Golf tournament becomes classroom for Lynn students

When the PGA Champions Tour comes to Boca Raton each February for the Allianz Championship professional golf tournament, it brings with it tens of thousands of fans, millions of dollars in sponsors, a worldwide television audience—and dozens of Lynn University sports management students. 

Serving in admissions, corporate hospitality, scoring control and many other areas of the event's operations, these students learned—first-hand and hands-on—of the inner workings of the highly-respected professional golf event. The tournament is located just two blocks north of Lynn's vibrant Boca Raton campus, at the Old Course at Broken Sound.

"Before I worked here, I didn't fully understand just how complex a professional golf tournament really is," says junior Kieran Farrell, the president of the university's student-run Sports Management Club. "It's one thing to learn about it in class. It's far better to learn about it in the real world."

At Lynn University, learning does not end in the classroom, it begins here. 

Theodore Curtis, Associate Professor of Sports Management

Lynn College of Business and Management students have been volunteering at the tournament each year since the event's inception in 2007. This year marked the largest contingent of students working at the tournament—more than 75 strong—from freshmen getting their first tastes of the sports business to seniors preparing to head out into the market.

"There is only one way to fully learn about the complexities of the sports industry, and that is by diving in," says Theodore Curtis, associate professor of sports management. "By helping the staff from the PGA Champions Tour and the Golf Channel, our students gain invaluable experience and great resume-builders."

Recently, Lynn students have transformed their tournament volunteer work into full-time careers. Just a few years ago, Stephen Marino was pulling cable to satisfy the television broadcast's technical requirements; today he is the Allianz Championship's volunteer coordinator. Morgan Goldstein volunteered at the Allianz during her junior and senior years at Lynn; she now serves as the marketing and new media manager for the 2017 U.S. Senior Open Golf Championship.

Article contributed by Theodore Curtis, associate professor, College of Business and Management. 

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