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Student and Alumni Newsletter - February 2015

Feb 18, 2015




Golf has a healthy presence in high school sports, with more than 150,000 students playing on a school-sanctioned team. But only 12,000 players are active in varsity golf at the collegiate level. The National Collegiate Club Golf Association (NCCGA) is a place for those who don't play varsity golf in college, but desire to continue competing. Golf Academy of America in Dallas sponsors an NCCGA club team.

The NCCGA program is run by NextGenGolf, which focuses on helping grow the game for 18-29 year olds. More than 300 teams are found at colleges and universities across the country, with 1,500 club players active in the program.

NCCGA divides the country into 27 regions. Each region has two tournaments per semester. Winning qualifies a team for the national championship.

Golf Academy of America in Dallas is a part of the Texas region, according to Mike McDonald, Campus Director.

"Golf Academy of America students are accustomed to a competitive environment," he said. Each week, students divide into groups and take to the greens in hopes of improving their score.

"The NCCGA introduces our top players to a higher level of tournament competition outside of our own students," McDonald said. "It's also done wonders for our comradery on campus. Because you have eight players in the regional tournament, and you count the low five scores, everyone is pulling for each other."

McDonald also noted that the NCGAA is a social network where friendships and professional relationships are built. "We are competing against like-minded golfers," he said. "It's networking for our students, and also an opportunity to introduce our program to students from other schools."

Golf Academy of America in Dallas has appointed two of its teaching professionals to be coaches for the NCCGA squad. David Estabrook is one of them. "The NCCGA is exactly what the students were looking for competitively speaking," he said. "It gives the players something extra to work towards."


Congratulations to Our Award-Winning Staff Members!

Three of our staff members have won some very prestigious awards and we couldn't be more proud. In no particular order, here is their exciting news:

Tim Eberlein

Tim Eberlein, campus director at Phoenix, received the Horton Smith Award from the PGA for the Southwest Chapter. Tim has served as the Education Chairperson for four years, coordinating more than 40 education seminars for PGA Professionals and Apprentices. The PGA Horton Smith Award recognizes the PGA Professional who is a model educator of PGA Golf Professionals. This award is designed to give special recognition to an individual PGA Professional for outstanding and continuing contributions to professional education.

Alan Flashner

Alan "Flash" Flashner, Career Services Director for Orlando, received the Bill Strausbaugh award for the North Florida Section, East Central Chapter. The Bill Strausbaugh Award is designed to recognize PGA Professionals who by their day-to-day efforts have distinguished themselves by mentoring their fellow PGA Professionals in improving their employment situations and through service to the community.

Brendon Elliot

Brendon Elliot won the Horton Smith award for the North Florida Section, East Central Chapter. Brendon also won the "Growth of the Game" Award from the Golf Range Association of America.

Myrtle Beach Campus Has New Location

Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach

Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach has announced the opening of its new location on Mr. Joe White Avenue in the heart of Myrtle Beach as of Jan. 26, 2015 to provide a new and improved learning environment for those eager to jump into the golf industry.

The new 25,000 square-foot facility features:

  • A 7,500 square-foot practice area
  • Southwest® Greens putting surfaces
  • Three aboutGolf® simulators
  • A SAM Puttlab®
  • Trackman® swing and ball flight analysis radar
  • An extended teaching area and club fitting area

The convenient location is also near several of Myrtle Beach's top golf courses as well as apartment complexes for students to live nearby.

"We hope this new facility will provide a unique education experience for our students to pursue careers in a field that they love," said Keri Burnett, director of marketing for Golf Academy of America. "Whether they are seeking a career in golf course management, tournament organization, coaching others in the sport or playing professionally, we're excited to equip our students with everything they need to become successful professionals in the industry."


Grad Succeeds on Asian Tour

Brett Munson

Brett Munson, a 2007 graduate of Golf Academy of America in Orlando, is a professional golfer on the Asian Development Tour. In 2014, he was an ADT top-five finisher on order of merit, and is ranked internationally. "The Golf Academy of America allowed me to hone my game by competing in tournaments every week," Munson said. "I worked with PGA teaching professionals, pros who have competed on a professional level. Access to state-of-the-art equipment allowed me to tinker and work on my game." Munson has earned an Asian Tour card for 2015.

Watch this video interview with Brett.


How did you achieve your current position?
I finished in the top five on order of merit for the Asian Development Tour. (I would compare this to the Tour in the United States.) Because of my rank, I received an Asian Tour Card for the next season.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
My father was my biggest influence. He introduced me to the game at a young age.

How did Golf Academy of America help you achieve your goals?
Golf Academy of America allowed me to hone my game by competing in tournaments every week. It allowed me to work with PGA Teaching Professionals, especially with pros who have competed on the professional level. Access to state-of-the-art equipment allowed me to tinker and work on my game.

What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
You get out of it what you put into it. There is no substitute for hard work.

Grad Employed as Assistant Golf Pro

Alex Dysland

GAA graduate Alex Dysland answers some of our questions about what he's doing now and how the Golf Academy helped him get there. He currently works as the Assistant Golf Pro at Woodholme Country Club in Pikesville, MD.

Tell us about your duties.
I oversee the outside management and assign the caddies to the members who ask for one. I make sure all the outings are set up and prepared.

How did the Golf Academy prepare you for your current position?
The Academy gave me an all-around firsthand look at what I should expect going into the golf industry. The Academy prepared me for every aspect of the job. There's not one day that I don't use what I learned from the Academy.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
My dad. Ever since he took me out to the 9-hole course and just let me hit balls while he played. I fell in love with the game ever since. Who wouldn't want to do what they love for a career?

Talk about your career accomplishments since graduation.
I feel the expansion of my knowledge of the business is my accomplishment. I've learned so much in the first year from the outside management part to being in the sop and placing orders and creating tee sheets and running the outings.

What are your career goals and how to you think your GAA education is helping you achieve them?
My career goals are to get more involved in the junior golf aspect of the program and try to get involved with the program. The Academy will help because it taught me the proper way to teach the game and explain it in a concept that even a kid could understand.