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Golf Academy of America, Chandler, Arizona Complaints & Reviews - SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!

Golf Academy of America Contacts & Informations

Golf Academy of America

Posted:    golfing11

SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!!!!!

Complaint Rating:  57 % with 61 votes
Contact information:
Golf Academy of America
Chandler, Arizona
United States
If you are seriously looking at this school, there is a good chance that you don't think you have many other options. Trust me, this is the last place you want to go to school. Or, you might believe that this is actually a school that is going to educate you and provide the support it claims it provides. Myself and half of the other people in my class are totally embarrassed that we "bought" the Golf Academy sales pitch... Picture yourself 25, 30, 35yo and realizing after you spent $30, 000 that you just got scammed. That's what it feels like to be a 4th semester student at The Golf Academy of America. For $30, 000 plus they will give you an associates degree, but I can't tell you how foolish you will feel when you interview at a job and they laugh at your education. It's a business, period... They do have a few incredible people on there staff but they have know way of helping you. Too many students. HUGE SCAM DON'T BUY IT!!! IT'S HARD TO NOT DREAM, BUT DON'T DO IT. I PROMISE YOU WILL REGRET IT.
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 29th of Mar, 2010 by   Jnadadoo 0 Votes
I would like to know what experience you had at he school. Also, what experience did you have trying to get a job after. I'm considering going but if you have some good reasons why I should skip it please let me know.
 3rd of May, 2010 by   cmca +1 Votes
I went, did well and got a job at a great club after graduating. Then I got a winter job as well. He's right, it's a waste for half of the class because half of the people who go to GAA don't take it seriously and don't want to go through the process of becoming a PGA professional. There are other options. You could go to a PGM program and get your bachelors degree and PGA Class A at the same time. That will also be costly. I chose the GAA because I already had my BA and had no experience in the golf industry. You could just start at a club at the bottom and slowly work your way up, but that will take many years to develop the skills learned in 16 months at the GAA. It's a big expense and takes a lot of dedication, but if it's something you really want the GAA can help you a lot.
 19th of Jul, 2010 by   smithdiver +1 Votes
As a former instructor at the Myrtle Beach campus I can tell you that the entire program is junk. The AA "degree" is really worthless as it is not regionally accredited. It cost $30, 000 where a local AA degree at a community college might cost $5, 000. Here is my advice, get a job at a local golf course, do your job well regardless whether it is cutting grass or registering guests, go to school to get a AA in finance or business, keep doing this until you get an accredited AA degree or better, a Bachelor of Science degree, then use your good name earned through the golf course you were working at to get in the apprenticeship program. That wasted non accredited worthless degree which cost $30, 000 which would rob you 2 years of your life and the stolen money can be avoided.
Here is the "poop" on this "school", it is a corporation owned by a foreign entity which takes advantage of unaware young people who love golf. They tell you it is an "accredited" school when that is only a privately purchased "accredidation" from the acics. It is a money scam pure and simple. The instructors are not college graduates for the vast majority. They are golf pros with usually either a HS diploma or a degree awarded from their own institution. PLEASE go to a regionally accredited school and save your time and money.
And if anyone from the corporation (ECA) who owns the Golf Academy wants to know who I am just email me at smithdiver@yahoo.com. I am on a mission to expose your scam to the world and I know for fact I have turned several potential victims away already.
 4th of Aug, 2010 by   DustinRU82 -1 Votes
As an alum of the G.A.A. in Orlando, I must disagree with many statements made in the above boxes. One of the biggest things I noticed during my tenure was the lack in desire from most of the sudents to become professionals. Many students seemed to have the impression that "golf school" would be a cake walk, as if all they had to do was show up. I can only assume that the aforementioned comments have come from these types. I am currently in the apprenticeship program, I teach and club fit at a golf academy. I have a better understanding of the game and how to teach it than most of the Class A's around me and I owe every bit of it to the Golf Academy of America. That said, there is a negative statement mentioned that I do agree with. The degree is worthless, and unless you are at the top of the class academically and performance-wise, you will find that there placement program for postgrads is a rather poor service. Overall, though, I would do it again. The information you can attain is invaluable.
 11th of Aug, 2010 by   TXW -1 Votes
I would like to make three comments:
First, to the students (and I use that term loosly) that are making negative and derogatory remarks about the GAA as an educational career training institution, I am reminded of a quote that I find relevent as a response. "Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond their range."

