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NMSU hosts the PGA summer camp for potential golf management students

New Mexico State University's PGA Golf Management Program will again play host next week to the PGA of America's summer camp for high school students interested in studying golf management.


During the PGA Golf Management University Program Summer Experience, 13 soon-to-be high school seniors will spend four days on the NMSU campus learning about golf management and how to improve their game. The camp begins Sunday, June 23, and ends Wednesday, June 26, with a tournament for the young golfers taking place Tuesday, June 25.

Patrick Gavin, director of the PGA Golf Management program and marketing department head at NMSU's College of Business, said NMSU was selected for last year's first and only camp because the campus has all the needed facilities and the golf program has strong support from the university. This year, the program has expanded to two other universities, but Gavin said attendance at the NMSU camp is by far the strongest.

NMSU's relationship with the PGA has been a long one. In 1987, the university's golf management program became only the third in the nation to be accredited by the PGA.

The 16- to 17-year-old students attending the Summer Experience are coming to Las Cruces from all over the U.S. To qualify for the camp, the students had to show an interest in learning about golf management as a career and have a minimum handicap of 19.

The teens will get a taste of what the college experience would be like if they opted to join a PGA Golf Management program.

"This camp is a great tool for potential students to visit the campus and experience exactly what college is about," Gavin said. "They check into the dorms, wake up each morning to attend morning classroom sessions, have lunch, then play 18 holes of golf. The classroom sessions are designed to introduce them to exactly what the PGA Golf Management Programs are all about, while giving them a feel of attending college classes."

In addition, they'll learn about the business side of being a PGA professional. "It's not just about playing golf every day," Gavin said.

The camp costs $500 plus travel expenses. The fee covers the students' two-night stay at Pinon Hall, all meals, transportation to-and-from El Paso International Airport and golf fees.

Gavin said the success of last year's Summer Experience shows it's a great way to recruit more students for NMSU's PGA Golf Management program. One student from the inaugural camp just finished his freshman year at NMSU, and two more are planning to attend this fall.