Intern gets on-the-course training

November 20, 1994|By John W. Stewart | John W. Stewart,Sun Staff Writer

Craig Bricker is a Mississippi State University senior majoring in golf -- and getting credit for it.

Mississippi State is one of four state universities with degree programs for students interested in becoming golf professionals, with time split between the bookwork of a classroom and the practical experience of a facility's golf shop.

That's how Bricker, a resident of Springfield, Ill., came to be spending this semester working for head professional Dennis Satyshur at Caves Valley Golf Club. In addition to a normal academic load of credit hours, a student must spend 20 months in co-op situations.

Bricker, who came to the Owings Mills club last spring, will be leaving next month. Ahead of him are probably two more years of work, as he divides his time between school and completing his remaining eight months of training in the field.

"The school classes are basically business-oriented, stressing management," Bricker said last week, "and when I graduate, I'll get a marketing degree. The nice thing about that is even if I decide not to get into the golf business, I'll have the marketing experience."

Bricker, 21, has been around golf since he was 8 years old, when his mother bought him and his father sets of clubs so they could do something together.

He played high school golf and junior tournaments, and a teacher made him aware of the Mississippi State program.

With no guarantee he'd be able to play regularly on the MSU golf team, he went to John A. Logan College, a two-year school in Carterville, Ill., making sure he took course credits that would transfer.

A year ago, Bricker spent four co-op months at Long Cove Club on Hilton Head Island, S.C. Last spring, when looking around for another private club, he heard about Caves Valley, sent a resume, and was selected.

"It's been a great experience," he said. Backed by college seminars in such things as turf management, club repair and teaching, it was interesting to flip over and be around these things in a professional shop.

"One of the things I've learned is that you have to be a 'people' person in this profession. . . . Dennis is a great teacher of that, so being around him, as well as others I've met, you pick up the special things they do to make them stand out."

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