PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – With 20 teams representing PGA Golf Management Universities nationwide, the 11th PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride will kickoff Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 13-14, at PGA Golf Club, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The 36-hole tournament will feature 100 players (five from each college), with the team from Florida State University, in Tallahassee, showcasing the two females in the field -- local products Lauren Himebaugh, of Palm City, Fla.; and Chelsea Mokary, of Lake Worth, Fla.
All participating universities in the PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride are schools accredited by The PGA of America to offer the four-and-one half to five-year PGA Golf Management University Program for aspiring PGA Professionals. The college curriculum provides extensive classroom studies, internship experience and player development, and provides students the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills to succeed in the golf industry as a PGA Professional.
“I’m excited to compete and set the stage for women to play in the PGA Jones Cup in the future,” said Himebaugh, 20, a junior in FSU’s PGA Golf Management University Program, who was the sole female in last year’s event.
“We are used to playing against the guys, and I love representing my university,” added Mokary, who is also a 20-year-old junior at FSU studying to achieve her dream of becoming a PGA member. “I think we have a great team and a great chance this week to finish near the top.”
Across the country, there are nearly 2,520 aspiring PGA Professionals enrolled in the PGA Golf Management University Program. At New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, Ryan Christensen, a student from Guam, attended the school’s first-ever Summer Experience Program a few months ago and was fascinated by the opportunity to study to become a PGA Golf Professional. He entered the program and just a few months later qualified to compete for his school in the PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride.
Meanwhile, N.C. State returns to the Tom Fazio-designed Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club in pursuit of a second-consecutive title. Led by the school’s PGA Golf Management University Program Championship medalist Josh Rackley, the Wolfpack return three players from the 2011 squad, which won the PGA Jones Cup by six strokes over the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Steered by PGA Golf Management Director Dr. Robb Wade on campus, and Internship Coordinator Andy Betz as on-site coach once again this year, the Wolfpack are excited about the challenge the team faces this week. “The quality of team we are sending down has increasingly gotten better over the past several years,” said Dr. Wade.
After N.C. State was crowned Champion last year, the team brought out the Jones Cup trophy to center court during halftime of a Wolfpack basketball game attended by approximately 16,000 fans. “I am sure that is something they will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Wade.
The PGA Jones Cup presented by Golf Pride is named for the first PGA Golf Management University Program Director at Mississippi State, Dr. S. Roland Jones, who held the position from 1985 until his passing in 1997. The event provides a platform where participants can display professionalism, integrity, character and camaraderie; all characteristics Dr. Jones instilled in PGA Golf Management students. Students in the PGA Golf Management University Program study a combination of golf and business-related subjects; serve a minimum of 16 months in on-course internships within the golf industry; and are eligible for direct election to PGA membership upon graduation and eligible employment.