NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ON – After nearly 20 years of educating aspiring young golf enthusiasts, Niagara College Canada has decided to move its Professional Golf Management (PGM) program to its 3-year Sport Management program by September 2019. This means that the college will not be accepting new students into its PGM program this fall. All 2017 first year golf applicants will be directed to the college’s very successful Sport Management program.
Given the needs of Canada’s changing golf industry, the college decided the sport management program better meets the challenges the industry faces. By providing a broader education (that will include golf), it was determined that a transition to sport better positions Niagara College graduates for a career in either sport or golf management.
For current 1st and 2nd year PGM students, the college will fulfill its commitment by offering years 2 and 3 of the existing PGM program in 2017-18 and 2018-19 so they can graduate with a Business Administration diploma in Professional Golf Management. For the next two years, it will be business as usual meaning the program will continue on undisrupted.
“While this decision may come as surprise to some, I think it was a good move by Niagara College to go in this direction,” says program coordinator Grant Fraser, who supported the programming shift toward sport management. “Sport Management at Niagara College is a 3-year program comprised of a great assortment of business and sport related courses that not only meet the needs of Canada’s changing golf marketplace but also the PGA of Canada’s current educational requirements for individuals interested in becoming a Class A professional, ” says Fraser.
Michael Santoro, Fraser’s counterpart and coordinator of the Sport Management program at Niagara College agrees and says moving golf into sport is a logical progression and an easy transition to make. “In September 2016, Sport Management received more than 400 applications for 80 spots in our program. Students who are interested in a career in golf should take a serious look at broadening their education through our Sport Management program because it provides a variety of options and career choices in golf and other sport sectors,” says Santoro.
Looking back, Fraser says he hopes the legacy of the PGM program at Niagara College will be one that has served Canada’s golf industry well. “There are hundreds of Niagara College PGM graduates working across Canada contributing to the business and development of golf and that is what I am most proud of,” says Fraser who initiated the program at Niagara College in 1999 and has taught every student who has been through the program over the last eighteen years.
With the 15th graduating class set to receive diplomas in the spring of 2017, the PGM program at Niagara College will have an alumni base of approximately 500 graduates who will continue to make invaluable contributions to Canada’s golf industry.