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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students tee up for class

    Every semester, students trade in their pens for golf clubs as part of a 7 1/2-week business class on the golf course.

    The class teaches students business skills outside of the corporate office and on the fairway, where real-life business deals are closed.

    “”It is fun going to play golf and saying that you are studying for your class,”” said Kara Zumbusch, a marketing senior.

    Physical Education 219, open to junior and senior business majors, is taught by Professional Golf Association instructors at Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way.

    Zumbusch said her golf experience before the class was limited to miniature golf.

    However, Zumbusch said she didn’t want lack

    You get essentially free lessons. You get to practice for free. How can you get any better than that?

    – Kara Zumbusch,

    marketing senior

    of knowledge about the game to hinder her in the business world.

    “”I want to be able to say ‘Yeah, I will go play golf with you’ when a boss or client asks,”” Zumbusch said. “”So many people want to make deals outside a conference room.””

    Ian Durnan, a marketing senior, said he was skeptical of how much business was done on a golf course until he took an internship with Edward Jones investment firm last summer. During the internship, he heard about a man in the company who used golf as a way to build relationships.

    “”They told us he is one of the top performers in the company now,”” Durnan said.

    Pete Federhar, a UA alumnus, is one of the two PGA professional golf instructors who teach the class.

    “”We offer three courses per semester and 16 students per course,”” Federhar said. “”We will have some students who are good at golf and some who have done it before and several who have never picked up a club in their life.””

    Julie Krell, director of marketing and communications for the Eller College of Management, said the classes were first offered when a gift grant was awarded to the UA after the U.S. team won the Ryder Cup golf tournament in 2000. UA alumnus Jim Furyk was on the team.

    Each U.S. Ryder Cup Team participant contributes $100,000 to a university and $100,000 to a charity.

    Since 2000, Furyk has chosen the UA as his recipient, said Ingrid Johnson, an adjunct assistant professor for the physical education department.

    “”It has been a fantastic success,”” said Johnson. “”We could double the classes and they would still be full.””

    Durnan said he tried to get into the class last year but had to wait until this year.

    “”It is a very high-demand class,”” Durnan said. “”I was 10th on the waiting list last year and didn’t make it in.””

    Federhar said the class is beneficial for students because it is a skill for the business world.

    “”They can have the chance to get out of the office for a while and play with their boss,”” Federhar said.

    Federhar, who has been playing golf for more than 15 years, said he is still excited to teach new students.

    “”I enjoy seeing new students come and learn about the game,”” Federhar said. “”To see them really drive the ball well is a great feeling for everyone.””

    The students appreciate what those around them are investing in teaching the sport.

    “”It is amazing to be able to get lessons from these guys for almost no cost,”” Durnan said. “”I know I won’t leave here a pro, but I will have a new appreciation for the game and some skills I will use throughout my career.””

    Because of high demand for the course, the physical education department will begin offering the course during summer 2007, Johnson said.

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