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Student Newsletter - March 2015

Mar 20, 2015


Legendary GAA National Advisory Board Convenes in Orlando

Legendary GAA National Advisory Board Convenes in Orlando
GAA Advisory Board Member Steven Braley

The Golf Academy of America Advisory Board is composed of PGA professionals and industry experts, including national award winners.

Recently they met in Orlando and are helping GAA keep current with trends in the golf industry by providing invaluable strategic insight and advice. The Board's purpose is to serve as a source of innovative ideas relating to the school's curriculum, career services and admissions processes and to educate Golf Academy of America faculty in how best to prepare students to thrive in the golf industry. It consists of high-level professionals, from leaders in club management to instruction to administration at the game's highest levels. They also serve as resources for both current students and alumni.

Visit this page for profiles of the members of this important Advisory Board.


Take a Virtual Tour of Our New Myrtle Beach Campus!

Sunshine and sandy beaches. Peaceful waterways. Southern hospitality. World-class golf. When you live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina you can have it all…not to mention a world-class golf school: Golf Academy of America.

Allow Matthew McCarty, Enrollment Services Counselor at GAA Myrtle Beach, to take you on a tour of this spectacular new campus.


Chad Walker Gives Final Farewell

Chad Walker — an 8-time video spokesperson and GAA student — is ready to graduate and begin his golf career in Tennessee. Check out the final installment of his video series as he shares his personal experience at GAA.

Walker notes the connections he's made at school and the wide range of golf knowledge he's obtained as highlights of his time on campus. He also shot a 69 at his final semester tournament, to fulfill a lifelong goal of being under par.

Grad Employed as Assistant Golf Pro

Grad Employed as Assistant Golf Pro

GAA graduate Ross McCarthy answers our questions about what he's doing now and how the Golf Academy helped him get there. He currently works as the Assistant Manager at Moose Run Golf Course in Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.

How did you achieve your current position?
Before I enrolled in the Golf Academy of America, I spent two summers working on the maintenance crew at Moose Run Golf Course, learning that side of the operation. I then enrolled at the Golf Academy of America in Phoenix where I focused on pursuing a career in Golf Management. During my time at the Golf Academy, I received the Professionalism Award all four semesters and was on the Director's List three times. After graduating in December 2009, I returned to Moose Run Golf Course where I worked as a Cashier in the golf shop for two years. In my third year at Moose Run, I was promoted to the Tournament Coordinator position. I managed more than 30 golf events in a two-month span, ranging from 16 to 288 participants, and directed more than 30 employees to ensure the success of these events. During the winter months, I broadened my knowledge by working multiple jobs such as an NAF Human Resource Assistant and a server in a fine dining restaurant. The following year, I was offered the position as the acting Assistant Manager. I excelled in this role, and was promoted to the Assistant Manager position, which I currently hold.

How did the Golf Academy prepare you for your current position?
The Golf Academy taught me a wide variety of skills that serve as invaluable resources today. I think the biggest thing I learned was how to be professional in the golf industry, and that has gone a long way towards achieving my goals.

What were the biggest influences on your career choice of golf?
My love for the game of golf was my biggest influence on my career choice. That being said, my uncle and my mom were my biggest influences in getting me to love this great game.

What advice would you give those wanting to get into the golf business?
If you are looking for an easy career where you will make lots of money right off the bat, the golf industry is not going to be for you. You will probably start off at a low paying job, but as long as you set goals, work hard and stay true to what you want to achieve, it can be attainable.

Are you currently a PGA member or seeking membership?
Yes. I just passed the PAT and am looking to register as we speak.


What to Expect Your First 6 Months at GAA

What to Expect Your First 6 Months at GAA

You can expect to play golf at least twice a week during your time at Golf Academy of America. This includes weekly tournament play and open play. In addition, you can get one-on-one instruction from certified golf instructors. Golf Academy of America has also aligned itself with fantastic courses near our golf college campuses in Myrtle Beach, Dallas, Orlando, San Diego and Phoenix. So when you're not golfing with fellow students or studying, you're free to play even more golf at one of the partner courses.

Most students are not surprised by the amount of golf played while in school, but some are surprised by how serious the classes are. In your first six months at Golf Academy of America, you will definitely realize that you're not just playing golf, you're earning a real associate's degree and preparing for a career in the golf industry.

For some, that golf career will be becoming a golf instructor. The complexities of the game mean that there is always a need for great golf teachers. Here are some of the golf skill and teaching courses you might want to take while attending:

  • Golf club assembly and repair
  • Rules of golf/advanced rules of golf
  • Understanding golf operations
  • History of golf
  • Golf fundamentals
  • Mechanics of the short game/advanced mechanics
  • Tournament golf
  • Advanced methods of teaching
  • Golf club fitting
  • Planning and organizing tournament golf
  • Lessons/practice
  • Golf professional
  • Principles of golf course maintenance
  • Capstone management study of golf operations
  • Tournament administration
  • Golf course design
  • Golf performance enhancement

Beyond skills needed to teach the game, Golf Academy of America provides you with skills needed on the business side of the golf industry. You will learn marketing, financing and general business skills. While you likely won't complete these classes in your first six months, you will want to start thinking about the business classes you can take:

  • Verbal communication skills
  • Fundamentals of business management
  • Business writing
  • Attitude and motivation assessment
  • Microcomputer applications
  • Marketing, advertising, promotion and sales
  • Elementary accounting
  • Essentials of foodservice management
  • Anatomy, exercise and bio-mechanics
  • General management
  • General business law
  • Financial management
  • Workplace ethics
  • Sport psychology
  • Managing outside operations of a golf facility

During your first six months at Golf Academy of America, you should get a good idea of what area of the golf industry you'd like to go into. There are many golf industry careers out there beyond a playing career. Here are some that our students lean toward:

  • Golf course management
  • Food and beverage
  • Retail
  • Club management
  • Golf manufacturing
  • Tourism
  • Golf instruction
  • Repair
  • Tournament administration

In addition to finding a career path for yourself in the golf industry, Golf Academy of America takes pride in preparing you to impress potential employers. From the moment you step on campus, you will learn how to act as a professional. From keeping a neat, clean appearance to dressing professionally with appropriate golf slacks, students will quickly learn and appreciate how important professionalism is.

The last thing you can expect in your first six months at golf college is to make truly great friends. Many former students talk about how they've made connections for life at GAA. A passion for golf is something that truly brings everyone together.