This interview was conducted by Kris Hart, the CEO of Nextgengolf with an NCCGA Student Leader Adam Englehorn from the University of Idaho PGM program in September 2015. The goal of this interview is to provide a real perspective for high school students thinking about entering college for professional golf management.
When did you decide you wanted to be a PGA Professional?
I decided I wanted to be a PGA Professional during my senior year of High School, when I was doing college searches. I love the game and immediately decided I wanted to grow the sport and give back. Luckily, University of Idaho is only 6 hours away from my hometown and offered the PGA Golf Management Program and I had the opportunity to stay in state.
Why did you choose the University of Idaho?
I chose the University of Idaho for a few reasons: in-state tuition, it's one of the top business colleges west of the Mississippi, its PGA Golf management program, and their outstanding Greek life!
While at school, what is the day to day of being a PGM program like?
A typical day starts with class till about 2PM (sometimes earlier, sometimes later). After that, a lot of the guys will try to get in a practice session at the range or a get a quick round in before dinner. Then its dinner, studying, hanging out with friends, and then bed. Repeat the next day.
How often do you play golf while at school?
I try to practice at least 3-4 times a week, and play once or twice... it all depends on my work schedule for that particular week.
What is the summer like being in a PGM program? Do you need an internship at a golf course?
A typical summer for a PGM major is an internship at a golf course, somewhere in the country, with a PGA Head Professional. Internships don’t have to be at golf courses though, they can be spent in Teaching Facilities, running tournaments through the AJGA or Jr. PGA.
Being a senior, what is the biggest surprise about the PGM program which you did not expect freshman year?
The biggest surprise to me is how many connections you make from just a single internship, and how far the PGM Program can take you in this industry. With PGA by your name after graduation, you are part of one of the world’s largest organizations, and its one big family, everyone seems to take care of each other.
What is your favorite thing about being in a PGM program?
I’d have to say all the friendships I’ve made - some of my best friends in college are in the PGM Program. Also, I have gained a new prospective on the game of golf, from seeing everything that goes into daily operations, tournament preparation, and teaching. Golf can be seen from many different angles, but being on the inside is an amazing experience.
What is your least favorite thing about being in a PGM program?
The standardized tests are my least favorite part of the program - definitely some of the hardest tests I have taken in college! Passing them is pretty satisfying... knowing your one step closer to becoming a Class ‘A’ Certified PGA Professional.
How do you think the golf industry can change for the better?
The golf industry is always changing whether its club technology, new courses, new programs issued from the PGA, but the thing that I believe will change the golf industry for the better is a big push in Jr. Golf and adapting to the Millennial lifestyle. (I can’t share my secret plans, don’t want them to be public information just yet)
What is your dream job as a PGA Professional? Do you have your first job after graduation?
My dream job would have to be Director of Instruction at PGA Headquarters. It’s been a dream of mine to work at PGA Headquarters ever since I sat through my first PGA seminar sophomore year! I don’t have my first job after graduation lined up yet, but there are a lot of possibilities. I have another 7 months of my internship to complete after the spring 2016 semester, and after that hopefully I will have found my new home and a golf facility I love being at.
We hope this article helps provide an insiders view of what a PGM program is like. Adam is a rising senior at the University of Idaho. If you have any more questions for Adam, feel free to contact him on Twitter - @Adamenglehorn