UCCS students offer free lessons to Waldo Canyon Fire victims and first responders

Tom Hutton, (719) 255-3439, (719) 351-6519, [email protected] Jana Hyde, (719) 210-4104, [email protected]

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Students in the University of Colorado Colorado Springs PGA Golf Management program will offer free lessons to people affected by the Waldo Canyon fire and to the first responders who helped mitigate the worst fire in Colorado history during a Sept. 1 event.

Organizing an event offering free lessons was first on the agenda when students returned to campus Aug. 20, according to Mollie Sutherland, program director.

“Many of our students watched in horror from their televisions in hometowns and internship sites across the country as the fire advanced on our city and destroyed a significant portion of it,” Sutherland said. “They wanted to find some way to help those affected get a break from the stress of rebuilding and repairing their homes.”

Steven Mauser, a senior PGM student from Westminster, came up with the idea and agreed to coordinate the student instructors and arrangements with Pine Creek Golf Course. He teamed with Jonathan Swonger, a sophomore PGM student from Colorado Springs, to promote this event to the community. Pine Creek Golf Course, the PGM’s home course, agreed to donate all the practice balls and host the event.

“This is the least we can do to show our appreciation to the first responders and fire fighters who put their lives at risk protecting our city,” Venkat Reddy, dean, said. 

The students will give the lessons themselves, providing equipment and instruction. The PGM program is designed to prepare students for leadership positions within the golf industry, often as course professionals. Teaching others the sport, or offering tips to improve skill levels, is a job requirement.

First responders and affected citizens can get free 15 minute lessons at Pine Creek Golf Course on between 9 a.m. and noon on Sept. 1. Pine Creek Golf Course is located at 9850 Divot Trail, Colorado Springs. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend.

The PGA Golf Management Program is part of the UCCS College of Business. The College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 400 MBA and distance MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration degree. More than 8,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The University offers 36 bachelor’s degrees, 19 master’s and five doctoral degrees. The campus enrolls about 9,300 students annually.