Here, you get to play golf all year. You can’t do that in any other PGA program.
Mariana Gottret, an international student from Bolivia, picked up her first golf club at age 7, following in her dad’s and older sister’s footsteps. When she was 16, she met her coach and mentor, and her love affair with the sport blossomed into a passionate career choice.
For reasons not at all surprising, Mariana chose FGCU based on its proximity to more than 150 golf courses within 30 minutes of campus, and, she said, the size of the school and its multicultural environment.
“Here, you get to play golf all year. You can’t do that in any other PGA program. As students, we meet the professionals in Fort Myers and Naples; we have opportunities for internships. This all sets the FGCU program apart.”
In addition, she said, the PGA program offers plenty of service-learning opportunities. Mariana volunteers with the LPGA Girls Junior Golf Program every Sunday, teaching the sport to 5- to 17-year-olds. She volunteers with US Kids Golf Tour, helping run tournaments for junior girls and boys 5 to 14 years old.
As golf assistant at Stonebridge Country Club in Naples, she taught senior players and ran the women’s league as well as taught clinic. Farther afield, at the Baltimore Country Club, she focused on golf operations and daily play. And as an intern at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, she worked as golf assistant, helping with junior programs and tournaments.
The benefits of an FGCU degree don’t end there. The university has a student chapter of the Club Managers Association of America. “Each month, we go to a different country club, meet with the GM, talk about the industry, tour the facility and have an opportunity for internships that students from other programs do not have.”
But it’s The FGCU Effect that impresses Mariana most. “The FGCU Effect is all about the willingness to help. It’s about the environment at the university. My decision to come to FGCU has changed my life. I wake up happy every day. I love what I do and where I live.”