Alumni Spotlight on Katrina NavarreteEducating the future leaders in the world of golf; that is our goal, day in and day out. Nothing feels more rewarding than seeing our graduates succeed, and hearing that they really took our lessons to heart. Such is the case with Katrina Navarrete, a graduate from 2006, and a member of PGCC Orlando’s inaugural class. Now a buyer and merchandiser at a Top 100 Golf Shop, The Country Club at Castle Pines, it is clear that Navarrete has kept one major lesson foremost in her mind over the last seven years. “The most valuable lesson that PGCC taught me is not one of skill but of life,” Navarrete shares, “Have passion for what you do, work hard and be dedicated. Success is possible in golf but you must always strive to be the best, with honor and respect!”
Katrina has a major, even serious, love for golf, and she comes by it honestly. “My uncle Pete introduced my father, Tony, to golf, and a few months after that, my father introduced me to this wonderful sport. I started playing when I was 10 years old and 3 months later I won my first junior tournament. That’s when I fell in love!” After her win at that tournament, her father walked her to the first tee box and told her something astonishing. “My father said, ‘Did you know that you can do this for a living? The golf course one day could be your office.’ I stood there in amazement, I had no idea that one day I could make a career out of this sport that I was so in love with!” Obviously his word had an impact he may not have anticipated, given that Katrina cites this as the best advice her father ever gave her.
After that first win, it all becomes a bit of a whirlwind of golf. Her family made a move to Colorado and she joined her high school’s varsity golf team as a freshman, then began competing in the Long Drivers of America (LDA) at 16, and went on to win the Junior World Long Drive Championship. After earning her LDA Women’s Open Division Tour card, she traveled with some legendary long drive tour players, and in 2005 she took a break from competition to join us in PGCC Orlando to focus on her career as a Merchandiser. “Orlando is the golf capital of the world,” she shares, “and being part of the PGCC Orlando campus gave me the opportunity to have amazing experiences that fine-tuned my career path in the golf industry.”
“I knew that golf was my passion but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to be part of the industry.” The golf college put Katrina in contact with Top 100 golf shop, Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, and she was hired as one of their Assistant Golf Professionals. “I had worked outside services but I had never had the opportunity to work inside of a shop. That’s when I realized that I love the merchandising side of the golf.” As is her custom, Katrina did everything she possibly could to learn about merchandising, and after two months, she was promoted to Assistant Buyer. “Grand Cypress was an instrumental tool in developing my career.”
After Grand Cypress, came a move back home to Denver, and along with that move, came an offer for a position as Head Buyer at the Boulder Country Club, which further developed her professional skills, and prepared her for her current role. Now at the Country Club at Castle Pines, Katrina has the distinct honor of working with George Kahrhoff, PGA Golf Professional and 2012 National Merchandiser of the Year. This is far from a celebration of a happy ending to Katrina's golf success story, if only because she has a long and successful career in front of her.
“PGCC opened many doors, prepared me and gave me the fundamental tools to succeed in the golf industry.” Navarrete continues, “Being a Merchandiser gives me the opportunity to be creative. I often look at the golf shop as a canvas or a work of art. I look for collections that inspire me to create beautiful, different and innovative displays. It gives me a chance to think outside of the box and the possibilities are endless! That is by far the best part of my job!”
Spring 2013 Commencement
Congratulations to our Spring 2013 Graduates! Graduation ceremonies for all of the PGCC campuses were held last week to honor the students who have successfully completed their 16 month curriculum and earned their Specialized Associate's Degree in Professional Golf Management.
All PGCC graduates leave their respective campuses with a thorough understanding of the business of golf. As part of their educational career at PGCC, students engage in various areas of study to include marketing, business management, food and beverage, and golf course design, to name a few. These areas of study help prepare golf college graduates for the professional golf industry and all that it entails. Many students are quickly sought out by highly regarded golf courses across America and around the world for their breadth of knowledge that makes them uniquely qualified for various positions.
Although it is hard to say goodbye to these great men and women we have come to know so well, we wish them the best in their future endeavors!
Temecula Campus*Cory K. Andruskiewicz
Joshua A. Button
*Timothy C. Campbell
Woo Jin “Kevin” Cho
*Marshall W. Gerlach
*Daniel J. Halpenny
**Tyson R. Heine
Kody J. Idland
Yeong Ha “Arnold” Kim
Louis W. Kooyman
Hyoung Suk Lee
Pok Bun Bernard Lee
David P. Lopez
Thor P. Lorgen
James R. Lugo
**Joseph P. Mentz
Brandon D. Rodriguez
*Daniel J. Smith
*Bong Jae Yu
* Denotes a Graduate With Honors
** Denotes Valedictorian or Co-Valedictorian
Hilton Head CampusMaxwell Backlund
Joshua S. Ball
*Trevor Carl Dennis
Burke B. Gregory
Thomas Charles Joiner
Brian John Krugle
Mykhael D. McGuire
*Jesse Paul Wood
Orlando CampusSpencer G. Austin
Wayne Alexander Butler
Michael J. Goldberg
Cody James Hamrock
**Austin James Hurlbut
*Thomas J. Keegan
Jordan William Paniss
Ryan R. Rieck
Shawn Patrick Allan Riley
Michael A. Schreiner
Richard J. Schriefer Jr.
Benjamin D. Shultz
The Old Time Tournament
Set foot through the door of any of PGCC’s three campuses and you will see the same thing; royal blue letters mounted on a wall informing you that Golf is History, Tradition & Character. At the Professional Golfer’s Career College this statement is more than a welcome mat, it is a principal philosophy. Three times a year this tenet is put to practical use during the Old Time Tournament.
The Old Time Tournament is a competition played in scramble format, exclusively by graduating seniors. Each team is comprised of four players and one caddy. The game begins with each player teeing off from the same spot, with the next round of play beginning where the best shot landed; this is continued until the ball is sunk into the hole. However, it is not the format that makes this tournament unique; it is unique because of the historically respectful manner in which it is played.
Players are outfitted in garb specific to golf’s very early years with students typically outfitted in a uniform of pristine golf shoes, knee socks, knickers, a sweater or vest over a crisp shirt, and a newsboy cap. Though the attire is no longer de rigueur, it is reminiscent of a bygone era that was saturated in style. Adhering further to the traditions of yesteryear, all players, and their caddies, walk each of the 18 holes on the course. Golf carts did not exist when the game was being formed and as a result, the automobiles are excluded from the day’s proceedings.
Transportation is not the only arena in which developmental technology is restricted. During the Old Time Tournament there are no such developments as sophisticated engineering, lightweight materials or adjustable heads. Students play with hickory shafted clubs and older versions of golf balls. Undoubtedly, there is a great appreciation for the advances of the game after the tournament commences, given that both the instruments and types of swings have evolved considerably.
The Old Time Tournament is homage to the rich and cherished history of the game of golf and while one of the primary goals is to reward the seniors with a peek into the origins of one of their life’s greatest passions, you simply can’t ignore the fact that a few days before they graduate they are taking away exactly the same lesson they learned upon arrival at PGCC; Golf is History, Tradition & Character.