PGA Golf Management Interns Spread Across America

In the summer of 2010, over 120 Penn State RPTM students enrolled in the PGA Golf Management option served professional internships at golf courses, associations, and resorts across America. From the mountains of the Vail Valley in Colorado to the farthest reaches of Long Island, PGA Golf Management (PGM) students took the skills that they have learned in the classroom and put them to use in the workplace.

PGM students serve a total of 16 months of internships throughout their tenure at Penn State, and must work in a variety of settings, ranging from private golf clubs such as Shinnecock Golf Club on Long Island, to golf equipment manufacturers located in the California desert. Students begin their search each fall by tailoring their resumes to specific jobs, writing cover letters to some of the nation’s top PGA Professionals, and interviewing for coveted positions for the following summer. The job market is competitive; Pebble Beach Golf Links, which hosted the U.S. Open Championship in 2010, received over 100 resumes last year from PGA Golf Management students nationwide for less than ten intern positions. Three such spots at the Pebble Beach Resort were filled by Penn Staters; a testament to the preparation and preparation presented by Penn State students.

Senior Lindsay Cullen and Junior Ray Geffre represented Penn State at Essex County Club in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA alongside Penn State PGM alum Matt Hess. Both students worked for the club during this year’s Curtis Cup, a three-day amateur competition for female golfers in which American amateurs play against amateurs from Great Britain and Ireland. Lindsay Cullen, who is set to graduate this May, said of the experience; “It was a good look at how a world-class tournament was run. It was also an amazing experience to be able to be heavily involved with a major amateur event that was a result of years of planning. Some of the friendships that I formed over the summer with employees and volunteers alike I will hold dear for years to come.”

Junior David Wilson worked at Spyglass Hill Golf Course at the Pebble Beach Resort in California, and had the opportunity to work during the Men’s U.S. Open Championship. David said of his experience at Pebble Beach; “It was a learning experience both professionally and personally. I was able to see what it was like to live away from family and grow even more than I already had since leaving for college. Having an opportunity to be at (Pebble Beach Resort) was an amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” He and then-freshman Tyler Santacroce were roommates during their three-month internship this summer, and had the opportunity to bond in the workplace, as well as in their social lives; another unique opportunity for PGM students who choose to intern together.

Many students also worked with established Penn State PGA Golf Management alumni. The network of PSU alumni in the golf industry is ever-growing, and alumni are always finding ways to give back and support the program. Seniors Christopher Balogh and Rick Martel, as well as Junior Jimmy Tirone, worked with PSU PGM alumnus Jason Marciniec at Oakmont Country Club this past summer, just outside of Pittsburgh, PA. The three students enjoyed their experiences at Oakmont, and benefitted from the networking opportunities that were presented to them during their time at the club. Christopher Balogh said of his experience, “Receiving the opportunity to work at a world class facility such as Oakmont creates the perfect environment for PGM students to create professional relationships with one of the most influential professionals within the industry, Bob Ford, and his professional staff. It also gave us the chance to better know those who have graduated before me from Penn State's PGM. It was, by far, one of the best networking opportunities an aspiring PGA Professional can hope for.”

As students begin their internship search for 2011, the job market is again quite competitive. Students are interviewing for positions at some of the world’s best golf courses and associations across America, and even internationally. Three students have already confirmed internships working for a Penn State PGM alumnus in Cabo san Lucas, Mexico this spring. Approximately 85 students will be traveling to the PGA Merchandise Show, a trade show at which most of the PGA of America’s 28,000 members are in attendance, in Orlando this January. Many students will secure internships while in Orlando, leading to another successful “internship season” for PGM.