Junior Colby Roberts interns at a course that is hosting a national amateur golf tournament.
A premiere golf tournament like the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship being held this week at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md., is a major undertaking.
Cal U junior Colby Roberts has helped to make sure the course is ready.
“There’s so much to prepare for this tournament, and I’ve been working in the golf shop, helping with merchandising, getting locker rooms set up, organizing players, as well as working with our members,” said Roberts, who is studying professional golf management and psychology with a minor in business administration.
“It’s super exciting working at such a large golf facility because there are so many knowledgeable people to learn from in a variety of fields in the golf industry, which is exactly what I want.”
The Golf Channel is broadcasting the tournament, which concludes Aug. 9.
COVID-19 protocols required Roberts to be tested before and during the tournament and to be in a so-called “bubble” in order to restrict contact with others.
Roberts said Woodmont has adhered to all the pandemic requirements since she started her internship in mid-May.
Inside, a maximum of 10 people are allowed in the golf shop. Outside, summer camps that adhere to social distancing requirements are being held.
“With social distancing it was a challenge, but Woodmont really emphasizes the idea that if you are going to be a golfer, you have to be an athlete first,” Roberts said. “So instead of jumping right into the golf stuff we try to keep them moving, enjoying their time and doing as much as they can to build an athlete out of them first.”
She also is learning all she can from staff, including Trillium Rose, Woodmont’s director of instruction, who was recognized as a Top 50 Teacher by both Golf Digest and the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Working in the golf industry requires a variety of skills, making the internship experience an important part of a successful career.
“You need to be able to wear a lot of different hats and are expected to know everything — from what kind of benefits a certain golf shoe has to what degree of loft you need for a type of shot, even what kind of grass you are playing on. You also need to be familiar with the financial, teaching, and mental aspect of golf,” she said.
Roberts applied for her internship during the 2019-2020 academic year and got a boost from Justin Barroner, the PGM program director, who worked at Woodmont before coming to Cal U.
“Colby Roberts is a remarkable young professional who exemplifies selfless service to both the golf industry and the Professional Golf Management program at Cal U,” Barroner said. “Colby connects with students from various backgrounds and points of interest. Wherever she works or golfs, staff and members admire and respect her as she uses her skills to make a difference in the industry.”
Roberts, the new president of Cal U’s PGM student society, is also a two-time PSAC Scholar-Athlete on the Cal U women’s golf team.
“We have a lot of new students coming into the PGM program, which is as exciting as the president,” she said. It’s been hard obviously with the pandemic, but I am making the most of it.”
James Pond, Cal U’s PGM internship coordinator, appreciates Roberts’ enthusiasm.
“Colby is an exceptional student and leader who always looks to how can she make this experience better for her classmates and future students,” Pond said. “She epitomizes the classic professional looking to excel in every area, and we are excited to watch her develop as she chases her passions in the industry.”