Judi Lakin, College of Business, 262-3433

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO — The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will be among only 14 universities in the nation offering a Professional Golf Management Program through its College of Business & Administration, university officials announced today, April 9.

CU-Colorado Springs Chancellor Pam Shockley also announced the program’s accreditation by The Professional Golfers’ Association of America. More than a year ago, the Colorado Board of Regents approved offering the program after it gained accreditation. The development process began in 2000.

“Golf and other recreational activities are an important part of the Colorado Springs economy,” Shockley said. “I am pleased that we can offer university-level management education for a select group who will go on to become leaders in this fast-growing national and international industry.”

The PGM Program will prepare highly motivated men and women for careers in the industry by providing them with PGA membership. Students gain this status by earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Professional Golf Management option in marketing and completing three internships and a PGA/PGM training program.

The university’s PGM Program is one of only five west of the Mississippi River and the only one in Colorado. Applications for the fall 2003 semester are already being submitted.

“The PGM Program is an exciting addition to the other strong programs offered by the College,” Joe Rallo, dean, College of Business, said. “We have shown the PGA that we have the facilities, expertise, and enthusiastic community support to meet its expectations for preparing students for successful careers in the industry.”

The PGM Program is far more focused on professional management than golf, according to Paul Miller, professor, Business, and Sam White, senior instructor, Business. Miller will serve as the program’s academic director and White will serve as program director.

“Despite being centered on golf, this curriculum will absorb the students’ full attention and effort,” Miller said. “Those who are highly motivated and diligent will succeed, not just those who play well.”

The program will use Pine Creek Golf Club in northeast Colorado Springs as its flagship learning laboratory. Besides a challenging course, PCGC has a golf shop, restaurant, practice areas, cart facility, and maintenance area, all of which will be used to teach the students. In addition, the students will hone their skills in a player development program.

“We cannot begin to express our excitement about working with the University and the PGM students. We know this affiliation will allow us to offer our customers an even better recreational experience. We can’t wait for the students to get here,” said Robert Silva of Escalante Golf Management.

Robert and Elcio Silva are general partners of the group that purchased the course.

In addition, the Program plans to arrange an access agreement with the owners of the Gleneagle Golf Club. As the program grows to approximately 200 students in four years, agreements with other courses may be created.

Applicants to the program will compete for a limited number of slots. Students will be required to meet stringent academic entrance requirements while having above average golf skills, including a handicap of 12 or less.

Students will complete general and business courses as well as specific classes related to golf management. All students will be full-time and complete their studies in four and one-half years because the program requires 16 months of professional internships under qualified PGA members at sites in Colorado and around the U.S.

Students must pass the Playing Ability Test and three exams in the PGA/PGM training program. Upon graduating, they will need only a few months of additional experience to qualify for PGA membership.

“Based on other schools’ experience, we expect to place 100% of our graduates at great facilities all over the country,” White said.

Shockley also explained, “this program is feasible with today’s budgets because it will be supported by tuition dollars. We expect it to make a significant net financial contribution to our university within a year or two.”

The College of Business & Administration is among the fewer than 30 percent of all business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and one of only six AACSB schools to offer a PGM Program.

CU-Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in northeast Colorado Springs, is the fastest growing university in Colorado and one of the fastest growing universities in the nation. The university offers 25 bachelor’s degrees, 17 master’s and two doctoral degrees. The campus enrolls more than 7,400 students annually.