RIT Tees up New Course on Golf Course Management

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Classes focus on planning behind PGA Championship

You could say it’s a golf course on a golf course.

This summer, for the first time, Rochester Institute of Technology offers a course on Golf Course Management. Even better, the course will be held on a golf course—Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, site of the 85th PGA Championship, Aug. 11-17.

“That’s what makes it exciting,” says Rick Lagiewski, visiting professor of hospitality and service management at RIT and course instructor. “This sector of the hospitality field offers rewarding career opportunities.”

Classes will focus on preparations for the tournament—more than two years in the making—and coordination between officials from the PGA, Oak Hill Country Club and various vendors.

Topics covered include advance marketing, food and beverage catering, greens maintenance, retail merchandise sales, security, site planning, and the role of technology such as global positioning satellites. Lagiewski says facility tours and guest speakers, including PGA and Oak Hill Country Club officials, will be featured.

The two-credit-hour course meets from 9 a.m. until noon on Mondays for five weeks through Aug. 11—leading up to the start of the tournament. A dozen students are signed up.

A “challenging course,” it includes assigned reading and student projects, Lagiewski says. He developed the course with Eric Rule, general manager of Oak Hill Country Club and an RIT alumnus.

Once play begins, defending champion Rich Beem and other golfers vying for part of the $5 million purse will be in the spotlight—but a handful of RIT students will be in the know on how it came about.