Local golf academy expanding school to boost enrollment - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Local golf academy expanding school to boost enrollment

Students will learn golf club repair in new academy Students will learn golf club repair in new academy
Designs of golf learning center at new academy Designs of golf learning center at new academy
Exterior design for Golf Academy of America Exterior design for Golf Academy of America

 MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - You've seen a number of golf courses close here in the Grand Strand because it's too hard to keep up with the competition...but there is one side to the golf industry that is expanding.

The Golf Academy of America is looking to boost its enrollment, and they feel a new school located on Mr. Joe White Avenue will help bring in students and help the local golf industry, too. Golf Academy of Americas,the Carolinas location, will leave its Waccamaw Boulevard location.

“In addition to a little more square footage, everything will obviously be brand new, state-of-the -art, we've had some upgrades to equipment and the technology to teach the students golf,” said Jim Hart, President of Golf Academy of America.

The 24,000-square-foot brand new school will have larger classrooms to hold more students, administrative offices, and an expanded teaching center to instruct the students in golf.

Hart said, “It has about a 7,000 sq. foot teaching area, it has about three stimulators we have about a 2,000 square foot putting green over there for the students, to work on their putting and chipping, so its got all the bells and whistles.” In case you have been wondering the school is not just about learning how to putt. Hart explains, “A lot of our graduates go into manufacturing and sales, some go into administration in golf, so there's a lot avenues and vehicles in the golf business.”

Right now, Hart said the golf business is flat he adds the sport is not what many people are looking to swing into these days. However, he said the industry is still viable, and this new facility will draw in students who can move into entry level jobs within the golf business, to help it become more relevant.

“[The golf industry] doing some things to try to make it more popular with people, trying to shorten some of the golf courses, focus more on maybe 9 hole rounds instead of 18. Some of the courses are even going to bigger cups to make it a little easier for people to play. A big focus on junior golf, trying to get more kids interested in the game. A big focus is, on women that's a large segment, that's currently not golfing, so there are a lot initiatives out there to get more people introduced to golf,” stated Hart.

Hart feels the industry is focused on trying to get more players in the game, and the school is trying turnout good qualified people to work at the golf facilities. And a soon to be located academy on Mr. Joe White Avenue will put them in a position to work with many of the local golf courses. “Joe White Avenue will be better for us it will be more visible, and easier access for more cars going by everyday, plus it's more
centrally located it puts us closer to a lot of golf courses and apartment complexes for our students to live in.”

The old building was completely gutted and a lot of work still needs to be done but the school is scheduled  to open in January 2015 with the first classes being held on January 20.

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