CCU breaks ground on PGA Golf Management Program Academic Learning Lab at Hackler Golf Course

CCU breaks ground on PGA Golf Management Program Academic Learning Lab at Hackler Golf Course

Board of Trustees | March 25, 2024

Coastal Carolina University held a groundbreaking ceremony for its PGA Golf Management Program Academic Learning Lab on Monday, March 25, at its General James Hackler Golf Course, which is a public, 18-hole golf facility located adjacent to the campus.

The $10.8 million, 16,000-square-foot facility, which will replace the clubhouse built in 1969, is being funded through the Horry County Higher Education Commission, the Horry County Penny Sales Tax, and the University.

CCU breaks ground on PGA Golf Management Program Academic Learning Lab at Hackler Golf Course

The new facility will serve as a teaching/working lab with classrooms and hands-on spaces that serve the golf course functions. It will consist of four main program components with central lobbies on both levels. The first floor will include the pro shop and restaurant/kitchen. The second floor will include classrooms, swinging and putting labs, and offices. The central lobbies allow for easy access to all program elements as well as visibility from the main entry out towards the ninth hole of the course.

CCU is home to one of only 16 Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Golf Management programs accredited by the PGA of America. Housed in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration, CCU’s PGA Golf Management program prepares students for a successful career in the golf industry by combining academic studies and professional golf training experiences through the Hackler Course.

PGA students can major in accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing, or hospitality, resort, and tourism management, and receive the PGA specialization when they have completed their academic and PGA membership requirements. The PGA membership requirements include passing the PGA’s Playing Ability Test (PAT), completing 16 months of full-time internship work, and completing all of the PGA’s educational courses.

The CCU project team includes Quackenbush Architects + Planners, RMF Engineering, Development Resource Group, True Design Studios, Weatherly Structural Engineers, TriMark, and Whole Building Systems.

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Excerpts from the groundbreaking ceremony:

Matt Hogue, vice president for intercollegiate athletics and University recreation

“This has been a long time coming for this project. Finally, we have come to the point to build this great new facility that is going to benefit so many over the next decades. In athletics, we are really excited for what this means for our men’s and women’s golf programs and how they can utilize the resources. And, our playing public that loves to play this course, which is busy every day. It’s an incredibly popular course among folks who live here and those that travel here, and the economic impact that they bring with them when they come to Myrtle Beach to play golf.”

Michael T. Benson, D.Phil., CCU president

“We’re really appreciative to the Horry County Higher Education Commission because we would not be here today without them. The funding for this project is coming from two primary sources, the commission, and the citizens of Horry County along with our good friends who visit from all over and spend money in Horry County. They support the Horry County Penny Sales Tax. To the citizens of Horry County, thank you. I can’t stress enough how important a facility like this is as we continue to do three things at the University: To be innovative, to be first, and to be the best.”

Erika Small, dean of the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration

“The Wall College is proud to be the home of one of the nation’s largest PGA-accredited golf management programs. We take immense pride in the exceptional students we prepare for leadership in the golf industry, the dedicated and talented faculty and staff who mentor them, and the rigorous curriculum that equips them not only with their PGA credentials but also with a robust business education in any of the six major we offer.”

Teagan Richards, president of the PGA Golf Management Student Association

“The new clubhouse will enhance our learning environment, serve as a second home for students, and allow us to grow to be the best professionals in the golf industry. The full swing and putting labs will not only help us improve our games but will enable us to expand our knowledge of some the best technology in the golf industry.”

Gil Feagin, director of the PGA Golf Management Program

“This state-of-the-art facility will not only be a physical space but a symbol of our commitment to excellence in the PGA Golf Management Program. It will serve as a hub for learning, collaboration, and professional development, providing our students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the golf industry. Through cutting-edge curriculum, hands-on experience, and mentorship from industry professionals, we are shaping individuals who will drive the sport forward with passion, integrity, and innovation.”

Chuck Johns, general manager of sports turf and golf course operations

“This learning lab will serve as more than just a classroom; it will be a dynamic hub where theory meets practice and where passion meets profession. From turf management to event planning, player development and customer service, our students will graduate not only with a wealth of knowledge but also with the confidence and skills needed to excel in the competitive world of being a PGA golf professional.”

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