It was here that Kris started to build his reputation as a teacher in Ontario. After 3 years at Golftown Kris had around 1200 Students, some traveling hours to work with him but his desire to offer something greater and more advantageous for his students was still driving him. It was during his time at Golftown Kris realized how passionate Canadians where for golf and that even in the harsh winters we have they would strive to improve their game. It seemed to Kris as evident in hockey that Canadians had figured out how to survive the cold. With the advancement of launch monitors and the accuracy that they can now produce Kris was convinced he could develop a Golf Training facility that would be worthy of that Canadian dedication. After months and years or developing, testing and scrutinizing equipment what you have now is Power Golf Performance Centre.
It is the mission of the Centre and Kris personally, to help everyone who becomes a member to achieve their golfing goals and make those dreams a reality.
If you would like to talk to Kris follow the link below