Do you love golf as much as we do? Would you like to continue to be around the sport for years to come? If so then you should look at making golf your career. The PGA Golf Management program is a great avenue for students to earn a college degree all while working their way through the PGA of America's certification to become a PGA Member. We have a number of successful PGA Golf Management graduates in Colorado and we are very lucky to have a PGM school in the state – UCCS in Colorado Springs. We have asked several Colorado natives who grew up playing junior golf in Colorado about their PGM experience.
A UCCS graduate, PGA Member and Estes Park, CO native, Jake O’Dell, is the Head Golf Professional at The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs, CO. We asked Jake a few questions about his PGM experience and here is what he had to say:
Why did you choose the PGM Program at UCCS?
“(I) was committed to going to Arizona State before hearing they were thinking about starting the UCCS Program. (I) visited with Paul Miller and was sold. (I) enrolled the year before the program actually started and was the first student admitted into the program. I chose UCCS for many reasons other than the PGM Program. The Business Marketing Degree I was going to receive, the location, the size of the school. I knew I was not going to be just (a) number, I was going to know all of my teachers and get attention I wouldn't anywhere else.”
What is your overall impression of the PGM Program at UCCS?
“I believe UCCS is a very vital piece to the overall future of golf. Especially in Colorado and surrounding areas. The amazing facilities at UCCS help support the PGA Curriculum and give every PGM Student the chance to succeed.”
In your opinion, what are the major benefits of attending the UCCS PGM Program?
"Location. Class size. Business School. Facilities."
How did the UCCS PGM Program prepare you for your career in the golf industry?
“It gave me the opportunity, through internships, to get my foot in the door at some amazing facilities and work for the top professionals in the state. As a Colorado native I knew there was no other place I would want to live and by working at these clubs I was able to get my foot in the door when Flying Horse was being built.”
What advice would you give to a junior golfer considering the PGM Program at UCCS?
“I would ask them to sit down with their home club or course PGA Professional and ask them the in(s) and outs of being a PGA Professional such as: Why did you choose to be a PGA Pro? How did you get to where you are today? What is your day to day look like? What opportunities has this profession given you? What are the challenges to being a golf professional? Junior golfers need to be prepared for what the business of golf looks like and not just the game.”
Through Jake’s experience as a PGM graduate, he has had the opportunity to work at exclusive facilities such as The Broadmoor Golf Club and Resort (Colorado Springs, CO), Glenmoor Country Club (Englewood, CO) and his current facility, The Club at Flying Horse in Colorado Springs.
If you would like to learn more about the PGM Program at UCCS, please Click Here.