As a Junior in High School, I had no clue what I wanted to go to college for. I loved sports and was a 3-season athlete in upstate NY. I thought I would go to school and become a Physical Education (Gym) teacher. One day my father was reading an article in the Wall Street Journal. He said, “Chris did you know that you could go to college and become a PGA Golf Professional?” I was intrigued, very intrigued.
I investigated the PGM Universities and applied to Coastal Carolina University. I was accepted into the PGM Program but decided to stay home and attend the University at Buffalo! I stayed home and worked at a local private country club, Transit Valley. Under PGA Head Golf Professional Timothy Fries, I had many roles at the club, first as an outside services employee, then as an Assistant Golf Professional and eventually as a Director of Instruction. Tim stressed to me the importance of PGA Membership in our industry and mentored me from the bag room all the way to my 1st Head Professional job.
My Marketing and Human Resources Degree from the University at Buffalo was instrumental in helping me own the golf shop at the facilities I was the Head Professional. After 8 years as a Head Golf Professional, I was presented with an opportunity to work for the PGA of America as a Career Consultant and Recruitment Specialist. I love what I do now and hope to work for the PGA of America for a long time.
That was a long story about my career in the golf industry, but an important one to show there are many paths to PGA Membership. The PGA of America Associates Program is one path the other is attending one of the 18 PGM Universities. There are also opportunities for minorities and diverse candidates through the PGA WORKS platform.
Path to Membership through PGA Associate Program:
To apply for membership with the PGA, you must first complete the PGM Associate Program by meeting the milestones listed below:
Player Ability Test (PAT) within 8 years of registration
Once these milestones are met, you can work for an eligible employer and register for the PGA PGM 3.0 Associate Program.
For more detailed information visit the PGA’s PGM Associate Program
Path through PGM Schools:
The PGA Golf Management University Program provides extensive classroom courses, internship experience and opportunities for player development in a four-and-one-half to five-year program for aspiring PGA Professionals. Offered at 18 universities nationwide, the University Program allows students to earn a degree in areas such as Marketing, Business Administration, Hospitality Administration, Recreation and Park Management, providing them with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the golf industry.
- Program is accredited by the PGA of America
- Students earn a bachelor’s degree in a golf industry compatible major
- Upon program completion, students can apply for PGA Membership
- Graduates currently have a 100% employment placement rate
Each participating university has specific entrance requirements. Contact the university’s dedicated PGA Golf Management University Program Director with questions about specific university curriculum, entrance requirements and financial information.
Opportunities through PGA WORKS
PGA WORKS is designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. Funded by PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry.
For more detailed information follow @PGAWORKS
If you have questions about the 2 million jobs in golf or would just like to discuss the 84 billion dollar golf industry feel free to reach out to Chris Kulinski, Career Consultant & Recruitment Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org