Buies Creek, N.C.—Assistant Director Ryan Dailey leans back in his chair, happy to explain the advantages of Campbell University’s PGA Golf Management program over other programs in the country. PGA certified in 1999, the Campbell program was one of only a handful of golf management programs of its kind at that time. Although there are a total of 20 programs today, Campbell definitely has the edge, Dailey said.
“It is the only PGA program in the country to offer a joint bachelor and master’s degree in Business Administration, the opportunity to get hands-on experience running a real golf facility and two unique instructional certification opportunities,” said Dailey. “Of the 20 schools located in the United States, there is no doubt in my mind that our graduates are the best prepared to succeed in the golf industry.”
Dailey cites graduate Wes Roberts (‘09) as a good example. Upon graduation, Roberts accepted a position as the Assistant Professional at Sebonack Golf Club in South Hampton, N.Y., one of the Northeast’s finest facilities. Almost immediately, Roberts was entrusted with a number of responsibilities that a more seasoned professional might handle. He served as lead Junior Instructor, prepared for tournaments and served as chief calligraphist for all outings and events. He was also heavily involved with the sales and inventory control of the golf shop, which does approximately $750,000 in business over a six-month season.
“Without the guidance, instruction and support of the entire Campbell PGA Golf Management program, there is absolutely no way I could have made the transition from student to professional as smoothly as I have,” Roberts said. “Campbell provided me with the best opportunity to achieve the goals I had set forth when I chose the golf industry as my career path. With internship opportunities from coast to coastand a staff that truly cared about my individual success, there is no doubt that Campbell molded me into the golf professional that I am today.”
The PGA Golf Management program is designed to prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities in the golf industry, from general manager of a golf course to Director of Golf, Head Professional, Teaching Professional and sales representative. The proliferation of A-list internships and an outstanding placement record are important program benefits, Dailey added.
“One hundred percent of our graduates are placed within three months of graduation. That is an outstanding record by anyone’s standards,” said Dailey. “And we’ve got a great selection of internships throughout the country, from Pebble Beach, Ca. to the eastern most tip of Long Island, N.Y.”
The fact that Campbell students perform two long internships of six and seven months, rather than three months, is a plus for attracting major facilities across the United States, Dailey explained. The higher end facilities allow the interns more opportunities to learn and grow if they are present for more than three months. These opportunities grow into job opportunities down the road, which is the main goal of the program.
The 3/2 BBA/MBA degree program through Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business is another opportunity Campbell offers. It allows undergraduate students majoring in any one of the business school’s degree programs to apply for admission to the graduate program in business at the end of their junior year. By adding two semesters to their program of study, students are eligible to receive both BBA and MBA degrees simultaneously.
“We believe the business background is very important for the golf management major,” said Dailey. “Although some schools don’t emphasize business knowledge, we feel is a crucial element of success.”
In addition, students receive course credit for managing Campbell’s 27-hole championship golf courses, a chance for real-world experience that no other program offers, Dailey pointed out. They are also given the opportunity to become certified by the Titleist Performance Institute as golf fitness professionals and by The Golfing Machine as Authorized Instructors.
“The opportunity to help run Keith Hills Golf Course and obtain teaching certification from TPI and The Golfing Machine are unique to Campbell,” said Program Director Ken Jones. “These experiences allow our graduates and interns to have a positive impact in the golf industry right away.”
Michael Perry (’07) agrees. “The Professional Golf Management Program at Campbell University prepared me to enter the golf industry and fulfill the countless roles required of a PGA Professional immediately,” Perry said. “As I grow each day in my career, I can always trace my success back to the faculty, my fellow students, and my experience at CU. The education, mentoring, and support I received were top-notch, and I am proud to be a Campbell Alum.” Perry is the general manager of The Golf Club of Florissant, Billy Caspar Golf Management, in Florissant, Mo.
The Campbell PGA Golf Management program has graduated 136 students since its establishment in `1999. There are currently 177 student enrolled in the program as of August 2010.
Photo Copy: PGA Golf Management graduate Wes Roberts.