Katke Golf Course is a learning lab for Professional Golf Management students, according to new head manager Ian Ziska, a Ferris State University alumnus.
Ziska, of Cadillac, returned to campus in January, about 11 years after graduating from Ferris’ PGM program. He hopes to give students hands-on experience, whether they are working on the golf course or practicing their game.
“One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to come back to Ferris was to interact with the golfers and the students in the program,” Ziska said. “I hope to strengthen the program and provide some real-life experience for those that choose to work for me or observe the golf operation as a whole.”
Ziska is excited to share the golf merchandising expertise and professional golf experience
he developed as a Professional Golfers’ Association head golf professional at Manistee
National Golf and Resort in Manistee, where he worked for the past 10 years. Ziska
was awarded the Michigan Section PGA Merchandiser of the Year award in 2010 and PGA
membership in July 2002.
Some of Ziska’s biggest professional competitive accomplishments include competing against Tiger Woods during the 2006 PGA Tour’s Buick Open held at Warwick Hills Country Club in Grand Blanc; finishing in the top 10 of the Michigan Open in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007; and winning the 2007 NMPGA Chapter Championship.
“A lot of things have happened at Ferris in the 10 years I’ve been away,” Ziska said. “All of us as golfers have the same vision, but it’s how you get to that vision. My main goals are to be available to the faculty, staff and student to help those in the PGM program become better golfers and better future PGA professionals.”
Ziska played on the Ferris golf team in 2000-01 and interned at golf courses in Cadillac, Dallas, Texas and West Palm Beach, Fla. He remembers when Ferris’ pro shop was constructed and is excited to make ideas he had as a student a reality.
“I have the ability to see through some of the neat ideas we had as students as the new manager,” Ziska said. “If it’s not broke don’t fix it, but I hope to put my stamp on the golf course.”