FORT MYERS, Fla — Imagine graduating from college and being able to use your degree on a golf course. Sounds cool, right? That’s what Zachary Specht is doing.
He’s a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University and was in the PGA Golf Management Program.
Zachary says he played golf growing up, but he didn’t get serious about making a career out of the sport until he played at Port Charlotte High School.
In his senior year of high school, he could have played golf at a university in Tennessee but decided to take the golf management route.
“Golf on TV they play golf for a living. We kind of manage golf courses and teach golf,” Zachary said. “The point of our certification is to try to grow the game of golf as much as we can. That’s our main mission”
Tara McKenna is the director of the program at FGCU. There are only 18 programs in the country, and FGCU is the only one in Florida. She says the limited-access program can be tough.
“They have to pass a playing ability test to graduate,” McKenna said. “They go through the whole curriculum in addition to everything else they had to do for their bachelor’s degree.”
They also complete a 16 month paid internship. Students get awarded a bachelor’s degree and complete the PGA curriculum to earn a class A PGA membership.
Looking back on his decision, Zachary says he made the right choice. He’s already in a full-time position at the FoxFire Country Club in Naples. And he says he loves it whether he’s playing or not.
Zachary plans to learn as much as he can in his current position. He will look for ways to advance his career in the future.