DALLAS—The Texas Golf Association on Thursday announced the re-launch of “TGA Works,” a TGA Foundation program designed to give high school students an introduction to job opportunities in the golf industry.
According to the National Golf Foundation, the golf industry as a whole has a $68 billion economic impact on the U.S. economy. From careers in agronomy and food and beverage to finance and business management to club professionals and retail sales, the golf industry offers a truly broad spectrum of career choices. The TGA Works program provides an entry point to the myriad life paths available in golf.
Through its Foundation, the TGA will underwrite four paid summer internships for high school students with an interest in golf. Member Clubs participating in TGA Works include the Golf Club of Texas in San Antonio, Northgate Country Club in Houston, Dallas Athletic Club and Onion Creek Country Club in Austin. The students in the program get a paid summer job and they also receive one free golf lesson every week of the 10-week program that begins in mid-June. Perhaps best of all, the interns gain valuable experience in a variety of golf industry positions to help them consider viable career choice options.
The Member Clubs get access to motivated young people with a golf background to fill seasonal employment needs. Participating clubs also receive grant funding from the TGA Foundation to offset a large portion of the personnel costs. Additionally, the clubs gain the opportunity to train potential future employees.
“This really could be an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Stacy Dennis, the TGA’s Managing Director of the TGA Foundation. “I’ve spent my entire career in the golf industry, and I’m here today because I took a job as a cart attendant while I was in high school. We want to give this opportunity to deserving young Texans. It’s a win-win-win in that we’re helping introduce young people to the possibilities of a career in golf, our Member Clubs receive employment help and the TGA Foundation is able to give back to the golf community.”
Potential interns must have a golf background and be involved in an organized junior golf program, such as their high school golf team and a First Tee or LPGA/USGA Girls Golf program.
“My first internship was my first golf-related job and this is where I realized that although I loved playing golf, I loved working in the golf industry even more,” said Val De Fex from Dallas. She participated as a TGA Works intern in 2007 and 2008. “After the internships, I went on to work at LB Houston Golf Course. The internship provided a great insight on the ‘behind the scenes’ of the golf industry and it helped me have an overall love for the game. Although I no longer work in the golf industry, these internships gave me my first real world, client relationship experience that I use in my current line of work.”
Lakewood Country Club in Dallas was one of the TGA Member Clubs which has participated in the TGA Works program. Ray DeTullio, Lakewood’s General Manager, said it provided the club an opportunity to mentor students who were ready to demonstrate their potential for a career in the golf industry. 
“The arrangement through the TGA was mutually beneficial,” DeTullio said. “The TGA recommended the candidates before the club conducted the interview process. We had a positive experience and look forward to the program getting even better.”
For more information or to apply for the TGA Works program, click here.