As for the disgruntled former instructor, and my first rhetorical question is... Why is he a "former" instructor?...As an academic dean at one of the GAA campuses I am three classes from my MBA and graduated many years ago with a B.A. before beginning a professional career as a PGA member which has spanned some 32 years. I would match the individual and collective knowledge of our golf professional staff as well as our adjunct instructors with any educational institution mutch less with any in that is in our area of golf career training.

I am amazed at how much time and energy some people spend on complaining and making excuses instead of expending that energy to make their lives and the lives of those around them better.
 11th of Aug, 2010 by   Hey Fred! -1 Votes
As one of the Directors of Career Services for the Golf Academy of America, the above comments are interesting as well as a bit amusing. We encourage and embrace a culture of excellence for our students and obviously, the complaining student did not stay long enough to hear the “rest of the story, ” or to see where his/her career could be had they pursued completion of the degree. The story is still told about a special plant that is visited by both the bee and the spider. The bee takes away the nectar, the spider takes away the poison; they both got what they came for… but hey, that epitomizes life. I am a PGA Golf Professional of (34) years, managed and operated golf courses for over (25) years and was a management team member for one of the largest golf management company. At our Golf Academy of America Campus, we have (9) PGA Professionals on staff, including (2) Master Professionals. These committed PGA Professionals not only teach our students the specifics and hands-on training pertaining to tournament operations, teaching, club building/repair and club operations, but also serve as mentors about the golf industry and workplace. Collectively, the students will not be afforded, at any other time, the opportunity to have at their command talented PGA Members who have actively participated in every facet of the golf industry. We are committed to the student’s progress as a finished product, with the ability to compete in the marketplace with increased value. You increase your value by increasing your RATE percentage. RATE is a synonym for Recruit-Ability, Account-Ability, Teach-Ability, Execute-Ability. We focus on assisting our students to meet the needs of our employers and many employers are giving us “first call, ” for recruiting, before placing jobs in the marketplace. The GAA Employers we network with are excited about hiring GAA students for their facilities! The committed students and graduates have jobs ranging from Non-PGA Head Professionals, Tournament Directors, Golf Shop Managers, Guest Service Managers, Golf Internships, and Golf Instructors at golf facilities and teachers for GolfTEC, the leading Golf Improvement Center. Dr. Wayne Dyer, internationally best-selling author of more than 30 books including THE POWER OF INTENTION, CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS-CHANGE YOUR LIFE and EXCUSES, made a great point when he said, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” We encourage GAA students to commit to taking total responsibility for driving their careers and everything that happens to them. We live in a land of opportunity and it’s all about attitude…stay open to new ideas, listen well, be eager to learn, desire to grow and develop the flexibility to embrace change; and you will achieve success. GAA students are listening well and plucking the “weeds” (negativity) that try to grow in the lawns of their minds. “Weeds” left unattended, eventually takes over the lawn!
 28th of Aug, 2010 by   Rogers lookin 0 Votes
Please tell me now before i spend 30 grand, im looking for a college, golf inspired to go to. Should i go to GAA or somewhere els.
 28th of Aug, 2010 by   Rogers lookin 0 Votes
please tell me if this is a waste of time and money. im looking to go there.
 2nd of Sep, 2010 by   golfinguy1 +2 Votes
This place is a joke DO NOT WASTE YOUR $30, 000 I agree fully with the former instructor and that is why he is a former instructor because he see's the real side of things and probably didnt want to have any part of it any more. I believe that when the school was still the san diego golf academy and was a hell of a lot cheaper it was a lot better of a program but since it has becaome the GAA, it is just a money making scheme! they say they have all this technology and what not, which they do (tpi, etc) but it is never used and is a waste of money, also the career placement is a big fat joke they say there placement is over 85% and knowing most of the people in the last 2 graduating classes I GARUNTEE it is under 50%. Go get a job at a nice club in the cart barn and work your way up thats all they say you will do when you get out of this school anyways!
 5th of Oct, 2010 by   jjvinson +1 Votes
I was thinking about attending the GAA. I talked to a friend of mine of 25 years who attended the GAA at the AZ campus. He said that he went in with a HCP of 13 and came out a scratch golfer who passed his players ability test. He is now also working as a head pro at a golf course. So, are you just telling me he got lucky? You did not get anything out of the class? You already passed your players ability test? Look I am not looking to waste 30K. My thought was if they can get me to pass my the Players ability test and give me a store bought teching certificate and a job as a local assistant pro at a golf course making 30K a year. I am all in... So, is this what you get when you complete the 16 months or not?
 10th of Oct, 2010 by   mackT +1 Votes
As a graduate of the Orlando Campus in 95, I have to say that the above comments are unrealistic and fraud. Maybe those who are bashing the academy are those who partied too much and did not study as I did. For those looking to attend the Academy, I highly recommend that you go there. Not only will you get an amazing education but a great job.
I knoticed golfing guy1, is very disgruntled. I am proud to have went to the Academy and have had an amazing rollercoaster ride of a career.

