Sunshine, Fun, Learning & Golf: The FGCU PGA Golf Management Program Has It All
By Kayla Gutierrez
FGCU PGM Students having fun out on the course.
Southwest Florida is home to much more than just palm trees and beaches. It is home to many of the world’s most beautiful and pristine golf courses and hundreds of award-winning PGA golf professionals. Just miles off the Gulf Coast beaches and 10 short minutes from the RSW International airport, you can find one of 17 PGA accredited universities- Florida Gulf Coast University.
As the only PGA Golf Management school in Florida, FGCU is a highly desired destination for aspiring golf professionals. Students from all over the world travel to the school for warm weather, exceptional education, and most importantly golf. With approximately 180 current students, drawing students from 37 states and 9 countries, there is no shortage of diversity at FGCU. However, golf is not the only reason students choose to attend FGCU PGM.
From the moment they step foot on campus, students are set-up for success. There are a myriad of opportunities for students to push their limits and explore beyond their boundaries.
Regardless of their background, students have the opportunity to lead in the program. They build relationships and connections, become involved in their program’s student association, and volunteer their time in the greater community. They can even participate in student-led tournaments, social events, fundraisers, charity events, and a PGA mentor program, which includes industry professionals vested in their success.
Grace McKinnon is the first female president of the FGCU PGM Student Association.
“Tara and Marty are two of the most authentic and influential leaders in my life," shares Grace. "They were my reasons for choosing this school and inspired me to run for PGMSA President. As a PGA Works Scholar and a female student, I plan to make an impact on our program and encourage other women in the program to lead as well.”
Since the university became PGA accredited, it has developed a special presence on campus and is a highly respected program. “We require all of our students to practice professionalism from the moment they arrive. They wear golf clothes to their PGM classes, and we even make sure they are clean shaven. If you were walking on campus, you would know a PGM student if you saw them. That’s something that really sets us apart on campus. The university really supports our program.” says PGM Director Tara McKenna, PGA.
Above all, students become part of a larger family. From their first year on campus to the day they graduate, our students form relationships that will last them a lifetime. They connect with each other in all of their classes, tournaments, socials, and hangout outside of golf, too. These friendships grow with them beyond their time at FGCU. From the start, they feel welcomed, included, and are growing their network in so many ways.
“FGCU PGM feels like one big family. One of the reasons I enjoy being a student in our program is because everyone feels included. I made some of my best friends in the program. The relationships and connections are really what makes our program so special.” said Zoe Stockman (junior student in the PGA Golf Management Program.)
FGCU recently celebrated its 25th birthday. The school is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our students. Our program recently renovated the Swing Lab Space, with the latest in instructional technology. Hands-on learning opportunities guided by an experienced staff of PGA Professionals, ensures that our students are equipped with the current skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the industry.
The year-round warm weather, phenomenal education, and opportunities to grow as a student are what makes FGCU PGM the perfect fit for anyone wanting to turn their passion into a career. If this sounds like the path for you, our PGM staff encourage you to schedule a campus visit or hop on a monthly virtual open house. They provide personal information sessions combined with a guided campus tour that will help you seal the deal.
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