Know Someone Planning to Attend Golf Academy of America? Here’s What You Should Know
Aug 30, 2018
Enrolling in Golf Academy of America is an important first step to launching a career in the golf industry. But what exactly should students and their families expect from their golf college experience?
For parents, spouses or others who know an incoming Golf Academy of America student, there may be some outstanding questions about the journey their loved one is about to take. Golf Academy of America Associate Director of Admissions Adam Riedel has some answers to some common questions.
What degree can you get from Golf Academy of America?
Graduates who complete the program receive an associate degree in golf operations and management.
How long does it take to complete an associate’s degree at Golf Academy of America?
Each Golf Academy of America location offers a 16-month program.
The program is divided into four 15-week-long semesters, and there are three semesters per calendar year. During each semester, a student will typically take eight classes, which add up to 15 credit hours.
“Even though it’s more classes, the course load is the same as a traditional university setting,” Riedel explains.
What are the class sizes like?
The number of students in each class varies based on the time of the year, but Riedel says the magic number tends to be between 20 and 25 students to a class.
“That fosters really good communication between the students and the instructor,” he observes. “The discussions become more involved. We get to dig deeper into the material.”
How much does it cost to attend?
Tuition at Golf Academy of America is $8,575 per semester or $34,300 total. This includes:
- Green fees for two 18-hole rounds per week
- Weekly tournament fees
- Instructional clinics
- Driving range membership
- Private lessons with PGA staff
Financial aid is available to those who qualify, and there are programs available outside of the school that can provide scholarships to students. Riedel says the best thing to do is to speak with one of the student finance representatives on campus to learn more about these options.
Does Golf Academy of America provide room and board?
Golf Academy of America does not provide room and board, but admissions representatives on each campus have identified affordable apartments, condominiums and houses that students can rent. All Golf Academy of America students live off campus.
“Many of our students are single, and we can help pair them up with a roommate. But then we also have folks that are bringing their entire families, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach,” Riedel says. “Each campus keeps a list of housing options, so that we can discuss those options with each student on an individual basis.”
Also check out Riedel’s Moving Checklist for Golf Academy of America Students.
Why do students attend Golf Academy of America?
Students enroll at Golf Academy of America with the goal of becoming successful in the golf industry.
“We teach everything from the basics of the golf swing, so that they can give lessons, all the way through the more intricate parts of running a facility, business management, staff management and other day-to-day business skills,” says Riedel.
What sort of academic support do students receive?
Each Golf Academy of America campus operates a little differently, but all have strong support systems, including the campus president, academic dean, and instructors. The instructors are there to make sure that their students are successful, so they should be the first resource for those who have questions or who may be struggling, says Riedel.
“Some campuses have study groups or tutoring sessions set up, while other campuses prefer to work in a more one-on-one environment where the student and the instructor get together and make things happen,” Riedel explains.
If my child is attending Golf Academy of America, how can I check on their progress?
One question Riedel often fields from parents is how to best check in on their student.
“First and foremost, you need to have good communication with your student while they are attending, but the academic dean is also a really good resource for parents while the students are here on campus,” says Riedel. “But that doesn’t mean that the parent can’t also pick up the phone and call the admissions rep who helped their student enroll. We’re always going to be there to answer questions or tell them where their child can go get their oil changed. If a student is struggling at any point, anybody that is on campus is going to step up and help them.”
While the campus will do everything it can to help parents get the information they need, parents and other family members should note that the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) limits what can be shared without the student’s permission.
What jobs can you pursue after graduating from Golf Academy of America?
Upon graduation, many graduates go on to work as teaching professionals, assistant golf professionals or head golf professionals. Others work in golf retail management, club fitting and repair, or even in golf media and marketing positions.
“It’s going to depend on the student and their goals, and it’s up to the student to work with their director of career development to find out what best suits their skillset,” says Riedel.
How much golf do students play?
Of course, one of the great benefits of attending Golf Academy of America is access to all the great golf! Each Golf Academy of America location offer students access to local golf courses and facilities surrounding its campus. During a typical week, two 18-hole rounds of golf are played. The first round is tournament play and the second round is open play.
Do you have to be a good golfer to attend Golf Academy of America?
One misconception Riedel finds is prevalent is that a student needs to be a good golfer to attend Golf Academy of America. That is not necessarily the case.
“We have students whose handicaps range from zero all the way up into the mid-20s,” he says. “We have quite a wide variety of golfing ability on our campuses.”
Additionally, students have the opportunity to learn from PGA professionals both in the classroom and on the course. Generally, a student will work with a specific pro on their campus, and the two will arrange a schedule of lessons to best meet the goals of the student for improving their game.
Read more about the best ways to improve your golf game from some of our seasoned instructors.
Can students work while attending Golf Academy of America?
Students don’t have to stop learning once they leave campus. In fact, they are encouraged to get part-time jobs.
“Any chance that our students have to build their resume is going to help them long-term,” Riedel says. “My recommendation is that they start with 15 hours a week.”
Riedel notes that everyone handles their course load differently, so it may take some adjustment to find the right number of hours. For some students, 15 hours could be too much, while others may be able to bump it up significantly.
“Of course, our number one priority is education, and we want to focus on that, but working is going to help them in the long run,” he says.
Are there volunteer opportunities for students?
Volunteering is strongly encouraged.
“We work with U.S. Kids Golf, First Tee and Special Olympics, and each campus has its own special volunteering opportunities as well,” explains Riedel. For example, Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach has volunteer opportunities at Monday After the Masters, while students at Golf Academy of America in Orlando have the opportunity to help out at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Still have questions? Try our Frequently Asked Questions, or contact Golf Academy of America’s admissions team at 800-342-7342.