Ferris State University’s strong golf reputation was again evident at the PGA Michigan Section spring meeting in late March. Several Ferris alumni were recognized with awards during the gathering.
Aaron Waltz, director of Ferris’ PGA Golf Management program, and Ian Ziska, head golf professional at the university’s Katke Golf Course, were among individuals with Ferris ties honored with awards.
For the second consecutive year, Waltz received the Horton Smith Award. Criteria for the award includes leadership and networking, promotion of golf in the community and articles written for publication in books or magazines. Ziska received Merchandiser of the Year (public). The award is presented in recognition of excellence in business and merchandising.
“One of the great honors and recognition that a PGA professional can receive is winning one of these awards at the section or national level,” Waltz said.
Waltz and Ziska are Ferris Professional Golf Management graduates. Other award-winning
alums were Doug Brody, head golf professional at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc. Brody won Merchandiser of
the Year (private). Brian O’Neill, director of instruction for Boyne USA in Harbor
Springs, won the Junior Golf Development Award. Jason Guss, director of Instruction
at the Jason Golf Academy in
Bath, earned the Player Development Award.
Ferris’ PGM program was the first of its kind sanctioned by the PGA of America, in 1975. The 4 ½ year program leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. Alternating with on-campus study, the program includes five semesters of work in a cooperative education program. PGA Golf Management students have the opportunity to work at public golf courses, resorts, country clubs and with golf industry partners.