The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of America is pleased to announce that six PGA Professionals have graduated from the PGA Master Professional Program.
Since the program's inception, 333 PGA Professionals have graduated from the Master Professional Program. The PGA Master Professional program is the highest educational level in The PGA. It was established in 1969 to recognize PGA Members who make a significant effort to improve themselves as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations.
One of the original requirements for earning Master Professional status was the submission of an extensive thesis on one aspect of golf, which was reviewed by a panel of professional experts in the field. The thesis topics range from the mental and physical aspects of the golf swing to golf course construction and computer technology in the golf shop. The Master Professional Program then changed to require the completion of one of the seven Specialty Certification courses: Instruction, Rules, General Management, Golf Operations, Tournament Operations, Golf Car Fleet Management or Merchandising. Professionals desiring Master Professional status also had to be active PGA members for a minimum of eight years.
As of August 2004, the PGA Master Professional Program now originates from the PGA Certified Professional Program. After a PGA member passes the Certified Professional Program's proficiency assessment test, he or she is eligible to work toward their "Masters Degree" in education by preparing a special project in their selected career path that meets the approval of examiners. This process is similar to the "Masters Thesis" project previously required to earn Master Professional status. The Master Professional applicant then presents his or her project to a panel of examiners and answers questions on the project. Since then, there have been 22 individuals that have obtained the Master Professional status.
On June 18, the following PGA Professionals graduated from the PGA's Master Professional Program:
Gregory K. Coffin – Sandpiper Golf Club, Sun City Center, Fla. (Instruction)
Christopher D. Myers – Northwood Club, Dallas, Texas (Instruction)
Michael J. O'Donnell (General Management)
Gene R. Powell III – The Mill Course, Cincinnati, Ohio (Instruction)
Byron L. Shultz – Phoenix Country Club, Phoenix, Ariz. (Instruction)
Steven M. Whidden – Rosedale Golf & Country Club, Bradenton, Fla. (Instruction)