Student and Alumni Newsletter September 2015
Sep 18, 2015
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The last few years have seen something of an explosion in the golf fashion industry. Every edition of the annual PGA Merchandise Show brings a new crop of clothiers hoping to find their way into golfers' closets, a battleground that may now be even more hotly contested than their golf bags.
Similarly, the golf shoe category has seen impressive growth in terms of companies' offerings and styles. Whereas the traditional white-brown-white saddle style used to rule the roughs of local munis and high-end private clubs alike, there are now multiple distinct genres of golf shoes, in keeping with the diversification of the rest of the world of golf apparel.
For The Player
Golf outfits from more chic and serious clothing brands like Travis Mathew, or sportier brands like Oakley and Under Armour demand a similarly modern footwear choice. Golf shoemakers are up to the task. Under Armour itself has entered the shoe game, and though it's unclear the effect the company's product has on Jordan Spieth's incredible putting, it certainly can't hurt. Adidas and Nike trend toward this general aesthetic, as well, with bold details and bright colors for those who so choose. Footjoy's new HyperFlex line has a navy-and-lime-green version that fits this bill, too.
For The Bon Vivant
Fred Couples, one of the coolest customers in the golf world, has been a trendsetter in recent years when it comes to more casual-looking golf footwear. When he made a run at the Masters a few years ago, his turn-back-the-clock play received almost as much attention as his shoes, a pair of spikeless Eccos that looked like sneakers with plastic nubs on the bottoms. Seemingly overnight, thousands of everyday golfers were wearing them, and every major shoe company scrambled to put out their own version. Current offerings along these lines include Ashworth's Cardiff, the True Linkswear Motion and FootJoy's SuperLite line.
For The Purist
Fear not, traditionalists — there are still plenty of great golf shoes out there for you! FootJoy, ever the golf shoe giant, has the DNA and Icon series; True Linkswear's Oxford line; and for the traditionalist looking to dip a toe into some more adventurous colors, up-and-coming brand G Fore has the Gallivanter.
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GAA Student Describes Transition from Military to Golf College
Golf is popularly regarded as perhaps the hardest sport in the world to play. But for Golf Academy of America student Jeff Beaver, it's all relative. Compared to his prior career, golf is a piece of cake.
Beaver is something of a world traveler, courtesy of the United States Air Force. While serving, he was deployed six times to Iraq, Qatar, Cuba and Kuwait. He served four overseas tours in Korea, Italy, and Germany. With extensive training, expertise in logistics management and distribution, he knows how to get things from Point A to Point B.
"I started playing golf at age 20 around my second year in the Air Force," Beaver says. "All the guys in my office played so they made sure I would learn. I got hooked and after two years, I could beat them all."
Golf and military life have a long and intertwining relationship, and it's no wonder. In an environment where the stakes can be so high, the notion of fretting over a five-foot putt gets put into clear context. Beaver enjoyed playing, but wasn't sure he wanted a golf career after military life, until a friend told him about Golf Academy of America in Orlando.
"I had a friend in Germany that was getting out of the Army due to being in a helicopter crash," he says. "He wasn't injured to the point that he couldn't play golf, but he had limited mobility. He told me he was attending the Golf Academy of America and told me about the business side and shared the information. I called the school and spoke with the recruitment team and loved what they offered. The school benefits for service members are undeniably outstanding and the fact that the school administration will always be there to assist in your career after graduation sold it for me."
As a student, Beaver's military background serves him well.
"Normally I get to school earlier than most so I can putt around in the practice area or jump on the Trackman before it gets too crowded," he says. "Some days I get there early to print out my homework assignments and do a quick study recap for my upcoming classes. My favorite classes are any that involve teaching and learning about the game. The golf instructors have a passion that is easily visible and they make it fun."
Overall, Beaver finds himself lucky to be able to turn to golf as a second career, all with the help of Golf Academy of America's dedicated faculty and alumni network.
"The Golf Academy of America program is head and shoulders above its competitors," says Beaver. "It's got a sense of brotherhood in the market once you graduate, too, kind of like a fraternity."
Beaver's networking and passion continue to serve him well, as does his desire to pass onto others his love of golf and eagerness to uncover its many secrets. That includes new and prospective Golf Academy of America students, to whom he would say, "Take every volunteer opportunity that comes up in front you. That little bit extra you do while in school looks great on a resume and puts you ahead of those that do the minimum. You don't have to be a great player to love this game. You just have to have desire."
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Which Courses Can Students Play in Phoenix?
