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.
Kraft-Nabisco Tournament Director Makes Annual Trip to PGCC
In what has now become an annual tradition, the Professional Golfers Career College welcomed Kraft Nabisco’s Tournament Director, Gabe Codding, to the St. Andrews auditorium to inspire students and encourage them to focus their passion for the game. Playing to a packed house, he spoke about his work ethic, what he values in people, and how he became the youngest Tournament Director Kraft Nabisco has ever seen. Stories like his are important to share for a number of reasons, not least of which is that younger generations of golfers should know that with hard work and a good attitude, any position in the golf world can be theirs.
Years ago, before Gabe Codding was the Tournament Director of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, he was a teenager in Rancho Mirage, helping out at the Mission Hills Country Club, where the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament, now the Kraft Nabisco Tournament, took place. Rancho Mirage most certainly left its mark on him, it’s not easy pounding gallery stakes in the punishing heat, but through the years, he maintained, and now he is leaving his own mark on the town.
Remarking on his tradition of being a perpetual volunteer he says simply, “I never dreamed it would turn into a career.” It seems like a bit of a Cinderella story, as though he was always being groomed for his current role. A teenaged guy helps out and because of his exceptional work ethic and winning attitude he gets asked to volunteer in even more positions every year, with his capabilities expanding in each job, until eventually the call came: Come work with us.
Codding was a natural, which is not to say that his job is easy. He oversees an operations team, plans events, and handles sales and marketing to execute golf’s first major. Terry Wilcox, Codding’s predecessor, had 14 years of experience when he handed over the reins, and since that day Gabe has met his responsibilities with optimism, and earnest vigor. It’s the same vigor he brings to PGCC every year. A naturally compelling speaker, he made it abundantly clear to students that there are very basic keys to success in the industry. “Hard work trumps luck every day. Work hard, respect people, and always work yourself to a higher level.”
Hard work and respect are repetitive themes when he addresses the future leaders in the world of golf. And his advice for golfers who are about to enter the workforce? “Find your passion for the industry, give it your all, learn all you can while at your level, and honor those around you.” His advice is a four pronged approach, a ladder, if you will, but it is time tested, effective and honest. Few people would know better what industry leaders are looking for than he does. “I look for people who are teachable, have great attitudes, and are passionate, hard workers.”
One of the greatest abilities we can develop is to learn from others; from their mistakes and successes. So, what is the greatest lesson he's learned? “I learned patience, and to honor everybody, but especially those in authority.” And what might he advise that every golfer entering the industry learn? “We all have greatness inside of us. Find what you are passionate about and give it your all. Don’t settle.”