If Golf Academy of America is so bad, then someone please explain how American Golf, Billy Casper Golf Management had Academy grads as SVP's and also explain to me how The Gateway Tour Director and The New York Metro Pro Golf tour CEO / owner are grads from Golf Academy of America if the school is a fraud. There is a reason it's the #1 Golf college in America.
 8th of Dec, 2010 by   Cadillac10 0 Votes
I am getting out of the military in a couple months and was heading back to school. I had my mind set on going to a big university to pursue the electrical engineering bachelor's degree, but I have strongly considered the GAA. I see the above comments have gone back in forth and was looking to hear from somebody who has graduated recently to hear their views. Anyone besides golfinguy care to comment?
 28th of Dec, 2010 by   golfinginAZ +1 Votes
Hey golfinguy1... if you placed the same effort into school and looking for work as you did your spelling, I am sure you would be working in a cart barn. I personally don't hire guys who cant even spell check!
Listen, there are always sour apples in every bunch and employees dismissed for poor performances. You will get out of the GAA program what you put into it like anything else in life. I graduated 10 years ago and have had great job since. Most of my classmates have good "golf" jobs. The poor reviews are those written by the kinds of guys we all had in our school who you knew would never amount to anything because of a bad attitude.
I entered the Academy as an 18.6 handicap and left a solid 5 and was able to pass my PAT. I worked hard at it and I worked hard in school!
Smithdiver... I never trust anyone who bashes a former employer and suddenly wants to tell all "after" your gone. Save your anger for the next place you get fired! Oh and I just looked and at least in Phoenix, the instructors have very impressive degrees and credentials. In fact, they have two Master PGA Professionals and I saw MBA Degrees and Masters Degrees in the list.

Stop complaining and become a success! GAA is a great program, but don't expect anyone to do the work for you.

