Whether you're looking to get into the golf industry or looking to upskill, the PGA Institute allows students from across the globe to take advantage of their world-leading golf education

The dream of blending a passion for golf with a career very often remains just that, a dream.

For close to 20 years however, Australia’s PGA Institute has been helping students turn that dream into reality.

Based in the heart of the world-famous Melbourne Sandbelt, and owned by the PGA of Australia, the PGA Institute is a unique educational offering for those who are looking to enter the golf industry.

Offering education, combining business, golf training, hospitality, and sport as well as practical golf skills, the Institute is the only golf Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia.

With on-site and online study options, as well as a wide range of different course offerings, students can decide what they want to study and how they want their future career in golf to look.

The PGA Institute is where preparing for all golf career possibilities happens.

A brief history of the PGA Institute

Opening in 2005, the PGA Institute (formally known as the PGA International Golf Institute) was based at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast until 2021.

The PGA Institute has always innovated and adapted to ensure the experience for students aligns with the ever-changing golf industry.

While based on the Gold Coast, the Institute undertook several ground-breaking developments in golf education, including launching Australia's only online Diploma of Golf Management.

After a successful 15-plus years on the Gold Coast, the opportunity to relocate the Institute to Melbourne arose in late 2021.

Photoshoot at PGA Learning Hub at Sandhurst.

The coming together of Golf Australia and the PGA of Australia in the newly built Australian Golf Centre opened the door for the Institute to take advantage of the fantastic facilities at the nearby Sandhurst Club, where the current PGA Learning Hub is based.

Since welcoming students on-site in April 2022, the PGA Learning Hub has been providing the entry point to a career in golf, as well as a place where the existing workforce can advance their skills and education.

The PGA Institute has also continued to expand its educational offerings, improve online study options and resources, as well as leverage partnerships with a number of higher education providers to increase further study options and pathways for graduates.

Improving opportunities for women in the golf industry

The Institute is proudly headed up by PGA of Australia RTO Manager Suzanne Burns, and as a woman working in golf herself, Suzanne is passionate about improving opportunities for women in the golf industry.

"I have been working in education for nearly 21 years, and I've been playing golf for 12 years. I'm a very passionate golfer," she said.

"Just over two-and-a-half years ago, one of my trainers came to me and basically said 'hey, isn't this your dream job', and it was the job description for running the PGA Institute.

"I feel really lucky because I have such a passion for the game, and I now get to combine that with my career."

Through her role, Suzanne is working hard to make sure more women are afforded the opportunity to blend their passion for golf with a potential career.

Studying at the PGA Institute today

Today, the PGA Institute welcomes a healthy balance of on-campus students in Melbourne, as well as online students from across Australia and around the world.

The facilities at Sandhurst provide the opportunity for education that goes beyond the confines of the classroom. Students actively participate in a variety of interactive activities, both on and off the golf course.

Offering diplomas of Golf Management, Business, Sport, as well as an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management, the PGA Institute allows students the choice to choose a study option that best aligns with their career aspirations.

The institute's flagship program, the Diploma of Golf Management, saw a 50/50 male and female split of on-campus students in 2023, a positive sign towards achieving the goal of helping more women into the golf industry.

On top of the full diploma offerings, students are able to choose from a suite of diploma level micro-credentials - small courses in a specific area of study - curated from the full course catalogue offered at the PGA Institute.

Photoshoot at PGA Learning Hub at Sandhurst.

While the PGA Institute already offers flexible study solutions, the micro-credentials take that a step further. With all options ranging from three to six months, and all under $1000, they are perfect for those who may be put off studying by time commitments and high costs.

The ability for hybrid learning, with the Institute's world-class online study options, not only allows the Institute to cater for interstate and international students alike, but also for students based in Melbourne to mould their study around existing work and life commitments.

Upskilling is a major focus of the PGA Institute

This flexibility of study, and the ability to upskill, is the appeal to many prospecting students and certainly was for PGA Institute alumni Sylvia Bourne.

Although she had already spent nearly 15 years working in the golf industry in a variety of roles, Sylvia has found a new level of satisfaction after completing the Diploma of Golf Management.

“I had actually been looking into the Diploma of Golf Management because the golf club I work at had been encouraging us to upskill and do some more training,” she said.

“I guess I’ve got a good skillset from having run my own business, so I’m not afraid to dip in here, there and everywhere.

“It was fantastic, it really was,” she smiled. “It helped me piece together everything from the different roles I’ve been in before and bringing all of my knowledge together.”

While school leavers are integral, the highly tailored nature of the courses offered at the Institute mean they can often provide the extra skills those already in the golf industry may need to take the next step in their career.

As well as gaining the skills and expertise to undertake a number of roles within the golf industry, graduates of the PGA Institute have several pathways available to them through the Institute's partnership with world-leading higher education providers.

Further pathways for PGA Institute students

While the PGA Institute prepares graduates to enter the golf industry immediately if they choose, with Institute alumni scattered amongst golf clubs and facilities not only across Australia but around the world, graduates also have several pathways available to them if they wish to continue their education.

Students are eligible to apply for credits earned from their PGA Institute studies toward selected bachelor degrees with Griffith University, Deakin University, Torrens University, Victoria University and Holmesglen TAFE.

With the partner institutions, students can enrol into bachelor degrees earning up to a one-year credit off the regular three-year degrees.

The Institute’s newest partner, Torrens University, is the first and only partner to offer bachelor degrees online, further broadening the flexible study opportunities for students.

All students undertaking the Diploma of Golf Management, Diploma of Sport, or Diploma of Business, are able to use the new pathway with Torrens to continue their education.

Like all PGA Institute partners, Torrens is proud to collaborate with the Institute for the betterment of the golf, and broader sports industry.

“By leveraging the combined expertise of PGA and the academic excellence of Torrens, this collaboration is set to cultivate well-rounded, skilled individuals poised for a successful career in the sports industry,” said Darryn Melrose, Chief Marketing Officer, Industry Partnerships at Torrens University.

Thinking about studying at the PGA Institute?

The flexible nature of study and online capabilities at the PGA Institute allows students from across the globe to take advantage of the world-leading golf education.

"Over the past two years, we have successfully delivered our Diploma of Golf Management to online students dotted around the globe," said Suzanne Burns.

"Our higher education partnerships are paving the way for our students, domestic and international, to continue their professional development and ultimately be a more knowledgeable employee and set them up for success in the future."

To find out more about the PGA Institute, click here.