Golf is a booming industry. There are more than 170 golf facilities within a 100 mile radius of the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). UIW’s Professional Golf Management (PGM) program serves a vital need in the area for qualified golf management personnel. In order to provide students the best training, the university has a state-of-the-art facility housing the H-E-B School of Business and Administration’s program as well as the UIW men’s and women’s NCAA Division I golf teams.
Nestled adjacent to the Republic Golf Course on San Antonio’s Southside, the 13,000 square-foot, $3.5 million facility features four collaborative classrooms equipped with responsive designs; offices; state-of-the-art training facilities for UIW’s golf teams; and a specially designed putting green.
Brian Graybeal, PGM director, said the classrooms offer contemporary learning environments providing versatility for the students and teachers.
“Our technology capabilities offer a tremendous amount of flexibility by allowing professors to utilize each classroom individually or by delivering instructional material simultaneously to other rooms, including exterior video displays,” said Graybeal.
In addition to classrooms, the facility offers a conference room, study areas and space to host small conferences and social functions.
In terms of training for UIW’s golf teams, the facility provides an abundance of environments for coaching staff to provide unequalled opportunities for game, skills, and physical training development for student athletes.
The facility offers a gym featuring equipment specifically designed to enhance golfers’ abilities through strength and flexibility training with free weights, universal equipment and specialized training stations. Coaches have arranged for Titleist Performance Institute certified instructors and yoga instructors to provide training routines to help develop teams both physically and mentally.
Innovation is a key aspect of the facility. Two indoor hitting bays provide state-of-the-art software and video capability to analyze golfers’ swings. This area features a unique room that allows golfers to simulate their game on 40-plus courses including Pebble Beach and St. Andrews.
“This allows our coaching staff to work with golfers on specific swing changes and enhancements and can help them detect and correct swing flaws,” explained Graybeal.
Besides the unique facility, Graybeal stressed that the expertise of the adjunct professors, Chief Operating Officer Dan Pedrotti and Vice President Michael Weiland of Foresight Golf Management Company, make this a program that truly assists students in the classroom and in hands-on opportunities through three progressive internships.
“Our adjuncts are remarkably in tune with the golf industry needs,” said Graybeal. “They have 70-plus years of experience operating golf facilities nationwide including eight of the top 100 golf courses in America.”
In fact, the adjuncts helped develop the curriculum and classwork based upon historical and current industry requirements.
Due to San Antonio’s climate, golf can be played virtually year round giving students an opportunity throughout the year to continue with employment with Foresight Golf Courses, which owns and/or operates eight in Texas, as well as those that are approved as internship hosts.
“Our goal is to have students who have a passion to enhance the game of golf and are savvy to the requirements to effectively operate a business regardless of their golf-skill level,” said Graybeal. For its first year, the program has more than a dozen students enrolled and is actively recruiting.
For more info, please visit www.uiw.edu/hebsba/bachelor-of-business/professional-golf-management.html
By Brance Arnold ’10 MA