TO ANYONE WHO READS THIS> I have been on some great teams in my life (at work and in sports) and there are always negative cry babies who look for excuses and waste time complaining. The negative comments represent the small majority who fall in that category.
 20th of Jan, 2011 by   smithdiver -1 Votes
Well, I see some of the PGA instructors are rebutting my post. Perhaps I should expose some of their motivations so you all understand why they are so adamantly supporting their scam school.
At the current time the golf industry is one of the hardest hit by the poor economy and many PGA professionals are looking for work. The golf schools who employ these PGA members are their last hope for being employed in the golf industry as they could not otherwise find a decent paying job. Maybe Dick's Sporting Goods would hire them but their is only so many retail outlets who are looking for a PGA professional. So, these guys need their job and they have to have new enrollments to stay employed. Trust me, they are terrified of losing their jobs whether they want to get on here and deny that fact or not. Anyone who has a PGA membership and takes a job in a scam golf academy has no shame as they surely know the industry does not currently need new people with unaccredited degrees to be applying for jobs in an industry that is broke.
What they want to do is discredit the messenger (me) in order to continue their swindle. So all I ask you to do is to think about who has more motivation, them or myself. I have nothing to gain, they do.
So they spew all kinds of disparaging accusations at me and begin to tout their qualifications to build a deception of credibility of the scam they are serving to perpetuate. Please don't fall for it, there are far far better options than this unaccredited $30, 000 scam who is promising a future in the golf industry if only you select to attend their school.
Consider a few things.
1. Some claim the school helped them improve their handicap. Well sure it will, but any dedication to improving will do that. One of the deceptions they use is the instruction technology. It is the cheese to the rat trap. You can get that same technology in Dick's sporting goods and go to the driving range and video your own swing and study it. Get a partner and study together. That 30 minutes they give you in the booth at the GAA isn't going to benefit you nearly as much as your own dedication.
2. A unaccredited degree is embarrassing especially when you present it to someone who has a "real" degree, and that person is interviewing you. I know, I had former students write to me and tell me about that humiliation.
3. It is far less expensive to go to a regionally accredited institute. I teach for one now and the entire scene and mood is vastly superior to that scam environment. The instructors at the golf academies know extremely well that their employer is a mysterious corporation raking in millions and millions with all the other scam schools it owns.
4. The scam is that the golf academies take in cash to enable their other schools to take in government grants. It is called the 90/10 rule for staying qualified to take Pell grants and other forms of government funded education monies.
5. I have nothing to gain other than knowing that maybe someone was saved from making a $30, 000 mistake that cost them 2 years of their life, (or 18 months). It is so immoral to rob someone of that money and time who is desperately trying to get a legitimate start in life or change careers. Please don't fall for this professional scam.
So here is a message to any of the GAA staff who might wish to dispute me. Why haven't you contacted me. I invited you to email me at smithdiver@yahoo.com and none of you have. Why is that? Just so you know, about 25 people have contacted me to discuss the school and I assure you that after our conversations none of them will (or did) attend the GAA.
I want to make a promise to you people scamming the innocent young people. If you try to discredit me on this thread any further, I will begin several other blogs and participate in as many discussion threads as I can find to expose the school for what it is. I figure that if this one thread has saved a couple dozen from signing your trashy contract, I can exponentially grow that number by simple efforts around the internet. So do the math, 25 time $30, 000, well that is $750, 000 so far and I am not done yet. So keep it up and try to discredit me, I will come back at this school so hard I might be able to close the doors. And you know that if I do that, the entire ECA is at risk due to the 90/10 rule. Creates a problem for you doesn't it?
For those of you who are considering attending, please contact me. I want to spend some time explaining the scam further. I have a document I can send you to absolutely expose this scam, just let me hear from you and I will send it.
Thanks for your time all. And here is a PS, I am not discouraging anyone, I am encouraging you to get a degree but not from this scam foreign corporation who has wormed their way into the American tax payers pockets. Check them out closely. It is the ECA and they own Virginia colleges, more scam schools.
 27th of Jan, 2011 by   bRicky73 +1 Votes
As a 2009 graduate of the GAA (AZ), I can tell you that smithdiver is full of it. I learned more about the golf swing, teaching, business, etc. than I could have ever learned on my own. Before I attended the academy, I thought I knew it all from reading hundreds if not thousands of golf articles, books, and watching videos/t.v. shows. After one week at the academy, I realized I knew comparably nothing. I now have the sincere confidence that I can go into any job and know exactly what I am doing. I can have the up most confidence in teaching anyone and everyone with the extensive knowledge of the golf swing and teaching philosophies that I learned at the GAA. Most of my friends and classmates from the academy were placed with jobs before they even graduated. Personally, I took a year after graduation to think about if the golf business was what I really wanted to get into. After re-discovering my love for the game, I decided it is with out a doubt what I want to do. I am now searching for assistant professional jobs in my state and have had 2 very recent interviews already. From the interviews, I learned that there is no way in the world that I would have even been considered for the jobs without my degree and experience from the GAA. If you want to start from the ground up somewhere, have fun being payed 7 to 8 dollars an hour for 4 plus years until you maybe get offered a higher position. The GAA gives you more than everything you need to learn in 18 months from PGA professionals that have amazing credentials and experience. I made great friends and connections along with everything else. I would do it again with no hesitation. Thank you GAA!
 27th of Jan, 2011 by   smithdiver -1 Votes
bricky73, how much did that learning more about the golf swing and teaching business cost you? Over $30, 000 maybe? Sure it did. Now you are either paying that debt off or glad your parents did. Which is it? You are unemployed after spending that much money spent suggests to me someone else is paying your bills so I suppose it was your parents who funded the $30, 000+ tuition and fees and housing and living expenses while you earned your unaccredited degree from the degree mill called the Golf Academy of America. Yes, it is a degree mill because it does not have regional accreditation and the bogus credits you paid for will not transfer to a regionally accredited school. If you want to get a real degree you will have to start over from the beginning.
So are you suggesting that a graduate from the scam Golf Academy is going to be paid, (not payed), more than $8.00 p.h. due to their "degree"?
