PGM Students Make Connections in Florida
The University of Central Oklahoma’s Professional Golf Management students traveled to Florida for the biggest Professional Golf Association event of the year from Jan. 23-26.
The PGA Merchandise Show has multiple well-known golfers, such as Michael Breed, John Daly and the whole cast of the golf show “Morning Drive”. It hosts golf companies that display new products and holds seminars for learning opportunities and finding new trends and innovations in the industry. It also provides PGM students with opportunities to network and gain internships.
“It has gotten me different internships where I got to go places like Colorado and North Carolina,” said Griffin Grubb, PGM student and professional golfer. “The places I’ve interned can help me find a place to work when I graduate.”
Grubb said the PGA event helps students figure out what to do and where to go when they become professionals.
“It can really change the future of students in the PGM program,” Grubb said.
The PGA event also gives students a chance to see new innovations for golf, as well as the chance to try new products on the market.
“It’s really cool to see all the stuff and learn about the new technology or trends that are impacting the business,” said PGM student Garrett Marler. “I think it helps us keep a pulse on what we can excel at and what can set us apart from other students to help get an internship or job.”
UCO’s PGM students have been able to attend the merchandise show since 2009. Although the ticket price for the show is $400 and not necessarily for the public, the UCO PGM students were able to attend at no cost other than the plane ticket and hotel fees due to being PGA Apprentices.
“I met a guy there [at the PGA event] once and went to Pinehurst for a six-month internship,” Grubb said.
Marler said there’s more to PGM than simply running a business.
“The PGM [program] is a way to become a PGA Pro,” Marler said. “A lot of people think that we are going to play golf professionally when we graduate, but actually we are just going to be running golf courses, teaching lessons or numerous other things in golf as a business.”
Grubb said that his goal is to teach people how to play golf or improve their golf game.
To get into the PGM program there are a number of expectations to be fulfilled, which include being a 12 handicap, a golfer’s average score, or less. A PGA professional needs to write a letter of recommendation to the program for certification. During the program, students have to pass the Player’s Ability Test, which determines if a person has the skills to teach golf.
The program is directed by Bob Phelps and is one of 18 programs accredited by the PGA of America. PGM is a 4.5-year plan with two major components in Bachelor of Business Administration and PGA of America’s Professional Golf Management Program with a 100% job placement, according to the program’s website.