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Student and Alumni Newsletter - October 2014

Oct 22, 2014


Congratulations to Alumnus Ricky Parker!

Congratulations to Alumnus Ricky Parker!

Congratulations to Ricky Parker who is now the Nike Test Analyst for the Nike Oven.

Nike was no stranger to golf in 1998, having already put world class footwear on the feet of some of the game's best players for over a decade. But the time had come to go all in. Nike Golf was officially born, and it wasn't long before a dream team of club and ball designers was assembled to form what would eventually become The Oven.


Alumnus Now Teaching Pro at Faldo Golf Center

Watch the video Scott shared about his career path

Scott Hall

How did you achieve your current position?
Upon graduation from Golf Academy of America in Myrtle Beach in 2008, I accepted a position at Evansville Country Club in Evansville, Ind. I knew that to get ahead in the golf business, I had to surround myself with educated, experienced and passionate professionals who were willing to help me find my way. ECC had a pedigree of great instructors who came along before I got there--Jim Flick, Chuck Cook, and Mike Reynolds just to name a few. As an Assistant, Mr. Reynolds gave me the opportunity to teach as much as I could. The membership was very accepting, and I found out quickly that my passion was for instruction and helping others achieve their goals. I spent a lot of time with top instructors in my off time and read and watched as many swings as I could. I still do. Once I achieved a certain amount of experience and confidence, I began looking for teaching opportunities. Mr. Reynolds put me in touch with Burt Baine, General Manager of Greenbrier Golf Operations. I interviewed with Mr. Baine, Sir Nick Faldo and Keith Wood (who is Faldo's Lead Instructor) and I was eventually offered the position.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
The biggest influence on my golf career would come from my family. My father passed away from brain cancer when I was 21. He was, and is still, known as a great coach in Southern Kentucky. After his passing, I realized the mark he left on the world by helping so many kids achieve their goals. I believe it was his love for others and his competitive spirit that has made me travel the path I have chosen.

How did Golf Academy of America help you to achieve your goals?
Golf Academy of America was a very unique experience for me. I truly believe it was one of the greatest decisions that I could have made at that point in my life. The education process at the Academy is a lot like the game of golf, in the respect that you get out of it what you put in. They provided great information with excellent professionals. The relationships and real world experiences that the Golf Academy of America presented me is what I cherish the most.

What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
The Golf Professional wears many hats and playing golf is just one of them. Always set long-term and short-term goals for yourself and your career and keep pushing to achieve them. The golf business can be very difficult, but very rewarding.

Are you currently a PGA member or seeking membership?
I am currently a PGA Apprentice and have a goal to achieve full membership before 2015.

If so, what level are you in the program?
Level 2 PGA Apprentice


Dallas Students Participate in NCCGA

Dallas Students Participate in NCCGA

Dallas campus participated in the NCCGA (National Collegiate Club Golf Association) tournament outside of the Dallas Metroplex at Cross Timbers Golf Course in Azle, TX on Sept. 27 & 28. GAA came in second just behind University of Texas at Austin. Team members included:

  • Alex Parker
  • Brian Burnett
  • Ian Morehouse
  • William Pearson
  • Ryan Perkins
  • Tommy Washington
  • Thane Schinabeck
  • Jordan Fronabarger

The next tournament was the weekend of Oct 25th at The Legends Golf Course, Kingsland, TX and featured the following team:

  • Corey Pieper
  • Tommy Washington
  • Brock Timion
  • Jessie Valenta
  • Alex Parker
  • Trevor Grant
  • Grayson Kirkham
  • Jordan Fronabarger
  • Alternate – Ian Morehouse

Cory Pieper came in third overall from a field of 62 with a 72 and 73 and total score of 146. Congrats to Cory and great job to all!



Follow the Golf Academy of America Blog to read more from and about the people who have turned their passion into a career.

"It's just a game." Growing up, most of us have had a parent or coach console us after a disappointing day at the field, gym or golf course. And for most of us, that is quite true. You have to be exceptionally gifted at a sport – golf in particular – to make the game into a career. But what if that isn't the case? What if you could turn your passion for golf into a career?

Golf Academy Of America Alumni Profile: Mark Chapman

Mark Chapman

While passion will never translate into becoming the next Rory McIlroy, Golf Academy of America has endless stories of golf passion that didn't turn into a playing career, but instead launched successful careers in the golf industry. GAA Alumni Mark Chapman is the perfect example. Check out his story…

Choosing A Lifestyle That Can Translate Into Golf Industry Work

"I didn't have a big background in golf, but I enjoyed golf," stated Mark Chapman, Golf Academy of America 2011 graduate.

As Mark soon learned, it starts with the love of the game, but Golf Academy can take care of the rest. He was looking to get better at the game, but more importantly, he was interested in getting a golf career started sooner than later. The career aspect combined with the allure of attending college in "the mecca of golf Myrtle Beach" were more than enough for Mark to commit to Golf Academy of America. The weekly golf tournaments, open play and relatively limitless golf instruction and practice are bonuses that most golfers would have trouble turning down.

"At Golf Academy of America, I could attend for 16 months non-stop, earn my associate's degree and start my career. While attending Golf Academy and upon graduation, the career services team provided me with different job leads based on my interests."

Many Job Choices On Your Career Path

Mark's interests centered on the club repair/club fitting aspects of the golf industry. His classwork, training success at Golf Academy enabled him to land a Master Club Fitter position at Golfsmith. He also worked in resort management as a golf director. He now works as an independent contractor in club repair and club fitting.

Mark's experience at Golf Academy Myrtle Beach didn't end upon graduation. "My class was excellent. I'm still friends with a lot of people from my class. It's a great way to network."

As it turned out, golf is more than just a sport to Mark. His career path from club repair and club fitting to golf director to independent contractor shows the depth and versatility within the industry. There are a lot of job opportunities in golf beyond becoming a pro golfer.

Watch this video interview with Mark.



Alex Perez took to social media to share his favorite golf tip:

Golf tip from Alex Perez