Here is a real plan, go to a regionally accredited school and get a legitimate Associates degree from a respected school in business management, it will cost you a fraction of the tuition of the Golf Academy, you can put that money towards a country club membership and a range plan. While you are studying for that degree, make an effort to get to know the PGA at that club and learn about the business through him, I am sure he would be glad to assist you. As a matter of fact as things go in the business, by the time you complete (or before) your degree, a position might come open in that club for you. If you are expressing a sincere interest in the golf business, explaining your reasons for going to school, trying to improve your game, trying to learn the golf business by asking sincere questions, ... that professional will either hire you himself or give you a reference. He will also be able to keep informed of any other local positions to let you know about.
The golf academy PGA professionals tend to be kept outside the "loop" on the concerns of the local job markets by the club professionals from my experience. I know someone will rebut that statement but again, that is my observation. Perhaps it is because the local professionals (or club pros) are working in golf business management while the golf academy pros are "teaching" and not filling the traditional PGA professional role of managing a golf course and dealing with the demands of the job. As a former club professional I also know that their was a distinct difference in perception among the professionals of each other determined by the position currently held.
Anyway, don't waste your time and $30, 000 on the scam, go volunteer at the local golf course to get in good while getting a degree from a good school. That is the bottom line. I promise you will be far better off! Far far better off with a lot less money.
So now, I wait for the next attempt of the Golf Academy to rebut and afterward I will again explain and convince to others why your sales pitch is nothing but a lure into a scam to steal money from the unknowing and unsuspecting young people trying to find the best way to follow the game they love. You vultures! Leave them alone to get a legit degree.
Smithdiver
PS: email me at smithdiver@yahoo.com
 27th of Jan, 2011 by   smithdiver -1 Votes
I made a couple grammar errors folks, I do know the difference of "there" and "their". I used "their" improperly as well as a couple other grammar errors and that goes to say, "proof your writing every time before submitting".
Gunner
 28th of Jan, 2011 by   Esplendido -1 Votes
HA! I cannot believe I found this website with this complaint! Smithdiver, I was also an instructor with the golf academy of America when it was still the San Diego Golf Academy. Salutations.
I have a few things to contribute as well. First to those who already went to this business to get a degree, I apologize for what I am about to say, it is not meant to harm you. For others who have not gone to this school, just beware. Everything I have read that Mr. Smith Diver has said is from someone who obviously knows as much, if not more, than I do. I taught at this school for a few years and it used to be a rather small school until the money started rolling in. It seems money really changed things and it was bought out by the education corporation of America. That is when things went down hill fast with new rules, new policies, new bosses and a new purpose. They brought in highly skilled sales staffs and started with advertising which was even international. Ironically it is not the primary focus of the "ECA" but a necessity to get cash in relation to government funds for tuition. This is partly where I see that the "scam" lies.
It is true that the diploma is not regionally accredited, but I know that you come out knowing more about the golf business than when you enter. For employers who might be considering a graduate, just check with the staff at the school where they graduated and see how many personal references from the PGA staff members you can get to commit because it is like someone said early in the thread, it is what you put into anything what you will get out.
I agree the tuition is higher than a cats back and that is bad news for those who signed the contract or finished already. You can compare the tuition to any University and find that out. A University has regional accreditation, that is what you need to be considered most genuine or "legitimate" as I see it referred as. There are so called "schools" that actually have no accreditation at all and those are called "degree mills". I would not place the GAA in the "degree mill" category but others might and could if compared to a regionally accredited school.
Now some more bad news for anyone considering this school. The students are very often (not always) under performing, often moderately illiterate "sluffs" who come from wealthier families from my experience. They often have very bad attitudes and a horrible work ethic. Again, not all for sure and for those who are serious when they come, are highly discouraged by these unmotivated "silver spoon" individuals as they try to get the most out of the program.
This isn't a program meant to make you a tour pro, it is a golf business school that cost loads of money. In order to pass any of the courses all that is essentially required is to show up and sign in.
You could certainly get on the job training from any golf course especially if it had a professional. So I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Diver as he suggest going to get a job instead of paying for that same knowledge. The way things have changed in the PGA, it is quite necessary for new entries into the ranks to have a degree, not a AA or GAA degree, but a legitimate one, preferably get your Bachelors so you can compete for jobs. I also know that if you are employed as an apprentice making $8 per hour, the golf course might and probably will pay your apprenticeship dues and your PGA schools. Just compare those factors to paying $30, 000 and getting no PGA apprenticeship points or schooling or on the job experience you will miss out on.
So yes, the ECA is a big business often digging deep into the pockets of the unaware, you don't need this school, it takes as long as a regionally accredited two year school and is more expensive, so why go there? Sorry to my former workmates, I think you will do fine without the few that read this post but you all know it is true and moral to pass along, so if you must, get over it and live in the real world.
But I don't invite others to email me because I know this organization is a mystery, potentially dangerous and I do not trust what they might do to anyone who interferes with the money flow. Be careful Mr. Diver but if you need someone to confirm your claims you can give a message through this forum and I will at least be able to verify through my own experiences that what you say is quite accurate and matches my knowledge of facts.
To you other PGA members who are still with the GAA, guys your house is on fire so don't throw gasoline on it or it seems Mr. Diver will throw more matches. The claims are real and furthering the discussions is only going to get more attention on the reality of a very expensive wasted 18 months getting a degree that is not transferable for 30 grand plus expenses. Yikes.
 29th of Jan, 2011 by   LizardHead 0 Votes
Here is my take on GAA:
Now, mind you, I attended the San Diego campus back in 2002 when it was called the San Diego Golf Academy. It was owned and ran by some goofy broad that inherited it from her Father who had started it with Tim Somerville way back when. After an apparent falling out, Dr. Somerville went on to found Professional Golfers Career College (PGCC) a few miles away. This was, from what I understood, the start of a bunch of drama. But I digress, for that was before my time. Let me get to the point.
I attended GAA (then SDGA) in 2002. I knew less than nothing about golf. I simply went because I had a bunch of money wanted to learn the mechanics of the golf swing. I had no intention of learning the "business of golf". At the time, the campus was located in a strip mall in Vista, CA. There were none of the fancy facilities that are part of the GAA commercials today; no swing analysis machines, neato computers, etc.
We went to classes on rules, history (Old and Young Tom Morris), and general business.

