Burford golf club’s Richard Talboys has become the Titleist PGA assistant of the year.

The former finance worker, 38, changed careers and it paid off as he finished top of his second year peers on the PGA foundation degree.

Talboys was recognised for his achievements at the annual PGA Graduation ceremony at the University of Birmingham where he collected the Lord Derby trophy and a £1,000 cheque.

Having quit golf – at least twice, Talboys said the support of his wife, Helen and his boss, PGA professional Mike Ridge had been vital.

“I was shocked when I found out – it was a real bolt out the blue,” he said. “I have been playing golf since I was 13, but I gave up two or three times.

“The last time I gave up it was for eight years.

“I got back playing again and having worked in finance for 15 years, which I didn’t really enjoy, I decided to do something I wanted to.

“I started at hotel course and rose to golf manager after 18 months, at which point they put me through the PGA course.

“After a year I moved to Burford to work with Michael and he’s been fantastically supportive.”