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WarrenG12

Golf Academy of America vs. Professional Golfers Career College?

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Hello All:

Curious if anyone out there knows the difference between the Golf Academy of America and the Professional Golfers Career College? I know the PGA accredited programs are 4-5 years and only at a handful of universities (none in California) so that doesn't help me much.

Any advice or personal experience would be greatly appreciated. I am seriously considering getting into the golf industry later this year and these two schools seem to be the best way to get the education and hit the ground running. The PGA tour program takes a lot longer and seems a bit unrealistic for someone who has already graduated from college.

Thanks everyone!

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I'm a current student at Golf Academy of America, San Diego so I think I can give you some insight.  As to the differences between GAA and PGCC, I've never attended PGCC but there is a student in my class that dropped out of PGCC Temecula and moved to GAA Sad Diego.  He said the place is pretty creepy...things like having to wear a suit to class, religious overtones, and very weird vibe.  I think he's much happier at GAA.

As far as GAA is concerned, it's a pretty good school.  Tuition is pretty steep at $30K.  I'd recommend visiting a campus, they'll give you a tour of the facilities and give you a free round of golf.  I'd also recommend asking to sit in on some of the classes.  My biggest complaint about the school is the quality of instruction.  You can definitely tell the instructors don't have much teaching background.

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I've got a few friends that have gone through the PGCC school. I never really got into how they liked the school itself, but two of them landed pretty solid jobs straight out of school. If Vladimir is right about the religious stuff, that'd kinda turn me off, to anything.

I can tell you about those schools versus the PGA accredited schools is that you won't get recognition from the PGA for going through their [PGCC, GAA] curriculum. Meaning, you aren't going to graduate as a Class A PGA Professional. Being Class A is going to get you real golf-cred in the world. Head Pro or GM positions. Granted the guys I know that went to PGCC are still young, and just getting into the business. But, being in the business myself, I know that one will more than likely not get a higher ranking position without your Class A. And again, going through those "golf schools" you aren't going to graduate with your Class A.

If you want to turn golf into a career, the easiest, least time consuming and least expensive route would be starting at the bottom at a course, telling the Head Pro you're interested in the PGA PGM program and follow that path.

Get to know www.pgalinks.com . Here's info on the "PGA way" http://pgajobfinder.pgalinks.com/helpwanted/empcenter/pgaandyou/pro.cfm?ctc=5730

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thanks for the info ben.  i have been thinking about the possibility of getting into the golf insdusty.  one of my best friends just started at the PGCC and seems to like is so far, but i would definately want to do it the cheaper and easier way without as much classroom stuff and all.

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Have you received info back on your query? I have a son (17 years old) who does not want to go to a four year school, but would think about a golf career. I have read about the Golf Academy and it was not good. a waste of time and $ (30,000). If you hear anything about the PGCC please email me, Thanks
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I've spent some time looking into this myself because I am looking to get into the golf business and have some GI bill $ that will go toward tuition - found this forum when I was looking for details or reviews of GAA.  Anyway, here is my 2 cents on the whole matter:

GAA has some great instructors and a couple of nice campuses, and they have been around for a long time so they are well known in the industry.  Problem is that their reputation isn't always stellar as they graduate anyone who shows up and pays.  They have a LOT of full time PGA pros which is very positive,and if you put in the time and effort they will work hard to connect you with great people in the industry.  The bad for me is that they are owned by a venture capital owned for profit career college (Virginia College) out of Alabama and it seems to have turned them into a bit of a "factory".

PGCC is a mom and pop owned smaller version of GAA - the owner used to be a GAA director back in the day.  They don't have much technology in their facilities, their PGA staff is mostly adjunct, and there are some religious undertones going on.  They drug test, they call you if you don't show up for class, and they do have "faith" meetings or somethign of the sort.  Good news is they are less expensive and you only go to class in the AM.

College of Golf at Keiser University is the new player in the market and is where I am leaning right now.  Negative is they are new, they only have the one location, and they are the most expensive.  The big positives for me:

  • The are regionally accredited - much better than the others that are nationally accredited.  Florida State, Clemson, Duke = regionally accredited.  DeVry, Technical Institute = nationally accredited.  With regional you can transfer your credits much more easily and you get credits from the PGA toward your membership when you graduate.
  • PGA staff is awesome!  2 PGA MAster Pros, a Golf Mag Top 100 teacher, LPGA tour winner, PGA tour rules official, etc.
  • Facility is sick!  Check it out online.  Also the campus is right across the street from the PGA learning center and courses.
  • Plus they are non-profit which might not mean a lot, but I like it.
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Another outstanding program is Ferris State University's Professional Golf Management program.  Ferris is in Big Rapids, Michigan.  My younger daughter went there for their Professional Tennis Management program.  Both programs outstanding reputations and outstanding records for placing their students.  And in both you get a legitimate BA business degree in Marketing or Resort Management, so if the golf (or tennis) thing doesn't work out you have a real degree that has value in the marketplace.

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The Golf Academy of America sounds like an absolutely dreadful place according to some people.

http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/golf-academy-of-america-c316453.html

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Arizona State University has a professional golf management program.  It is a part of the Business College and successful completion results in a BS of business.

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NorthShore,

Would be interested to know if you're still enjoying Keiser to this point.  I myself too am about to be out of the military and considering this option with the GI Bill.  Actually thinking about checking the place out in the next month or two.  Any insight would be appreciated.  thanks!