Now, before the flame brigade commences, I am not putting the program on blast. There were some pretty good guys there. Mike Flanagan, whom I believe is still @ the San Diego branch, was as solid as they come. This guy knew more about golf as a business than anyone I have met.; Jerry Brady...cool, laid back guy that was biding his time. I believe he is now up near Seattle somewhere at a private equity; Art (forgot the last name) was a stocky version of Gary McCord; a guy named Randy Something-or-other. We all called him "He Hate Me", due to his severe lack of anything resembling a personality; and, of course, Tim Eberlein, Master PGA Guy. He is still with GAA somewhere. Very anal, very holier-than-thou, but a damn fine representation of a Golf Professional.
Now that I have the caveats out of the way, I will continue...

I had no business being at that school, but they accepted me anyway. Not sure why. I had no respect for the history of golf (although I still remember the Morris', thanks Art), or the business angle. I has a sufficient amount of business knowledge before attending that anything I may have learned was moot. I simply was on a quest to learn some kind of "swing". Did I learn that, you ask? Well, yes and no. I learned that I could fan the club face and, as long as I squared it back up on the way down, I would strike the ball better. That, as we all know, won't cut it. I began to dislike the program after the 1st semester...of course all the drinking I was doing wasn't helping either. By the 2nd semester, I had enough, and wanted to let my fellow students in on a little secret.

