Alumni Newsletter - April 2013
Apr 11, 2013
GAA Advisory Board Brings Together Voices From Across The Industry
In an industry always in need of fresh leadership, the seeds of promising new careers in golf are being sown at GAA. A key piece of this process is the advice passed down to students by some of the industry's leaders.
GAA recently convened its National Advisory Board at its Orlando campus prior to the PGA Merchandise Show in January. The attending luminaries from the golf industry shared ideas and stories about the past, present and future of the game with a panel of current students who are poised to enter the business themselves. The exchange centered on bringing the game to new heights of affordability, inclusion and fun.
"The level of discussion between our panel of fourth-semester students and advisory board is proof of the extent to which our program prepares students to become leaders in the golf industry," said new Golf Academy of America president Jim Hart. "We were also able to record much of the session and look forward to sharing it with current and future students."
Advisory Board member Perry Dickey's straight-talk proved informative and carried considerable weight—at a time when private clubs are struggling financially and dying out in places, the one he oversees, Newport Beach Country Club in Newport Beach, Calif., is thriving. It hosted the annual Toshiba Classic, one of the Champions Tour's best-attended events.
Todd Sones is one of two world-class instructors who not only serves on GAA's advisory board but has a formal relationship with the school. The Chicago-based teacher was mostly recently named to the "Top 50 Growth of the Game" list by his peers in Golf Range Magazine among other honors such as Top 100 Teachers in America as voted by Golf Magazine as well as one of Golf Digest's "Americas 50 Greatest Teachers."
The other high-level instructor on the Advisory Board is Brad Redding, a PGA Master Professional who gives lessons to dozens of students at GAA's Myrtle Beach, S.C. campus. Redding has been ranked numerous times among the top 100 teachers in America and has appeared on Golf Channel's "Golf Academy Live" and "Your Game Night."
Other Advisory Board members in attendance included the following:
- Steve Braley, PGA: noted golf club consultant and former executive with Landmark Golf Management
- Mark Darnell, PGA: retired head golf professional of Augusta National Golf Club
- Cathy Harbin, PGA: director of golf revenue for ClubCorp
- Brent Krause, PGA: general manager of Wynlakes Golf & Country Club in Montgomery, Ala.
- Steve Napoli, PGA: general manager of Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J.
- Jock Olson, PGA: vice president of ForeTeesOnline Reservation System
- Cindy Rarick, LPGA: former LPGA Tour player
- Jason Helman, CPGA: Canadian golf instructor and coach; Golf Academy of America alumnus
- Mike Tinkey: president of the National Golf Course Owners Association
"We are extremely fortunate to be able to learn from the perspective and collective experience of these men and women who have contributed so much to the golf industry," said Jim Hart. "From successful club managers like Perry Dickey to renowned instructors like Todd Sones and Brad Redding, our advisory board has decades of experience and offers an insider perspective on the golf industry that is of great benefit to our students."
Check Out Our Students
Orlando Students with Arnold Palmer and Others at Prestigious Events
About 175 GAA Orlando students participated in the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational held at Bay Hill Club & Lodge.
(L to R): Joe Wilson, Jonathan Lemons, Mr. Palmer, Charlotte Camponovo and Grant DeFilippo
First-, second- and fourth-semester students caddied in the Pro-Am for MasterCard Execs. Members of the third semester assisted with set up and operations of the Golf Shop and Merchandising Tent. Over 70 GAA students also assisted with many operations of the 10th Tavistock Cup held at Isleworth CC. This event, also televised on Golf Channel, is the most exciting "private golf tournament" in the world featuring many major champions, Ryder Cup team members and the #1 Professional Golfer in the World: Tiger Woods. GAA Orlando has been a participant of this event every year.
Golf Legend Tom Addis III is Guest Speaker for GAA San Diego
Past PGA President Tom Addis lll visited GAA San Diego recently to speak to students about the opportunities and obstacles in the industry. As the 29th president of The PGA of America and the executive director/CEO of the Southern California PGA Section, Addis is one of the most decorated PGA professionals in the association's past two decades and he provided GAA students with remarkable insight to the golf industry.
Addis has devoted his entire career to the game and business of golf and making the game better for everyone. He served as vice president of golf development for Full Swing Golf and director of golf at Singing Hills Golf Resort in San Diego, Calif. He is the owner and president of Medallion Golf Inc., a golf facility design, construction operations and management services company.
In 1972, Addis was elected to PGA membership. In two short years, was elected to the board of directors of the Southern California PGA Section, one of 41 PGA sections throughout the United States. He was also a member of the San Diego PGA Chapter board of directors through the same period. He is one of the very few PGA members who has served as president of each branch of PGA governance — chapter, section and national.
Tom is the recipient of some of golf's most prestigious national awards. In 1981 Tom received the PGA's Horton Smith Award for his contributions to improving educational opportunities for PGA professionals. In 1988 he was awarded the National Golf Foundation Joe Graffis award for contributions to the game of golf. In 1989, Tom received the highest award that can be bestowed on a PGA golf professional, the PGA Golf Professional of the Year. He is also a member of the Southern California PGA Hall of Fame.