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Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management

PGA Golf Management

Picture of a Clemson golf ball on the Walker Golf Course on campus.

One of only 18 PGA accredited programs, the PGA golf management program in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM) at Clemson University provides an educational background and fast track program for students who desire to become PGA golf professionals. Students obtain specialized knowledge, skills and preparation to be leaders in the golf industry.

The PGA golf management program at Clemson University is being discontinued. As a result, the program is no longer accepting new student applications indefinitely. If you have questions about the program closure, please contact  

  • Overview

    The goal of the PGA golf management curriculum is to provide an academic program that develops well-rounded, service-oriented golf professionals. An exciting feature of the program is the 16-month cooperative educational requirement. The PGA golf management faculty evaluates each internship site to ensure that quality educational experiences are provided. Students will also complete the PGA's Playing Ability Test (PAT) and all testing and seminar requirements through the PGA of America. Upon completion of the program, the student will have satisfied all requirements to become a PGA of America Class A Member.

  • Admission Requirements

    This program is being discontinued and is not accepting new student applications.

  • Program Requirements (for Current Students)

    Students in the PGA golf management program receive a Bachelor of Science Degree in PRTM with a concentration in PGA golf management and a minor in business administration. Students may also select a two degree program and complete their B.S. in business management or B.S. in marketing with the completion of one extra semester of school.  Students will receive extensive training in human behavior and human relations with a strong background in all facets of effectively managing an organization.

    PRTM Curriculum - 120 credit hours in four primary areas:

    • General Education Requirements - 30 credits
    • Department Requirements - 29 credits
    • Golf Management Concentration - 50 credits (golf mgt core + business core)
    • Electives - 11 credits

    Two Degree Program Options:

  • Player Development

    Clemson University PGA golf management students who have not passed the Player Ability Test (PAT) participate in the Player Development Program. The Player Development Program will be devoted to PAT preparation and is designed to prepare students to pass the PAT as early in the program as possible. Each student will meet with the PGA golf management faculty at the beginning of each semester to evaluate their golf game and develop a plan of action for improvement. Throughout the semester, the director, assistant director, player development coordinator and Walker Course golf professional staff will assist students in their quest to become better golfers. 

    The player development program will be a semester-long course directed and supervised by the PGA golf management staff. Once a PGA golf management program student has passed the PAT, they will no longer be required to participate in the player development program. At the beginning of each semester, the student will be placed into a player development section, based on class schedule. The section will serve as a dedicated day and time with a dedicated professional to offer instruction. Attendance is mandatory for all sessions.

    • The program will include a full-swing evaluation, a tailored practice program and individual instruction to best serve each student.

    • The program will include full-swing instruction, scoring, short-game and on-course instruction.

    • Students may be required to complete practice assignments as well as turn in scores to the instructor.

    • The student must play in at least three PGA GM tournaments per semester as well as participate in at least one PAT per semester.

    • The student will continue to be enrolled each semester in the player development program until the PAT is passed. 


  • Tournament Program

    Students play in tournaments over the fall and spring.

    Scroll down the page for our Fall 2020 tournament results!

    Spring 2021 Tournament Portal

    Access the portal for the Spring 2021 tournament

  • Walker Golf Course

    The Walker Golf Course at Clemson University is a championship golf course that is fully accessible to golfers with disabilities and has become a prototype for golf course architects and developers. It serves as the setting for the instruction programs offered through the National Project for Accessible Golf and is the core facility for the PGM program.

    The Martin Inn, an 85-room hotel, and the Madren Center, a 56,000-square-foot conference center, are adjacent to the Walker Course and is used extensively for the PGM program.

  • PGA Golf Management Student Association

    The PGA Golf Management Student Association is an academic and social organization required of all PGA golf management students. Active participation in the organization is a key element in the overall success of each student. The association consists of a board of directors elected by their peers.

    The board consists of three officers and a number of committees including tournament, finance, communication and social committees. The board of directors meets weekly to discuss ways to better engage all students and offer various playing, volunteer and social opportunities.

    The professional development program consists of monthly meetings featuring guest speakers. The guest speakers present on a number of diverse topics and features leading PGA professionals in the area. Professional business attire is required.

  • Program Links
  • Find Out More

    For more information, please contact:

    Rick Lucas, Director

    Sabrina McCall, PRTM Administrative Assistant


The aim of co-op training is to provide future PGA professionals with practical experience in a setting where learning is the chief objective. The experience should be comprehensive and positive in nature and designed to help ensure the eventual success of the intern.

At the end, each student will have:

  • Developed a concept of the integration of theory and practice
  • Gained knowledge and leadership experience
  • First-hand experience in golf operation management
  • Gained knowledge of weak and strong professional areas and behaviors
  • Determined a degree of commitment to the golf industry
  • Developed a refined understanding of human relations and the ability to get along with people

The cooperative efforts of the student, the University and the golf facility are directed towards making these objectives a reality. 


  • Benefits of Cooperative Learning to the Student
    • Provides the graduates of professional curricula with a better insight into the management of golf operations and programs. Hence, they enter the field more aware of their roles and responsibilities
    • Provides a mechanism whereby the profession can screen future PGA members before their employment
  • Benefits of Hiring Student Interns to the Facility
    • Contributes to the education and preparation of future professionals
    • Allows the facility to enhance its operation through the use of student and university resources
    • Ability to benchmark operations with what has been learned in the classroom
    • Stimulates the facility’s professional staff and strengthens the overall operation
    • Provides the facility with the opportunity to evaluate prospective staff candidates
  • Facility Selection and Student Placement

    The University is responsible for the review and selection of internship sites, and ultimately the approval of students to the golf facilities. When feasible, we encourage a facility representative to visit the campus and interview prospective students as a part of the placement process.

