Word leaked online Thursday that some changes might be coming for the Professional Golf Management (PGM) Program at Niagara College. The school confirmed the news later in the day, revealing that the program would be moving over to be come part of the school’s Sport Management program after almost two decades in its own realm.
The transition will take until September, 2019 to complete, meaning there will be no intake of new students this coming Fall but the curriculum would be fulfilled for current 1st and 2nd year PGM students. They will still graduate with a Business Administration diploma in Professional Golf Management. Those interested in the PGM program would be directed to the Sports Management Program, according to the release issued by the PGM Program Coordinator, Grant Fraser.
The reason for the change supplied was: “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.”
“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 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.
The number of graduates from the Niagara PGM program will rise to more than 500 with the next round of diplomas awarded this Spring. This will be the 15th graduating class with two more to come before the program starts its next chapter.