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I graduated GAA. It was not worth it. It was a lot of time and expense. The school is not interested in teaching the students. GAA is just interested in marketing and saving money. The admissions department is just a marketing department and lies to get students. I work in the industry and know a lot of graduates from GAA and everyone says they would not do it again.

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If you looking to become a member of the PGA of America your best bet is to go to a professional golf management school. Ferris State in my opinion is #1. There is a link to all the colleges. FYI Arizona State is fazing out their PGM program so I don't think you can get in anymore. I realize you have already graduated but credits can transfer. You may want to look into the apprenticeship program.

http://pgajobfinder.pgalinks.com/helpwanted/empcenter/pgaandyou/pro.cfm?ctc=5730

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Originally Posted by xmanhockey7

If you looking to become a member of the PGA of America your best bet is to go to a professional golf management school. Ferris State in my opinion is #1. There is a link to all the colleges. FYI Arizona State is fazing out their PGM program so I don't think you can get in anymore. I realize you have already graduated but credits can transfer. You may want to look into the apprenticeship program.

http://pgajobfinder.pgalinks.com/helpwanted/empcenter/pgaandyou/pro.cfm?ctc=5730


I would agree about Ferris State.  My daughter was in their Professional Tennis Management program and it is a good program with a very high placement rate for people who want a career teaching tennis.  It used to also be a good program for people who want a career in the tennis industry but not necessarily teaching, but a change in Director pretty much killed that part of the program, Which was too bad, and led my daughter to transfer to Bowling Green's Sport Management program, which she just graduated from.  Which worked out great for me because she just interned at a Senior tournament and I got some nice perks out of it, including getting to go and see the event from a sky box right off the 18th green - THAT is a NICE way to see a golf tournament - great free food and open bar.

But she knew a lot of folks in the Ferris PGM program and there was a very high level of satisfaction with the program among the students she knew.  Plus, as with the PTM program, they get a real college degree in marketing so if the golf teaching thing doesn't work out thy still have a marketable degree.

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Originally Posted by xmanhockey7

If you looking to become a member of the PGA of America your best bet is to go to a professional golf management school. Ferris State in my opinion is #1. There is a link to all the colleges. FYI Arizona State is fazing out their PGM program so I don't think you can get in anymore. I realize you have already graduated but credits can transfer. You may want to look into the apprenticeship program.

http://pgajobfinder.pgalinks.com/helpwanted/empcenter/pgaandyou/pro.cfm?ctc=5730

While I'm sure Ferris State has a solid PGM program, keep in mind Penn State, Mississippi State, NC State, Methodist, etc. all have great PGM programs. It's best to keep an open mind and find the university you like most plus like what was said above you should be able to transfer credits.

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Originally Posted by clubchamp

While I'm sure Ferris State has a solid PGM program, keep in mind Penn State, Mississippi State, NC State, Methodist, etc. all have great PGM programs. It's best to keep an open mind and find the university you like most plus like what was said above you should be able to transfer credits.

I'm sure the other schools have great programs (Mississippi State being #2) but I believe Ferris is the best. Ferris also has a big network of graduates.

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I am a former student at GAA Myrtle Beach. I am going to start off by saying the Pga Pros at the school are in a rough spot. I do believe they have the best of intentions most of the time,they really seem like they want to pass along their knowledge of the golf industry, But their hands are tied.They HAVE to pass any student that shows up for class regardless of grades or golfing ability.We had students that couldn't spell cat if you gave them the c and the t,but still passed, So the graduation rate at the school is highly flawed.As far as job placement goes 90% of those that are working in the industry could have gotten the cart boy jobs without spending 30k for school and 25k more for 16 months of living cost.It is a shame that they recruit recently discharged military personnel

with the false picture that they paint.GAA is just about the money,They want the GI benifits and will do and say anything to get it.I have witnessed school visits by prospective students and let me tell you they dont tell the truth to the future student.If you are thinking about sending your child off to GAA I would recommend that you dont.Please do your homework first, Graduating from GAA will not give you a leg up in the golf industry,in fact I think it could possibly hurt ones chances of getting a good job.Those in the industry do not look highly on the school. I am working in the industry in a position to hire personnel and I would look at a GAA student very carefully,I know all they had to do was pay money and show up,so that would not help me to decide if they are fit for the job. My suggestion would be to go apply for the lowest ranking job at your local course and work your way up the ladder.DONT spend 50k for this type of education. I was hired for my position because of my ability to play golf not because of the degree. I really wish I could have given the school a good review because I am an alumni,but I can't be part of what I think is a terrible way of decieving those GI's that have already given way to much.

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Go to PGAA. I was told the SCGA was a good school. Now it is the GAA since it was bought by Virginia College 5 years ago. They don't care about anythinng but making money. I went to SD. They told me I could play golf every day if I wanted, but by 2nd semester it was just 2 times per week and they try to not let you do that because they have to pay for the rounds. Also, while most of the instructors are good guys, they have to do all kinds of stupid things during class, so there is not much time for them to teach real things. The Director - Rich Iorio and the director of instruction - Steve Kaese are slimy people. They smile and lie and tell you what you want to hear. Jim Nicoliason - the director of students is a great guy and cares about the students. I heard that he was fired. All the gaa cares about is getting your money. All the things they say about job placement is a lie too. When we asked about the numbers they say, the career counsler told us that not all students are in the numbers, only the graduates that he is in touch with. He does not stay in touch with grads that don't get jobs.

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