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Professional Golf Management

Campus: Columbus

College: Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

The professional golf management program prepares students for a successful career in the golf industry and assists them in becoming members of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). 

PGM students gain real-world experience through classroom study on Ohio State’s two courses, internships at premier courses and membership in the PGM Student Club.

Students can begin the professional golf management major at any Ohio State campus, but the degree must be completed at the Columbus campus.

After admission to the university, students enroll as a pre-major in PGM. Pre-majors are admitted to the program after successfully completing the course Introduction to PGM and demonstrating a USGA 18-hole golf handicap of 10 or better.

A professional golf management faculty member is assigned to assist students in program planning and is available for academic consultation. There are also two PGA members on staff who teach PGA-related courses as well as assist with many other important aspects of the program. Students also receive assistance to improve their golf and course management skills.  

Required courses include:

  • Introduction to Professional Golf Management 
  • PGM Basic Golf Operations 
  • PGM Club Design, Performance, Fitting and Repair 
  • PGM Advanced Golf Operations 
  • PGM Advanced Golf Swing Analysis and Teaching 
  • PGM Player Development 
  • Historical Perspectives on Golf Course Design 
  • Turfgrass Management for Golf Courses 
  • Principles of Food Management  
  • Beverage Management 
  • Cost Management and Menu Planning 
  • Leading High-Performance Ventures 
  • Merchandise Buying and Management 
  • Sports and Leisure Service Delivery and Promotion 
  • Creating a Virtual Perspective 

Additional electives to complete a minimum total of the 121 hours required for graduation are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor to fit the needs of the student. It is highly recommended that PGM majors choose a minor area of study in general business or agribusiness.

An international experience provides an education one does not receive in a classroom or from a textbook and is an invaluable aid in today’s global market. While abroad, students complete one course for five hours of credit that may be applied towards free electives. The professional golf management (PGM) program offers a study abroad experience to Scotland and England. Students learn golf history and play some of the game’s oldest and well-known courses.

All professional golf management (PGM) majors are required to complete five semesters of internship experience locally, nationally or internationally. PGM staff provides counseling and advice on choosing an appropriate internship that will provide them with real world experience in the golf industry while preparing them for the PGA’s knowledge tests. 

In addition to a formal internship, both the Ohio State Golf Club and a number of golf courses and country clubs located in or near Columbus offer part-time employment to students majoring in PGM.

During the first year, students are expected to be active in the PGM Student Club and join The Ohio State University Golf Club where they will have constant access to the Scarlet and Gray courses. 

The PGM Student Club provides students interested in a professional golf management career the opportunity to interact professionally and socially with other students, both from Ohio State and around the nation, as well as industry and academic professionals. This group organizes activities ranging from golf tournaments and fundraising events to putting on junior instructional programs for the First Tee of Central Ohio.

Career opportunities in professional golf management (PGM) include positions such as director of golf, head golf professional, assistant golf professional, teaching professional, general manager, tournament director, merchandising director, sales or technical representative, and rules official. 

The PGM major requires a business minor and several hospitality management courses so that graduates may also be groomed for careers in recreation or resort management outside of the golf industry.

Depending on the position, annual starting salaries in the golf profession range from $30,000 for an assistant golf professional to over $100,000 for a head professional/director of golf. 

Chris Walsh
Horticulture and Crop Science 
2001 Fyffe Court
Columbus, OH 43210

Ohio State’s professional golf management program is the only program of it’s kind in the state of Ohio.

Interested in a business career?

Check out the Business Pathway to discover the many majors Ohio State offers that can lead to a career in business.