Contact Us

Cole Mize,
PGA Golf Management Program Director

Phone: (208) 885-9773
Fax: (208) 885-5087

Mailing Address:
PGA Golf Management Program
College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3161
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3161

Top PGA Internships put Students on Par with Success

PGM Student Phil McCarthy and PGA professional Craig HarmonWhat better way to prepare for your career than to intern with one of the top organizations in your field?

Last summer, Phil McCarthy and Rachel Choi, both students in the College of Business and Economics’ PGA
Golf Management program, had the opportunity to learn the business of golf inside one of the industry’s leaders: the Professional Golf Association (PGA) of America.

McCarthy and Choi were selected from more than 100 applicants for the prestigious internship positions atPGA student Rachel Choi the PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“The internships at PGA headquarters are very desirable and highly competitive,” said Cole Mize, director of the PGA Golf Management program at the University of Idaho.  “In 2012, the PGA headquarters hired just four interns, and U-Idaho was represented by one of the four. Last summer, they hired six interns, and U-Idaho students were two of those. We are developing a great track record for highly motivated and capable students.”

McCarthy and Choi spent three months at the PGA headquarters and helped the organization prepare for its PGA tournaments. Choi served on the promotion team for the 95th PGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y., where she visited days prior to the tournament to help drum up fan excitement in the area. A highlight, Choi said, was meeting the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed, host of “The Golf Fix,” during a special filming for the network.

“He’s a big deal in the golf industry…it was pretty great to shake his hand and to meet some of the other big names in golf,” said Choi, who is a member of the University of Idaho women’s golf team.

Choi met many pro golfers and got an insider’s view of the game’s leaders, including Phil Mickelson and tournament champion Jason Dufner, as they practiced for the tournament.

McCarthy also got firsthand exposure to the industry’s top players as he developed profiles for the 312 golfers who participated in the 2013 PGA Professional National Championship in Sun River, Ore.

“It was a very cool experience getting to talk with them,” McCarthy said. “I had the chance to speak with all of these guys out in the field and to be exposed to a lot of people who have been in the golf business for a long time.” 

McCarthy enjoyed his experience so much that he decided to extend his internship at the PGA headquarters through March 2014. He now helps write and produce content for PGA Magazine — the ideal preparation for what he hopes will be a future career in marketing and communications for the golf industry.

“While a lot of my peers are going down the path to become traditional golf pros, this experience has helped me realize there are a lot of other opportunities out there in the industry,” McCarthy said.

Choi also plans to pursue a future on the administrative side of golf. She expects the substantial pile of business cards that she acquired during her internship to be a valuable asset as she embarks on her own professional career.

“Being at the headquarters, I was really able to make a lot of important connections in the field,” she said. “It was pretty cool to see the best of the best in the industry working all in one area, and being in that environment was a very good way to see where I want to eventually end up.”

Accredited by the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America, the PGA Golf Management program at the University of Idaho is one of 20 programs of its kind in the nation and the only PGA Golf Management program in the Pacific Northwest. Students are required to complete 16 months of compensated internships in the industry to graduate.

“These internships provide invaluable experiential learning opportunities and allow students to apply classroom theories and learning experiences in a professional environment,” Mize said. “I believe our internship program is a primary reason our program has had 100 percent job placement since its inception.”