In addition to the General Education courses (i.e. math, English, public speaking, science, etc), the PGA Golf Management option requires completion of the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management core and five internships. To further prepare students for a career in professional golf management, several courses with a strong business focus are required. Among these courses are:

  • Introductory Financial Accounting
  • Legal Environment of Business
  • Problems of Small Business
  • Financial Analysis in Hospitality Operations
  • Personal Selling
  • Turf Grass Management
  • Club Management and Operations
  • Personnel Functions in Hospitality Operations
  • Marketing of Recreation Services
  • Business Planning and Golf Operations Management
  • Principles of Management

With the completion of the academic program each student receives a Bachelor of Science in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management with an option in Golf Management. Because of the number of business courses required, students wishing to complete the Business Minor can do so without any additional time on campus.

Steps to PGA Membership

PGA/PGM Requirements

Integrated into the curriculum, the PGA Golf Management program will allow students to be elected as members of the PGA of America upon completion of all three (3) levels of the program, including passing the PAT and completing the required internship experiences. Courses include:

  • Business Planning and Operations
  • Analysis of the Swing
  • Merchandising and Inventory Management
  • Tournament Operations
  • Rules of Golf
  • Golf Club Design and Repair
  • Career Enhancement
  • Golf Car Fleet Management
  • Golfer Development
  • Food and Beverage Operations

Nationally recognized members of the PGA of America will conduct a series of written and simulation examinations on campus annually to assess each student’s competency level in each of the content areas of the PGA Golf Management.

Once students have completed the Penn State University academic requirements, passed the PGA Program examinations, passed the PGA of America’s Playing Ability Test (PAT), and completed the necessary months of the on-the-job experience, students will become members of the PGA of America.

Playing Ability Test

The Playing Ability Test (P.A.T.) is a 36-hole, PGA sanctioned event necessary to complete before becoming a PGA Member. In order to pass the 36-hole PAT, you must achieve a 36-hole score within 15 shots of the course rating. For example, if the course rating is 72, the target score for the 36-holes would be 159 (72x2=144 +15=159). Because the PGA considers the ability to play the game of golf with a high degree of proficiency as vital for membership, all Penn State PGA Golf Management students are required to pass this proficiency test prior to graduation from the university.