A great deal of learning goes on every day at Golf Academy of America's campuses across the United States. So does a lot of golf. The chance to experience a wide range of challenging courses is a tuition perk for Golf Academy of America students. As part of their education, students at the Phoenix campus have access to tee times at a variety of exceptional local facilities:
Seville Golf & Country Club – Located in Gilbert and surrounded by the stunning San Tan Mountains, Seville Golf & Country Club is one of the jewels of the ClubCorp family of courses. It was designed by Gary Panks and opened in 2002.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club – The Fred Couples-led design team of Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley has designed scores of courses worldwide. Southern Dunes, located in the Phoenix suburb of Maricopa and open since 2002, is one of their very best.
Legacy Golf Club – Ranked the #1 public golf course in Phoenix by ESPN.com, not only does the Gary Panks-designed Legacy Golf Club have the respect of the locals, it is also a favorite among the thousands of golfers who visit the area each year. In addition, it is located on a historic 7,500-acre tract of land that the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Pancho Villa visited in the early 20th century.
Trilogy Golf Club at Power Ranch – Competition for bragging rights as the best golf experience in the Phoenix suburb of Gilbert is fierce, but Trilogy Golf Club makes a very strong case. The par 71 golf course was originally designed by Dick Bailey and features stunning views of the nearby San Tan and Superstition Mountains.
Troon North Golf Club – The chic city of Scottsdale is home to a number of upscale golf facilities, and Troon North may be the best of them all, with two acclaimed courses, the Monument and the Pinnacle, both designed by major champion and renowned architect Tom Weiskopf. Troon North is one of the purest examples of desert golf anywhere, with the added intrigue of significant elevation changes across the property.
Whirlwind Golf Club – With two Gary Panks-designed championship courses, the Cattail and Devil's Claw, Whirlwind Golf Club is one of the Phoenix area's most comprehensive public golf facilities. The property is also home to the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa.
Ocotillo Golf Resort – For those who want a respite from the challenges of desert golf, Ocotillo Golf Resort's course, opened in 1986 and designed by Ted Robinson, fills the bill nicely. Golf World recognizes it as a Top 50 Resort and Golf Digest awards it 4 ½ stars on its "Places To Play" list.
The Raven Golf Club – Designed by Gary Panks and opened in 1995, The Raven is one of the Phoenix/Scottsdale area's premier public golf facilities, mixing desert and parkland aesthetics to form a unique golf experience for visitors and locals alike. Those seeking constant improvement seek out The Raven, as it is home to the TourStriker, headed by renowned instructor Martin Chuck.
Longbow Golf Course – Just east of Phoenix and Scottsdale in the suburb of Mesa, Longbow Golf Club has appeared on Golfweek's "Top 100 Resort Courses" list. This Ken Kavanaugh design measures only 6,750 yards from the tips, playing to a par 70, but it still provides plenty of intrigue and challenge to scratch and bogey golfers alike.
In Phoenix, there is a little sand, a little legend and a whole lot of learning. Golf Academy of America helps students reach new heights with the exciting elevations and beautiful designs of the Phoenix area golf courses. Students at the Phoenix campus of Golf Academy of America have access to tee times at these superb golf facilities — a unique chance to improve at some of the most challenging courses in the nation.
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Alum Becomes Assistant Golf Pro at Flossmoor CC
Mike Reichert is a 2013 graduate of Golf Academy of America and is currently working in Flossmoor, Ill.
What do you do as Assistant Golf Professional?
I help maintain golf operations and help with pro shop duties. I make sure players have caddies and manage the bag room staff, attend to the members and keep carts ready for use throughout the day.
How did Golf Academy of America prepare you for your current position?
Golf Academy of America helped me understand how a golf course works. After school I felt comfortable during my new job because all the staff at the school helped me learn about running a golf facility. I knew what to expect day to day because of the great classes and teachers at the school, who passed on their knowledge.
What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
I feel that playing with my Dad made me realize I would like to teach this game to other people. Spending time outside and enjoying the mental challenge of the game always keeps me coming back for more.
Tell us about your career accomplishments since graduation.
After my first year out of school I was welcomed back to my job for a second season for me. I will have more tournament operation duties this year and more junior golf teaching opportunities. I have started my qualifying level in the PGA and plan to continue on the path to becoming a PGA member.
What are your career goals and how do you think your education at Golf Academy of America is helping you achieve them?
My career goal is to become a PGA teaching Professional. GAA taught me the fundamentals of the golf swing and what to look for in the student to help me understand them, so I know how to help them learn to improve.