For the fourth year, the American Junior Golf Association was awarded the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s designation as a top workplace in the Atlanta area. In the 2016 report, the AJGA was ranked No. 57 overall and No. 24 among small businesses.
Companies that earn this recognition have earned the loyalty and affection of their employees, and the AJGA does this behind the strength of more than 60 full-time employees and 90+ spring and summer interns.
“For us, the survey is about getting better and getting feedback from our staff,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. "This award is won by the voice of the employees, so that gives me a great sense of pride. There are thousands of companies in Atlanta. To be one of the top companies is an honor."
The AJGA has received the AJC Top Workplace award in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. More than 2,500 companies were nominated in the 2016 survey by the AJC and partner Workplace Dynamics, which surveyed a record 275 companies and more than 60,000 employees.
The AJGA also periodically surveys its players and their families, and each year, the AJGA staff is consistently ranked among the top reasons why members enjoy their experience.
The AJGA's internship program is the key to this success as 52 of the 62 full-time employees accepted positions upon completing a paid in-house or traveling internship. Whether working out of the AJGA's National Headquarters or traveling thousands of miles, interns are able to launch a successful career in any industry, including golf.
Learn more below about why the AJGA current and former staff and interns recommend the AJGA:
Andrew Greenfield • Vice President of Tournament Operations
"It is a unique opportunity to work in a high-energy environment with driven, dedicated and motivated people who care about not only their only personal and professional growth, but about their colleagues as well. This, along with the chance to impact the lives of thousands of juniors and their families, makes working at the AJGA a blessing."
Rob Doone • Director of Rules and Competitions
"The AJGA is an unbelievable place to learn and develop yourself as a young professional. The freedom and responsibility given to all employees allows for a large amount of creativity in solving problems and developing new ideas and concepts, which in turn, helps the AJGA maintain its position as an industry leader."
Blair Thompson • Tournament Director
"I knew I was moving into an instant family. From roommates, to birthday celebrations at the office, to texts, emails, and phone calls when you need it the most, the AJGA truly encompasses the definition of family. Also, it very rare to have a personal relationships with executives in most businesses, but our leadership, including our Executive Director, takes the time to get to know every single staff member on a personal level and make us feel valued and important. I can’t imagine where I would be today without the AJGA."
Darren Nelson • Senior Regional Director, South Central
“This job has provided me with the tools and knowledge to be successful in any career path I choose.”
Mary Louise McDade • Receptionist
"I love the people I work with and it feels like a family. I also admire the work ethic that is displayed from each person – from the bottom all the way to the top. People work hard to make each event the best and solve problems quickly and professionally."
Riley Tracy • Senior Director of Tournament Administration
"Whether it is through our staff, members, or partners, lives are changed for the better because of the AJGA."
Mary Ann Cowgur, Executive Assistant
"The AJGA is a fantastic place to work. I have been here for 25 years this May and it just gets better and better each year. The best thing about the AJGA is the family atmosphere we have and the way our Leadership Team takes an interest in each and every one of us. They do everything possible to ensure the success of each staff member. Everyone works hard and we have a lot of fun along the way."
Laura Shatzel • Purchasing Manager
"I love working at the AJGA because it really feels like family. We are a supportive, hardworking and friendly group of people working together for a great purpose. Everyone knows their job and does it to the best of their ability. Leadership is always encouraging the staff to push the envelope and to find ways to get better. I couldn’t imagine a better place to earn a living and make a difference all at the same time!"
Mark Brazil • Tournament Director, Wyndham Championship, PGA TOUR
“The AJGA is simply the finest youth sports program in the world. The leadership, supportive board and team-oriented staff have written one of the most successful chapters in all of golf.”
Steve Ethun • Director of Communications, Augusta National Golf Club
“I’m personally grateful for what the AJGA’s internship program afforded me in opportunities and memories. The experience has consistently sent hardworking, driven alumni down a path toward success and helped groom the future leaders in the industry.”
Mark Stevens • Senior Manager Communications, PGA TOUR
"I saw first-hand how valuable the intern experience was for kids looking to get into the golf industry. There is tremendous value in the people the interns meet and work with on a daily basis like sponsors, college coaches, future LPGA and PGA Tour players and equipment reps. In my opinion, there is no better avenue to a successful career in golf than the AJGA internship."