See, the entire cirriculum is designed to repicate the 3 stages of the PGA apprentice program. So, you pay $15k and get a "leg up" in the industry. This, by no means will "entitle" you to favoritism when it comes time to start you search...with a $15k loan under your belt. This bothered me. I, being a type-A personality, didn't suppress my opinions, and it got me in a little hot water. I also stopped going to "class", as I had accepted that it was garbage...not because it was, but because I saw that there was a easier way.

At the end of the 2nd semester (and a week before I was kicked out), I got a job at an American Golf managed private facility called Lomas. They knew I wasn't fit to be a "Golf Professional", but allowed me to amuse them. Wouldn't you know it?? My swing started taking shape. I spend day after day scrubbing clubs and washing carts for snotty bastards that thought they were named Trump. I didn't complain...there was a strategy involved. Doom on them. I rapidly approached my 6th month of gainful employment with Lomas none too soon...

On the 1st day of the 6th month, I quit; went back to my rental house (on the beach, thank you), and packed my gear. I was headed for the PAT in Phoenix. I made my roommate a bet; that I would become a "Golf Pro" before anyone else in our graduating class. We shook hands, and I was off.

Two weeks later I had a job with Troon Reservations; 2 months after that, I scored a sweet "Guest Services" position with a new facility opening west of Phoenix called the Raven. It took me about 6 months to work my way into the shop there...then they found out I was "involved" with a Refreshment Car Hostess" (thats what they called the BevCar), and I was terminated. I didn't mind too much...I ended up marrying that girl...we are going on 7 years together. It was worth it.

It took me a month to find a new spot, and it was as an Assistant a low-end daily fee down the road...a hackers course. I did, however, get to manage ALL the tournaments and annual play pass sales. I took that dump into the black within 8 months. I was then named the 1st Assistant. How was my golf game at that point? Well, I am happy to say that a hovered around an 8 handicap by that time. Did I learn it from GAA? No...I read Ben Hogans 5 Lessons. Thats all it took.
After being named 1st Assistant, I called by old golf roommate to report that he had lost the bet. He relented...and I quit the next week. I had proven my point. If you want to be in the golf business...just go do it. You don't have to pay a school to teach you stuff when you will end up washing carts anyway...while trying to pay a huge student loan on $5/hour + grats. Here is an interesting factoid: before I quit, I needed to staff up for my replacement. I called GAA (SDGA) and told them who I was and that I needed students in my area to fill spots. They were offended and flabergasted that I was in the position I was in. I kindly told them it was due to my own fortitude, and not their curriculum. They never sent any people my way. Doom on them.

What did I do after my quest was over? Well, I opened a skateboard shop in Sedona, AZ; which morphed into 4 within 2 years. I sold the whole nut 2 years ago and retired...at 39 years old. I still play golf occasionally with my buddies from GAA graduating class of 2002. NONE of them are in the golf business.

postscript------- I NEVER used or mentioned GAA or SDGA on any resume or during any interview for my break into the golf business. I ommitted any reference to them by design. I often think about some of the instructors from SDGA, and thank them for what they had done for me in the short time I was there.
The fact still remains, I went from an adamant non-golfer to a 1st Assistant running daily golf operations, tournaments, sales/marketing, etc...in 16 months, and it wasn't because I went to SDGA. It was because I WANTED it.
 29th of Jan, 2011 by   LizardHead 0 Votes
Like smithdiver, I also made a couple grammatical errors. It is only because I am sitting in my Lazy Boy in front of the tv, typing in the dark.

BTW...a few of us that went to SDGA and are no longer in the golf biz formed a Facebook tribute group.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=7397995813

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