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EKU PGA Golf Management Students Participate in 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando

EKU PGM alumni

EKU’s PGA Professional Golf Management program was able to provide a number of students with the opportunity to attend the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show for the fifth consecutive year during the fourth week in January. The Professional Golfers Association of America sponsors the PGA Merchandise Show which serves as a multipurpose business platform featuring over 1,000 vendors representing every business sector of golf.

Typically 15-25 EKU students make the trip each year. However, this year marked the largest group yet, as 32 students made the trip down to Orlando, Fl., for the show. Golf industry leaders addressed key issues, including educational seminars and relevant best practices, as well as the golf employment initiative to promote jobs within the industry and provide resources to match job applicants with potential employers.

Students and faculty had a packed regimen throughout the show beginning on Wednesday with Demo Day. The Eleventh Annual Demo Day gave them an opportunity to see, feel, and test the latest in technology advancements by leading manufacturers in the golf business. Friday and Saturday featured numerous educational seminars throughout the day. These seminars covered topics such as instructional techniques, merchandising and new technology, methods for running tournaments, as well as many others.

Ross Lingenfelder, EKU’s Recruiting Coordinator and Instructor for Player Development, said that attending the PGA Merchandise Show allows faculty members to keep up to date with what is happening in the golf industry in regards to technology and education. The show gave students an inside look at the business aspect of golf and provided them with insight and knowledge about the industry that will benefit them later on in their coursework.

When asked about what he liked best at the show, Alex Poley, a senior from Centerville, Oh., responded, “My favorite part of the show was going to the different vendors with future bosses and buying merchandise that will be used for the upcoming season.”  Attending the show has been beneficial to PGM students in their careers as they are given the opportunity to talk with the nation’s leading merchandisers in every business sector of golf and build connections.

The most beneficial aspects of attending the PGA Merchandise Show are the networking opportunities for both faculty and students. “Attending the PGA Show gives the faculty the opportunity to be in contact face to face with potential employers for our students,” said Lingenfelder,” and we are able to serve as a liaison in the hiring process by arranging interviews for job opportunities.” Poley also mentioned that the prospect of interviewing for internships is often the most exciting opportunity for PGM students at the show.  Not only does attending the show give students a chance to interview for internships, it also places them in the center of the golf industry and is essential to finding a job.

Along with employment opportunities, the show also provides an excellent opportunity for networking with fellow PGA professionals and maintaining connections, as Mr. Lingenfelder pointed out. Students were given the chance to attend luncheons on Thursday and Friday. These luncheons were only offered to current PGM students and gave them the opportunity to meet with past presidents and the board of directors for the PGA of America. The PGM program also hosted a reception for its alumni for the second consecutive year. The reception provided a forum to stay connected with other former students located throughout the country and share their experiences at their new jobs as well as a few laughs. 

In 2006, Eastern Kentucky’s PGA Golf Management program became the 18th school to be accredited and is one of only 19 programs in the United States. Eastern Kentucky University's PGA Golf Management program is an option within the College of Business and Technology's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business. The College's School of Business is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). The PGM program produces PGA members prepared to enter the competitive environment of the golf industry by offering a comprehensive business education. Students are provided with a complete PGA curriculum, golf facility access, and job placement assistance.

Written by – Nicholas W. Vicini, Graduate Assistant in the CBT Dean’s Office

Published on January 30, 2013

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