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HGTC Students Volunteer at THE PLAYERS PGA Tour

HGTC Students Volunteer at THE PLAYERS PGA Tour

Golf and Sports Turf Management Students Work Behind-the-Scenes to experience Championship.

(Conway, SC) 03/17/2021

Golf and Sports Turf Management Students

Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce that Golf and Sports Turf Management students participated in the extraordinary opportunity of a behind-the-scenes working experience at THE PLAYERS PGA Tour event held at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida March 9-14, 2021.

The students were involved with the TPC Sawgrass Agronomy team and worked to prepare and maintain the golf course for play.  The students were busy mowing and providing bunker and detail preparation for the tournament conditions.  In addition, students received insight in the tournament preparations and operations through a special tour of the Agronomic Operations Center.  Students were able to network with prominent industry partners and leaders.

The return to tournament golf has brought back a sense of normalcy for Chair and Professor Charles Granger.  Participation gives students an opportunity to bring back small tips that they will be able to utilize in their career development.

“This is the 13th year that HGTC students have participated as volunteers and observers at the tournament,” said Chair and Professor of Golf and Sports Turf Management, Charles Granger.  “What our students experience while working professional tour events cannot be duplicated in a classroom setting.  As much as we try, we just cannot replicate the unbelievable quality and world-class conditions of a professional grade course.  It also gives our students the ability for them to network and start working on soft skills.  This is as much of an interview week as it is a work week.”

Juanita Vargas is a Golf and Sports Turf Management student and works full-time at Blackmoor Golf Club in Murrells Inlet.  She reflected on those early mornings getting to the golf course at 4:30 a.m. ready to work.

“Being able to work at a major tournament was the experience of a lifetime for me.  I was in awe of the golf course operations and the approachability of the management team.  I kept a journal of ideas at the end of each day to bring back to our golf course.  I was able to learn different avenues to resolve turf issues.  It’s the little things that matter in the golf course world,” said Vargas.

The week prior, Professor Ashley Wilkinson and students participated in the Arnold Palmer Invitational located at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, Florida.  HGTC is the only college in the state of South Carolina to offer an associate degree in Golf & Sports Turf Management.

Enjoy a recap video produced by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA):  https://www.gcsaa.tv/video/putting-on-the-best-show-at-tpc-sawgrass.