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Golf Academy of America Advisory Board brings together voices from across the industry

Mar 26, 2013

PGA of America Luminaries, Club Managers and Golf Business Pioneers Share Ideas and Best Practices, Field Questions from Current Students

March 21, 2013, Birmingham, Ala. – In an industry always in need of fresh leadership, the seeds of promising new careers in golf are being sown at Golf Academy of America. A key piece of this process is the advice passed down to students by some of the industry's leaders.

Golf Academy of America, the world's leading two-year golf college recently convened its National Advisory Board at its Orlando campus prior to the PGA Merchandise Show back 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, last week.

Todd Sones is one of two world-class instructors who not only serves on Golf Academy of America'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 Golf Academy of America'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 new Golf Academy of America president 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."