• January 23, 2022
 NMSU PGA Golf Management Program earns high praise, reaccreditation from PGA

From left, PGA representative Dawes Marlatt, New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu, NMSU PGA Golf Management Program Director Pat Gavin and PGA representative Kyle Helms. The PGA Golf Management Program successfully earned a five-year reaccreditation from the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. (NMSU photo by Denise Tafoya)

NMSU PGA Golf Management Program earns high praise, reaccreditation from PGA

The PGA Golf Management Program at NMSU has successfully earned a five-year reaccreditation from the Professional Golfers’ Association of America.

The coveted endorsement from the PGA comes after a rigorous evaluation of the 34-year-old program that included a PGA site visit in early December and a lengthy self-study report compiled by the program’s director, Pat Gavin.

“I’ve been the director of the PGA Golf Management Program for 29 years, so I’ve been through at least five or six accreditations, and I can tell you that this one by far was the greatest one,” Gavin said.

Gavin said the program, housed in the College of Business’s Marketing Department, prepared for reaccreditation more than two years ago, but the pandemic delayed the process until late last year.

During the site visit, two PGA representatives interviewed students enrolled in the program and faculty and met with Chancellor Dan Arvizu, College of Business Interim Dean Eileen Hogan and other NMSU administrators, Gavin said.

Overall, Gavin said, the program received glowing feedback from the PGA, and the evaluators only requested minor updates to the program’s procedural manual. Gavin added that the PGA praised the program for having a robust support network from administrators at NMSU.

“The support we get from upper administration, both at the university level and college level, is unbelievable,” he said. “The PGA evaluators saw right away the support for our program when they walked through the door.”

Gavin said PGA accreditation is an important hallmark of the program – which has had the PGA’s stamp of approval since its founding in 1987.

The four-and-a-half-year program – one of the four original PGA programs in the United States – allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a concentration in PGA marketing and complete four internships totaling 16 months.

“The end goal is that they’re a college graduate going to work in the golf industry and becoming a PGA Class A professional,” Gavin said.

Gavin said his top priority this year is recruiting students into the program, a task that’s become more challenging given the number of PGA programs that exist today.

But the NMSU program strives to stand out from others, Gavin said. He noted southern New Mexico’s warm climate as ideal weather for playing golf and pointed out that NMSU has its own award-winning golf course on campus. But the program’s biggest draw, he said, is the university’s commitment to students and their success.

“If a family will commit to come down and tour the school, I’d say almost 90 to 95 percent will end up at New Mexico State because they see how caring we are,” Gavin said. “I really love this program, and I want our students to succeed. We have a phenomenal staff.”

Gavin and his staff – Josh Salmon and Henry Stetina – earned awards last month from the PGA Sun Country Section, one of the 41 sections that comprise the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. Gavin received the section’s lifetime achievement award.

“That really hit me in the heart and shows that people recognize what we do,” he said.

Author: Carlos Andres Lopez

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New Mexico News Service

New Mexico News Service is an arm of the Public News Service that provides stories that examine the effects of policy on areas that receive too little coverage, lifting up often marginalized voices and making greater journalistic breadth on any platform.

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