Golf News for Friday, December 19, 2008 | Instruction

Four PGA Professionals graduate from Master Professional Program

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of America is pleased to announce that four PGA Professionals have graduated from the Master Professional Program.

Since the program's inception, 323 PGA Professionals have graduated from the Master Professional Program. The PGA Master Professional Program is the highest educational level in The PGA. It was established in 1969 to recognize PGA members who make a significant effort to improve themselves as golf professionals and maintain the highest degree of excellence for themselves and their operations.

One of the original requirements for earning Master Professional status was the submission of an extensive thesis on one aspect of golf, which was reviewed by a panel of professional experts in the field. The thesis topics range from the mental and physical aspects of the golf swing to golf course construction and computer technology in the golf shop. The Master Professional Program then changed to require the completion of one of the seven Specialty Certification courses: Instruction, Rules, General Management, Golf Operations, Tournament Operations, Golf Car Fleet Management or Merchandising. Professionals desiring Master Professional status also had to be active PGA members for a minimum of eight years.

As of August 2004, the PGA Master Professional Program now originates from the PGA Certified Professional Program. After a PGA member passes the Certified Professional Program's proficiency assessment test, he or she is eligible to work toward their "Masters Degree" in education by preparing a special project in their selected career path that meets the approval of examiners. This process is similar to the "Masters Thesis" project previously required to earn Master Professional status. The Master Professional applicant then presents his or her project to a panel of examiners and answers questions on the project. Since then, there have been 15 individuals that have obtained the Master Professional status.

In late October, the following PGA Professionals graduated from The PGA's Master Professional Program:

* Timothy P. Beckwith - The Oaks Club, Osprey, Fla. (Instruction)
* James M. Nemeti - Grandover Resort, Greensboro, N.C. (Instruction)
* James E. Swarthout - Pheasant Ridge Country Club, Gilford, N.H. (General Management)
* Dennis A. Wells - Little Miami Golf Center, Cincinnati, Ohio (Instruction)

Editors Note: For interviews or additional information on the PGA Master Professional Program please contact Ashley P. Ross at (561) 624-7671 or aross@pgahq.com.

About The PGA of America

Since 1916, The PGA of America's mission has been twofold: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf.

By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, the Association enables PGA Professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the $76 billion golf industry.

By creating and delivering dramatic world-class championships and exciting and enjoyable golf promotions that are viewed as the best of their class in the golf industry, The PGA of America elevates the public's interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere.

The PGA of America brand represents the very best in golf.