PGA TOUR internship program in-depth, competitive


The PGA TOUR is known for its involvement in the community and that includes the development of the next generation of workforce.

This is done thanks to their internship program which has been around since 1992, but according to Jim Clarke, PGA TOUR Vice President of Talent and Culture, beginning in 2010, the program was enhanced with a classroom-based curriculum to provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

“We designed this very specifically to ensure that there was a strong focus on how they are actually taking what we teach them and then being able to make it practical,” Clarke said. “Every year one of the things that is consistent, is that I ask them ‘so what did you do on Friday night after your first week of work?’ and everyone’s like ‘we went to bed. Because as college students they are just not used to a 40-hour straight work week.”

That is an example of the practical sense that the internship program seeks to capture, and according to Maiah Jaffa, from the University of Florida and a Creekside High alumna who is interning in the PGA TOUR’s digital department it is exactly what she was hoping for from an internship.

“I had another internship prior to this, but it just wasn’t as in-depth,” Jaffa said. “It definitely crams a lot of work in a short period, but I really enjoy that.”

Noah Dacanay is also from St. Johns County and the University of North Florida student is part of the program as a finance intern.

“I’ve been working a lot with the new digital studios building that’s being built, and helping forecast a budget for the studios,” Dacanay said. “I’ve always been a math person and just been into numbers.”

Both Dacanay and Jaffa have different backgrounds in golf with Dacanay having volunteered at THE PLAYERS for the past five years, while Jaffa is not a golfer herself and is having to learn the common terms of the golf world now that she’s in it.

However, Clarke believes that the diversity of the program’s interns is something to be proud of and it shows that the PGA TOUR can use talented people regardless of whether they know the game of golf or not.

“Your talent is there no matter what, and now you just have to learn the product you’re working with,” Clarke said.

Since 2010, the PGA TOUR has received nearly 1,000 applications each year for the internship program with 14 to 16 candidates being selected to take part in the program through a rigorous selection process.

“It is a very competitive program, and I joke, but if you compare our stats to Harvard or Yale, we’re more competitive to get in with only 1.6% of those who applied getting in,” Clarke said. “The biggest compliment I can get is when someone finishes the program and asks ‘How do I go about working for you? Even if they don’t work for us, I’m guessing in five to 10 years they’ll be leaders at an organization and maybe they’ll partner with us. It’s really a win-win situation at the end of the day.”