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Student and Alumni Newsletter - March 2014

Mar 3, 2014

You Should Know

Congratulations Tim Eberlein

GAA Phoenix Campus Director Awarded at PGA Show

GAA Phoenix Campus Director Awarded at PGA Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 1998 grad Mischa Peter from Switzerland. Misha is A PGA Professional teaching full time in Switzerland.

Tim Eberlein recently achieved a final goal in a long list of accomplishments he set for himself and was presented with the Master Fitter Award from Henry Griffitts at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla. in January of this year.

Eberlein has been a certified fitter with Henry-Griffitts since 1991. This award recognized Eberlein for attending all of the Henry-Griffitts Training Schools, fitting more than 1,000 students, completing a research project/thesis, writing articles that were published nationally and locally on the subject of club fitting, and conducted education seminars on club fitting. Eberlein is the 61st person to receive this recognition.

Tim Eberlein is a PGA Master Teaching Professional and Campus Director for GAA Phoenix. This year, Eberlein is celebrating 20 years with the GAA and PGA of America.

He still remembers when he received his Master Professional status with the PGA in 2002. This was his first milestone since becoming a PGA Class 'A' member in 1994.

The second milestone in his career was when he received his MBA from the University of Phoenix in 2007.

Eberlein believes that you should always be trying to challenge yourself professionally and academically, regardless of your career goals and job title.

Today, Eberlein serves as the Education Chairperson for the Southwest PGA Section and received the Horton Smith Award for Education from the SWPGA in 2010. The final milestone on his list was to become a Master Fitter with Henry-Griffitts, a company that specializes in custom fitting through qualified teaching professionals throughout the world. Congratulations to Tim Eberlein for this noteworthy accomplishment!


What's Hot

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 1998 grad Mischa Peter from Switzerland. Misha is A PGA Professional teaching full time in Switzerland.

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 2004 graduate Walter Lund from Chile. Walter is a Teaching Professional in Chile.

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 1995 graduate Chad Kicker. Chad is Global Production Director, Golf Division, for Ogio International, Inc.

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 2006 graduate Dan Walker, Dan is the Head Professional at Killearn CC in Tallahassee, FL

Get an Inside Look at the 2014 PGA Merchandise Show
Campus Director Tim Eberlein, PGA Master Professional with 1997 graduate Roger Marcellus. Roger is the Course Manager and Superintendent at Quiet Pines Golf Course at Moody AFB

Whether you were able to attend or not, you’ll want to check out these fun photos Tim Eberlein shared of him with some of GAA’s grads that attended another great year at the 2014 PGA Show in Orlando this past January.


Check Out Our Grads

International GAA Grad Meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

International GAA Grad Meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

2004 GAA Phoenix Alum shared this great story and photos with Campus Director Tim Eberlein after attending the PGA Show in January.

After my graduation from the Academy in 2004, I went back to my country of origin, Chile, where I spent eight years teaching kids and adults alike. It was a very gratifying experience because I could put into practice the knowledge I received in the Academy to improve my students' game level.

I came to the U.S. to improve my knowledge of fitness and club fitting. I participated in numerous seminars hosted by the Titleist Performance Institute to sharpen my knowledge and skills about fitness.

Upon my arrival to the U.S., I started assisting one of the best club fitters and club makers of South Florida in the old course of Biltmore located in Coral Gables, Fla. There, I became an expert using the Trackman system and the Science & Motion Putting Lab.

During my stayed at Biltmore, I had the privilege of meeting world recognized TV personalities, movie stars, and singers. I also had the honor to meet in person one of the most powerful people in the world, the Vice President of the United States Joe Biden.

Biltmore was a very rewarding experience because I not only helped high profile people perfect their fitting, but I also had the opportunity to assist high skilled golf lovers, university teams, amateurs from around the world, and LPGA and PGA players with their fitting needs.

I have enclosed some of the pictures I took during my journey upon my graduation until today. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Best Regards,
Walter Lund

International GAA Grad Meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

One More Grad: "I got the job!"

