Collaborative learning experience is a hole in one

April 25, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – On the surface, it looks like pure fun: Young people teaching other young people how to play golf followed by refreshments and an opportunity to mingle with professionals.

However, the experience for students studying hospitality management and professional golf management was much more than a fun evening.

The “Putt, Chip and Dip” event at the Penn State Golf Course was the result of a collaboration between Michael Tews, associate professor of hospitality management; Matthew Bakowicz, graduate student studying golf management; and Joe Hughes, PGA general manager and head golf professional for Penn State Golf Courses.

Tews teaches Professional Development, HM 203, a course that helps School of Hospitality Management (SHM) students gain necessary skills, such as résumé writing and interviewing skills. Bakowicz and Hughes teach the beginner golf instruction course, Teaching Golf I, KINES 093, for students in the PGA Golf Management (PGM) Program.

Together, the instructors coordinated the April event to provide students with an opportunity to try out the skills they learned in the classroom. The goal was to prepare students for upcoming internships and jobs in their fields of study.

PGM student teaches golf skills to hospitality management students

Alexx Suchy, a PGM student, teaches hospitality management students basic golf skills.

IMAGE: Kevin Sliman

Specifically, PGM students utilized their new instructor skills by teaching SHM students basic golf skills.

“For most of my students, so far their teaching experience is limited. Giving them the opportunity to teach beginner golfers is a stepping-stone experience that sets them on the path for success in the golf industry,” said Bakowicz.

Afterward, SHM students practiced their networking skills with alumni and other hospitality management professionals invited to the event.

“We want to help students feel confident about their abilities when they go on-site for the first day of their internship or job,” Tews said. “This collaborative event is a meaningful opportunity to help prepare students for those experiences in a fun, low-pressure setting. We’re taking the fear out of it.”

Students appreciated the opportunity to put their new skills into play.

Students learn the game of golf

PGM student Alexandra Hayward teaches Maggie Agostini, a first-year hospitality management student, basic golf skills. 

IMAGE: Kevin Sliman

“This was an awesome experience. It was nice to finally take what we learned in the classroom out onto the course,” said Alexx Suchy, a PGM student.

The PGM program emphasizes the concept of “growing the game of golf,” meaning actively generating new interest in the sport. Roughly 90 percent of the hospitality management students had no prior golfing experience.

“When you look around, you see people smiling and having fun,” Suchy said. “Today we helped the game of golf grow.”

Maggie Agostini, a first-year SHM student, enjoyed the opportunity to learn basic golf skills for the first time.

“I know with my major that I am going to experience situations with employers that are golf related, so this experience was educational, but it was also fun because we got to interact with student instructors and alumni,” Agostini said.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 09, 2016