About the Program

25 years of PGA Professional Golf Management

PGA Professional Golf Management celebrates 25 years

As the PGM program celebrates its 25th year in 2015, alumni recall the lessons they learned at Penn State and still apply to their careers and personal lives today.

“Having graduated 17 years ago, I have a better perspective of what PGM taught me: take pride in all that you do in your personal and professional life; motivate, push, and expect to excel at all that you do; and inspire, help, and support others you interact with in life," said Jason Diaz

“As a Penn State PGM student, the program taught me numerous lessons about the golf industry, being a student, and future life lessons,” Diaz said. “Having graduated 17 years ago, I have a better perspective of what PGM taught me: take pride in all that you do in your personal and professional life; motivate, push, and expect to excel at all that you do; and inspire, help, and support others you interact with in life.”


The Penn State PGA Professional Golf Management Program offers you the benefits of a small program within a large university setting - the best of both worlds! Penn State offers you choices and the opportunity to be a part of something special. This is your time to experience new opportunities. At Penn State, you will form a network of friends that will carry through your adult life - and whether you apply for a job in California or Pennsylvania, you can count on the Penn State recognition and our tradition of success.

PGM Education

In addition to the general education courses, such as math, English, public speaking, and science, the PGA Professional Golf Management Program curriculum requires completion of the Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management core and five internships. To further prepare you for a career in professional golf management, several courses with a strong business focus are required. These courses are designed to help you be successful in a number of fields related to the golfing industry, including head golf professional, general manager, teaching professional, golf coach, tournament director, sales or marketing specialist with a major golf manufacturer, or an owner of a golf shop, practice facility, or golf course.

In addition to the courses that you will take, Penn State offers world-class facilities, internship opportunities, career placement assistance, and scholarships. We look forward to meeting you and hope you will schedule a visit.

With the completion of the academic program each you will receive a bachelor of science (B.S.) in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management with an option in Golf Management. Because of the number of business courses required, you can complete the business minor without any additional time on campus.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Golf Management option must meet all the University entrance requirements and present evidence of a playing proficiency reflected in a handicap of 12 or lower. Verification may be confirmed by a member of the PGA or a high school golf coach. Please complete the PGM Handicap Verification Form.

First-year students are admitted directly into the PGM Program, which is offered only at Penn State University Park. Admission to the University Park campus is competitive; therefore, we encourage you to apply as early as possible. To obtain an application, contact the Penn State Undergraduate Admissions office.

Transfer students are encouraged to apply. Contact us for additional information (814-865-7034 or gbw104@psu.edu).

Steps to PGA Membership

PGA/PGM Requirements

Integrated into the curriculum, the PGA Professional 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 your competency level in each of the content areas of the PGA Professional Golf Management.

Once you have completed Penn State's 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, you 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 Professional Golf Management students are required to pass this proficiency test prior to graduation from the university.