One More Grad: I got the job!

2013 GAA Carolinas grad Ben McCormick has already landed himself a great job as Director of Golf at a course in Kentucky.

"Thank you both for being such excellent instructors," McCormick wrote in reference to his GAA instructors Eddie Brown and Brad Kirkman. "I wouldn't have taken this job if I didn't know everything you both taught me during my time at GAA."

McCormick's job comes complete with a condo on the 10th hole with all expenses paid. Not bad!

Along with his update, McCormick included the above photo with the postscript: "I’m putting these school books to use!"

San Diego Grad Translates Academy Successes to Custom Career

San Diego Grad Translates Academy Successes to Custom Career

Ryan Wakeham started his golf pilgrimage in San Diego at the young age of 32, transitioning from the hotel industry, which he was involved in since graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in Corporate Communication.

He attended the GAA San Diego from 2012-2013, where he served as a Peer Mentor and Class Representative, as well as graduating with honors.

Wakeham established a Membership Coordinator position, a brand new role, with JC Resorts, a proven leader in golf management and operation.

Wakeham is involved in growing and managing the sales database for the club, analyzing and reporting the R.O.I. of all golf marketing programs, making recommendations for future programs, building relationships with local businesses/realtors to initiate joint marketing programs, and assist with tournament operations.

The Words and Wisdom of a Phoenix Grad

The Words and Wisdom of a Phoenix Grad

Kris McCormack shares his story, opinions, and advice by answering the following questions. He currently is the Lead Club Fitting Specialist & Teaching Professional at The Legacy Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona. He graduated from the Phoenix Campus in Spring 2013.

How did you achieve your current position?
When I was first hired, I expressed my career goals with management and asked what steps I needed to take in order to achieve my desired position. Likewise, I took it upon myself to contact TaylorMade and various other manufactures to inquire what they had to offer for training, continuing education, and what it took to become a certified club fitting professional for their perspective brands. Less than a year after graduating, I have been promoted three times and now have a job that gives me the opportunity to do exactly what it is I love to do.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
I graduated from a traditional university years ago, and even had a career in finance for almost six years. However, I wasn’t happy and always had a passion for golf. My biggest influence has always been my family. After many long conversations with them, I made the decision to pursue my passion and make a living doing something that makes me happy.

How did Golf Academy of America help you to achieve your goals?
The GAA gave me the solid foundation I needed in order to know how to market myself and be successful in the golf industry. In addition, the instructors were extremely helpful in answering my questions and providing me with the one-on-one time that I needed to become a better instructor.

What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
I would tell them to figure out how to make yourself different and unique. It doesn’t matter what part of the business you get in, what matters is making a lasting impression on those you have an opportunity to work with. Own what you do, and make what you do your own. That is the best advice I would give anyone.

Are you currently a PGA member or seeking membership?
I am not a PGA member and have no plans on becoming one. The majority of companies I work with no longer look at the PGA membership as being an advantage. That being said, I see no justification in spending the extra money.


Check Out Our Students

GAA Phoenix Students Volunteer at Waste Management Phoenix Open

GAA Phoenix Students Volunteer at Waste Management Phoenix Open
Left: Brian Schamber washing balls - Right: View from inside picker on TPC driving range.

GAA Phoenix students had a great opportunity to experience a fabulous golf event by volunteering from Jan. 30 – Feb 2 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

The WM Phoenix Open is the largest professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour and TPC Scottsdale is a 36-hold golf complex with a capacity of 20,000, making it one of the main temporary golf stadiums.

This year’s Open was won by Kevin Stadler (-16, 268) who walked away with his first career PGA Tour victory and $1.116 million. Our students were up close and personal to the "Greatest Show on Grass," which had record attendance, perfect weather, and a star-studded leaderboard.

In addition to the great experience, our volunteers can feel good about assisting with an effort that has raised more than $60 million since 2004 for local charities.