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NMSU golf management program specialist among PGA LEAD second class

New Mexico State University’s golf management program is once again among the forerunners of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America training opportunities.


Man in black shirt in front of golf flag
Josh Salmon with New Mexico State University’s PGA Golf Management Program, housed in the College of Business marketing department, is among the second 15-member cohort of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America LEAD program. The program identifies, mentors and progresses PGA members from diverse backgrounds along a guided path to leadership roles in the association. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

Josh Salmon has joined the second 15-member cohort of the national PGA LEAD program.

Salmon is a program specialist with the NMSU PGA Golf Management Program housed in the College of Business marketing department.

The PGA of America established PGA LEAD to identify, mentor and progress PGA members from diverse backgrounds along a guided path to leadership roles in the association. The program also aids in developing individuals who desire to serve and make an impact on nonprofit boards within their communities.

“I was surprised when PGA of America’s president Paul Levy called to tell me the news,” Salmon said. “It was January and I hadn’t heard anything since applying in November.”

The program consists of monthly video conferences and three face-to-face meetings. The leadership development topics include association and section board governance; pillars of leadership; developing your leadership presence; public speaking and presentation essentials; social media and developing your digital brand; personal branding and promotion; diversity, equity and inclusion; and conducting effective board and membership meetings.

“Besides the leadership training, being involved in this program allows me to network with other PGA members from around the country,” Salmon said. “Not only with my cohort members but with the members of the first LEAD cohort, and once we have completed the training, with the third LEAD cohort members.”

Salmon has already taken a leadership role in the PGA of America organizations as an at-large member of the Sun Country Section Board of Directors. He is entering his second term.

Being selected for the PGA LEAD program is not the first honor Salmon has received from PGA of America. In 2014 and 2016, he received the PGA Horton Smith Award representing the Sun Country Section. The annual Horton Smith award is presented to a PGA professional who has made outstanding and continuing contribution to PGA education.

“Once you become a PGA member your education does not stop,” Salmon said. “You are learning and bettering yourself every day.”

When Salmon arrived at NMSU he didn’t know the golf industry was going to become his career. He learned about the PGA Golf Management program from a neighbor in the residence hall.

“I started playing golf for fun when I was 17 or 18 years old,” the Albuquerque native said. “A buddy of mine took me out to play and I got hooked.”

After talking with the assistant director of the NMSU PGA Golf Management Program, Salmon enrolled in the program, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing. And as he says “the rest is history.”

“It is neat to have been a student in the program and now be working with the program,” said Salmon, a seven-year NMSU employee. “It’s neat to see both sides of the program.”

One role Salmon wants to develop is being a mentor, because of what he gained from his mentors.

“I want to be a leader that others can look up to,” he said. “If you are in a position of leadership, people are going to turn to you for help or for your opinion. I want to help people and to make a significant impact in the golf industry.”