LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- During golf team events such as the Ryder Cup, the most successful player pairings are those where each player complements the other and share mutual goals and objectives. Over the past several years, the University of Louisville and The PGA of America have built a partnership that continues to grow and benefit both organizations.
"We've helped educate U of L students about the business of golf and the students have made it their business of helping us in marketing, promotions and other activities in and around PGA events like the Senior PGA Championship," added Ben Rubin, Championship Director for this year's Senior PGA championship presented by KitchenAid, May 24-29 at Valhalla Golf Club.
The University of Louisville and The PGA of America relationship dates back to 2008 when the Ryder Cup was conducted at Valhalla Golf Club. At that time, The PGA of America began working with U of L's Sport Administration program (SPAD).
Approximately 50 Sport Administration students and faculty supervisors worked hand in hand with The PGA of America Corporate Hospitality staff throughout the Ryder Cup event. This opportunity gave the U of L students and faculty a chance to get a "real world" experience of a major international sporting event. At that time, the Sport Administration Program also developed an event management curriculum to coincide with the Ryder Cup. That curriculum focused on the marketing, management, and customer service activities associated with sporting events. There was even a study of the economic impact associated with sporting events.
As University of Louisville students have been exposed to this PGA partnership, many have continued to grow and develop their knowledge of sports administration and some have even ended up working for The PGA. Maggie Ray, a University of Louisville Sport Administration alum, began her PGA career as a Ryder Cup intern and has progressed to serving as the Tickets and Promotions Coordinator for this year's Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.
"The PGA of America's rich sport tradition paired with their business success offers students the ultimate learning environment. As an intern, their outstanding staff members and business leaders were able to give me a top-notch hands-on experience that complimented my work in the classroom. Even as an employee, I continue to learn from them each and every day," said Ray.
Just a few weeks ago, U of L held its second annual SPAD Speaker Series and Alumni Reception at the PNC Club at Papa John's stadium. Championship Director Ben Rubin served as a panelist for the event, which included other speakers such as Jim Host, chair of the Louisville Arena Authority and David Martin, director of marketing at the Kentucky Motor Speedway.
Discussions are underway to extend the partnership as Valhalla Golf Club prepares to host the 96th PGA Championship in August 2014.
Tickets remain on sale for this month's 72nd Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid. Any Day and Weeklong ticket packages and Onsite Parking may be purchased by visiting www.2011SeniorPGA.com, or by calling (800) PGA-GOLF (742-4653). A limited number of hospitality packages are still available. Contact Matt Dumeyer at MDumeyer@pgahq.com or call (502) 245-2000.
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About the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid
Begun in 1937, the Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid is the most historic and prestigious major championship in senior golf. It was born on the grounds of another of golf's majors at the invitation of one of the game's greatest players. At the suggestion of renowned amateur Bobby Jones, the inaugural Championship was conducted at Augusta National Golf Club three years after the first Masters Tournament. Today, the Championship brings together both the legends of the game and newest members of senior professional golf to new audiences throughout the United States. Many of the game's greatest players have won the Championship's Alfred S. Bourne Trophy – a roster that features Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Tom Watson and Jay Haas. For more information about the 2011 Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid, visit 2011SeniorPGA.com.
About The PGA of America
Celebrating its 95th year, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission of its founders: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in a multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf. For more information about The PGA of America, visit PGA.com.
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