Student Lines Up Career in Athletics

Jul 25, 2021

An internship at an indoor golf facility in Pittsburgh prepares professional golf  management major Alexandra 'Lexi' Tofanelli for her career goals.

  • - Lexi Tofanelli takes a swing using a golf simulator.

  • - Lexi Tofanelli's summer internship gave her experience with golf simulators.

  • - Lexi Tofanelli provides instruction at OnPar Now.

“My dream career is as a high school athletic director or a golf coach or maybe both,” said Alexandra "Lexi" Tofanelli, a junior studying professional golf management.

She’ll be better prepared for both career opportunities after her summer internship at OnPar Now, in Pittsburgh, where she gave golf lessons to children ages 8 to 14 of all skill levels.

“It was fun to watch kids become passionate about the game of golf and to get to know them as individuals,” Tofanelli said. “My internship allowed me to improve on my own teaching craft that I have been building through my PGM classes at Cal U and from the hands-on experiences the program provides.”

OnPar is an indoor facility that uses technology to simulate a golf course experiences. In addition to golf lessons, Tofanelli learned more about the traditional parts of the business, such as club repairs and fittings, and marketing.

“It’s a new placement for us,” said James “J.R.” Pond, an instructor and internship coordinator in the PGM program at Cal U. “We met the owner from a former student, and we have had the pleasure of watching the business transition from idea to reality.

“It’s unique in that is an off-course facility — one of the fastest-growing segments of the golf market.”

For Tofanelli, the opportunity to introduce children to sports is exciting.

“I love creating an environment for kids to fall in love with sports,” she said.