    Facility Considerations

    In accepting an intern, the facility is helping to prepare future leaders in the golf industry by assisting the University in producing individuals better qualified for responsible positions. The facility must have a desire to participate in this educational process and be willing to cooperate with the University in preparing these future PGA professionals.

  • Internship Agreement Letter

    Before placement, an internship agreement letter must be signed by the facility supervisor, the student and the PGA golf management director indicating duties and responsibilities to be performed by the student during the internship. The following should also be included: the duration of the internship by indicating the start and end date, compensation, housing arrangements and any additional benefits.

  • Student Responsibilities

    Students are responsible for the following before during and after their internship placement:

    Before placement

    The student will meet with the PGA golf management assistant director to review all PGA/PGM work experience activities.

    During the placement

    • Report to the golf facility on the date specified by the facility.
    • Become immediately acquainted with the structure, operation, functions and policies of the facility.
    • Conduct all actions, both on and off the job, in a professional manner.
    • Be properly groomed and appropriately dressed on all occasions. When in doubt ask the supervisor.
    • Meet with your supervisor at least once a week to discuss progress and job performance.
    • Promptly seek help from your supervisor if problems arise.
    • Promptly submit a weekly activity report to the PGA golf management administrative assistant.
    • Fill out a mid-term site progress report online and submit to the PGA golf management administrative assistant.

    After the placement

    Following the conclusion of the internship, you must complete the:

    All Student Forms

    Find all of the forms referenced above here for easy access:

    1. Weekly report of activities engaged in at the internship site. 
    2. Mid-term evaluation including progress and experiences to that point. 
    3. Final evaluation of the agency. Comments made will not be directly communicated to the facility without your permission. This information will be used to help place future students with the facility. 
    4. Summary report. This information will be used to help place future students with the facility.  This could include anticipated expenses, housing suggestions, and other helpful comments. 
  • Facility/Employer Responsibilities

    Facility Responsibilities

    • Before placement, provide the PGA golf management director with a copy of the internship agreement letter that offers the student an internship position with the golf facility. It should include the starting date, end date, a description of the student’s responsibilities and work experiences anticipated, compensation, and the title of the supervisor appointed to work with the student.
    • Appoint a supervisor to work with the student.
    • Provide a variety of experiences appropriate to the facility, which should not include more than 50 percent of the student’s time working in outside operations such as bag room and cart staff activities.
    • Present the student to your staff in such a manner as to insure high professional status.
    • The supervisor should meet with the student once a week to discuss the performance of the student.
    • Immediately call the PGA golf management director if the performance or behavior of the student is unsatisfactory and/or detrimental to the program.
    • Submit a mid-internship report concerning the student’s progress and send it to the PGA golf management assistant director.
    • After the student completes his or her internship, promptly fill out the student evaluation form provided and send it to the PGA golf management assistant director.

    Read the Supervising Professional's Guide to the PGA of America's PGA Golf Management Program.

    Financial Considerations

    The University encourages the facility to pay the student a wage sufficient to cover modest living expenses in the area. This may be expressed in dollars per hour, week or month. It may include lodging with a stipend to cover food, travel and uniforms where necessary. In short, the student should at least meet expenses for the duration of his/her internship. The student is normally expected to pay all tuition and fees and the cost of transportation to and from the facility location.

    Student Supervision

    It is requested that the supervisor have weekly meetings with the student to discuss definite means to help the student gain work experiences and information not usually obtained in general staff meetings or while working on the job. This part of the internship should also help the student understand the total concept of the facility through the discussion of actual problems and situations in the operation. During these meetings, assistance may also be given to the student regarding PGA/PGM work experience activities required by the PGA.

    Suggested areas to be covered:

    • Administration (as appropriate) -- The student should study and observe the policies and practices of the golf operation. This would include experiences in budgeting and record keeping, personnel and supervisory practices and general staff relations.
    • Golf Program Services -- The student should gain practical experience in a broad range of golf program services to include tournament operations, teaching and coaching, golf car fleet maintenance and merchandising.
    • General Experiences (where applicable) -- The student should gain experience in dealing with public or member relations concerns and attend golf committee or community meetings.

    Required Internship Supervisor Reports

    The internship supervisor is required to submit the following reports to the University:

    Mid-Term Evaluation Report

    Final Evaluation Report

  • PGA Golf Management Program Responsibilities

    Before the placement

    • The Director of the PGA Golf Management program will conduct a thorough evaluation of each internship site before placement. A written evaluation of each facility will be on file.
    • Be responsible for selection and evaluation of internship sites.
    • Before placement, initiate an agreement stipulating the specific intern experiences anticipated for each student. This agreement must be validated in writing by the host professional, the school, and the student before placement.
    • Develop an agreement with the student and internship site for facilitation and completion of PGA/PGM work experience activities.
    • Approve the student’s placement based on his/her PGA/PGM work experience activity and learning needs.
    • Prepare the student for his/her work with the facility.

    During the placement

    • Serve as a mediator for problems that cannot be resolved between the intern and site supervisor.
    • Remove the student from a facility when either the facility or student is not suited to the program. A student will receive a failing grade if they are negligent in their duties or exhibit conduct that reflects badly on the University during employment.
    • Visit internship sites when available to observe students in field training.

    After the placement

    • Determine student’s grade after receiving evaluation from facility supervisor and review of PGA/PGM work experience assignments.
    • Investigate negative site evaluations by students before future placements.
  • Internship Sites

    Facilities interested in having a Clemson PGA Golf Management student should submit an Employer Application Form. Please click the link below to see current sites in our database.

    Internship Site Listing (pdf)

  • Internship Links

Fall 2020 Tournament Results

Photo of Clemson golf flag on the Walker Golf Course.
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management | 170 Sirrine Hall