Prince of Peace graduate Connor Evers decided four years ago to turn his passion for golf into a career. This year, that led him across the globe.
Evers, who graduated from Prince of Peace in 2015, was chosen by PGA America for the prestigious PGA Global Internship Program. He was one of just 11 students chosen for 2019 and was sent to an internship at Adare Manor in Ireland for the summer.
The PGA Global Internship Program chooses prospective PGA members in order to help them get a better understanding of the global golf landscape and help build the PGA America brand internationally.
Before he was an aspiring PGA member, Evers held a junior membership at Valley Oaks Golf Club. Ultimately, that turned into a job at the golf shop.
In high school, he joined the Irish golf team, making state appearances in blue and gold.
“My passion for golf and the golf industry grew while in high school and I began thinking about my future and how the golf industry would fit into my future career,” Evers said. “That’s when I learned about PGA Golf Management.”
There are 18 accredited universities in the United States that offer the PGA Golf Management Program, and Evers chose Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The PGA Golf Management University program blends the PGA Associate program courses with bachelor’s degree requirements for each school. The 4.5- to 5-year educational program offers a curriculum that features extensive classroom study and a total of 16 months of internships, to ensure that graduates are equipped with the business knowledge, training and skill set necessary to succeed in their desired golf industry career path.
Evers saw an opportunity in North Carolina and was excited for a new place outside of his hometown in Clinton.
“I choose there due to the school having many great connections in the golf industry,” Evers said. “As well as the beautiful weather year-round ... much better than Iowa winters.”
Since beginning the program, Evers has done internships all across the United States, including Massachusetts, Wyoming and Detroit. With his new selection to the global internship program, he traveled to Adare, Ireland to a historic course in Adare Manor.
“My jaw dropped when I first got to Adare Manor,” Evers said. “Once I learned about the history of Adare Manor, I was even in more awe.”
The manor was built in 1832 by the Earls of Dunraven, and is now owned by the McManus family. It has 104 hotel rooms and activities like falconry and clay pigeon shooting for guests.
“Every day at work is an amazing experience,” Evers said.
Plus, Evers will get to work with all large scale events at Adare Manor. He says he’s looking forward to the JP McManus Pro-Am Tournament the most, which is a big fundraiser attended by people like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Mark Wahlberg and Niall Horan. The last Pro-Am, in 2010, raised 43.7 million euros for charities in Ireland.
“There is a lot of prep work for this and it’s exciting to be a part of such a unique event,” Evers said.
Adare Manor is also a growing facility and one with a future that Evers wanted to be a part of building. They are set to host the 2026 Ryder Cup. It’s certainly exciting for the small town Iowa kid.
“My favorite part of what I do is the day-to-day interactions with guests here at Adare Manor,” Evers said. “We were voted the best hotel in the world last year so every day practically we have very high net worth customers coming to stay and play golf everyday with us. In fact, we had Mark Wahlberg and his entourage in last week. He was a gentleman and we spoke for a while when he was here.”
Evers is guaranteed a wealth of experience this summer, and he has definitely excelled in his time in the PGA Program already. He wants to use this experience down the line, going from the Valley Oaks Golf Shop to international golf management.
“I hope to get out of this position new experience and knowledge of the golf industry on an international spectrum,” Evers said. “I eventually want to work for a company that manages golf properties internationally. I feel that my experience here outside of The USA will help me get to my goal.”