Joe Mazzeo • Tournament Director, OHL Classic at Mayakoba, PGA TOUR
“The AJGA internship serves an ideal stepping stone for entry into the golf industry. The specifics of operating a PGA TOUR event, coaching collegiately, selling merchandise or any other role in the industry may be quite different from the exact experience gained at the AJGA, but the basics and the fundamentals learned through the AJGA internship form the perfect foundation upon which to build a successful career in the golf business. I highly recommend the AJGA internship to anyone who is interested in learning and is not afraid to work their tail off.”
Katie McBee • Coordinator, Web.com Tour
The company culture at the AJGA is second to none. There is a constant push to innovate and create within a teamwork mentality in which every voice is important. My time at the AJGA is one I look back on fondly and I am eternally thankful for the opportunities provided to me as a staff member."
Michael Tothe • Tournament Director, Dean & DeLuca Invitational, PGA TOUR
"The internship for me gave me some very valuable tools that help me even today including punctuality, taking ownership for mistakes and adapting to stressful situations. If you want a successful career in golf, the AJGA internship gives a 'boot camp' perspective on the industry."
Bobby Powell • Director of Tournament Operations, Wyndham Championship, PGA TOUR
"What I remember most is an entire summer of memories. The AJGA internship was the key ingredient for my professional future. It opened me up to so many things I hadn’t yet, and wouldn’t otherwise have, experienced. Being placed into a culture where you focused on seeing the details through to perfection still resonates with me today. With the AJGA internship you are actually doing the work, taking ownership in running the tournaments and that ultimately leads to a high level of job satisfaction."
John Dolan • Championship Director, IMG
"The people define the AJGA. The family atmosphere created leads to lifelong relationships with staff members, volunteers, supporters and players."
Melanie Roux • Sponsorship, Rolex
“I highly recommend the AJGA internship because it gives you a wonderful perspective for life. The education that we received was powerful but down to earth in teaching the values of respect, fair play, friendship, discipline and hard work every single day. It helped me with teamwork, time management, communication, confidence and efficiency. My favorite memories are from traveling the country, my internship teammates, some AJGA players and the staff.”
Peter Ripa • Chief Executive Officer, Farmers Insurance Open, PGA TOUR
"The life and leadership experiences I learned as an AJGA intern have served me throughout my career. The critical thinking, decision making and challenge of responsibility make the AJGA culture special."
Rachel Graves • Director, US Women's Mid-Amateur and Women's Amateur Four-Ball Championships, United States Golf Association
"The internship helped me realize what part of the industry I wanted to be in: tournament operations. At the AJGA, you wear many different hats and take on a lot of responsibility. At times it was overwhelming, but it teaches you quickly to work outside your comfort zone, and discover what you want in your future job."
Ben Kimball • Director, U.S. Amateur Championship and U.S. Women's Open Championship, United States Golf Association
"The AJGA’s motto has always been 'Developing Golf’s Next Generation.' Though most people think that that specifically applies to players, it also includes those of us who wanted to pursue a career in golf. The experiences that I had as an intern and a full-time staff member were invaluable. I am a better golf administrator today because of the time I spent with the AJGA. To this day I am very proud of that."
Jeremy Rider • Sales Manager, ZOIC Clothing
"I greatly appreciated the level of trust and responsibility given to both the full time staff and interns. The opportunity to take ownership of important events or projects at an early stage of my career gave me confidence in myself and pushed me beyond my comfort zone and what I thought I could accomplish."
Mick Rouse • Researcher / Reporter, GQ Magazine
"It wasn't like a lot of other opportunities where you may be looked at as the 'coffee person.' I really felt like a valued part of the AJGA staff, which in turn provided me with the confidence to trust in my instincts. That feeling of self-worth the AJGA imparted in me has always been the thing I look back on most fondly. There's absolutely no way I would be in the position I am right now had it not been for the AJGA internship."
Annie Giangrosso • Manager of Rules & Competitions, LPGA
"The best thing about working for the AJGA were the friends that turned into family. Moving to Atlanta out of college was a huge adjustment for me, but surrounding myself with like-minded people who were in the same boat as me (moving to a large city knowing no one) helped me adapt to my new life and made the transition into a career much simpler. These are friendships that will last me a lifetime and that's invaluable to me."