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NMSU PGA program director wins his tenth regional award

The director of the New Mexico State University Professional Golfers Association Golf Management Program won his tenth regional PGA Horton Smith Educator Award for commitment to educating current and future professional golfers.



Pat Gavin, director of the New Mexico State University PGA Golf Management Program, won his tenth regional PGA Horton Smith Educator Award for his commitment to educating current and future professional golfers. (Submitted Photo)

Pat Gavin has been the program director of the nationally recognized NMSU PGA Golf Management Program for 18 years. NMSU was one of the first three universities in the United States to offer a PGA program and ranks among the top five schools in the nation for program enrollment. The NMSU program will also see its largest incoming freshman class, with 60 students registered for the fall 2011 semester, Gavin said.

The program allows students to earn a bachelor's degree in marketing, with a concentration in PGA management, which is essential to the sport.

"This program allows students to get a four-year degree while completing the requirements to qualify for a career in the golf industry," he said. "We're able to train and educate tomorrow's golf professionals in a college setting, so it's a great fit."

The NMSU program also leads the country in Playing Ability Test statistics, a test which all students must pass to graduate from the PGA program. Eighty percent of NMSU students enrolled in the program pass the exam; the highest percentage in the country, Gavin said.

"The influence Gavin has on our students is unbelievable," said Joshua Salmon, assistant director of the NMSU PGA Golf Management Program. "I have never seen a time where he would not go above and beyond to help a student reach their full potential. His focus has always been students first."

Gavin has also been published in two marketing textbooks as a contributing writer and as an interviewee and reviewer in several other textbooks about sports marketing and the golf industry. He has been teaching marketing courses specific to the golf industry since the spring semester of 1994 at NMSU.

"Our program would not exist without the efforts Pat has put forth over the last 18 years," Salmon said. "He is a staple of the university, the local community and the golf industry."

Gavin has also been nominated for the national Horton Smith Educator Award. The award winner will be announced at the end of the summer.

For more information, visit http://business.nmsu.edu/academics/pgagm.