Christopher P. Cain, Ph.D., PGA, CHE
Director, PGA Golf University Management Program
Cain, a member of the PGA of America since 1999, is a graduate of the Penn State PGA Golf Management (PGM) University (B.S. '98) and Recreation and Tourism Management Programs (M.S. '04). Cain served in the hospitality and golf industry prior to and during his attendance in college gaining experience in public, resort, and private settings. Upon graduation he served as an Assistant Golf Professional for Pocono Farms Country Club in Pennsylvania, later joining the management team at the Tournament Players Club in Las Vegas. Cain relocated to The Pennsylvania State University to serve as the PGA Head Golf Professional from 1999-2002, later transitioning to a PGA Teaching Professional while completing his Master's degree from 2002-2004. Cain's graduate studies included working with the Penn State PGA Golf Management University Program and instructing for the Departments of Kinesiology, Turfgrass Management, and Exercise and Sports Science. Cain's thesis explored the relationship between golfer practice and performance within the Penn State Player Development Program.
Cain relocated to Las Vegas in 2004 to direct the UNLV PGA Golf Management University Program. While serving as the Program Director, Cain began serving the PGA of America at the local, regional, and national levels. Cain's service started as a member of the Board of Directors for the Southwest Section Southern Nevada Chapter in 2005, and served as the Chapter's Secretary, Vice President, and President from 2006-2011. Cain served the Southwest Section as a member of the Board of Directors and Committee Chair of Membership Education from 2009-2011, and 2013-2014 as Chair of the Section Award’s Committee. Cain also served terms as an appointed member of the Board of Directors for the PGA's Allied Associations including The First Tee of Southern Nevada (junior body), the Southern Nevada Golf Association (amateur body), and the National Advisory Board to Reed Exhibitions (development strategies for the PGA Show and Fall Expo).
Cain has served the PGA of America as an Adjunct Faculty Member since 2006 and recently accepted a four-year appointment to the PGA of America Golf Management University Evaluation Team. Cain currently serves on the National Advisory Board to PGA Magazine, the PGA of America National Committee of Membership Education, PGA of America Speaker’s Bureau, the Nevada Golf Course Owners' Association Board of Directors, the Ad Hoc Committee for vision planning for The First Tee of Southern Nevada, and President of the PGA Golf Management University Program Executive Association.
Cain received his Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis on Educational Leadership. His dissertation examined student, program, and institutional support characteristics of PGA Golf Management Programs that relate to students’ intent to persist.
Cain is published in the Journal of Recreation and Leisure Education, and has research interests in the hospitality industry competencies, and persistence within higher education. Cain’s recent presentations during the West Federation CHRIE Regional Conference focused on the development and sustainability of meaningful internship experiences and fusion of competency based education with traditional academic instruction.
Cain currently teaches learning objectives related to the game, people, and business practices within the golf and club industry at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition Cain teaches Leadership, Management, and Ethics as part of the core curriculum for hospitality management majors. Cain is a Certified Hospitality Educator by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute.
Cain has been recognized for the following honors:
PGA Magazine Top 5 Best Practices in Player Development, 2012
PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game, 2005, 2008, 2010
Pennsylvania State University PGA PGM Alumnus Golf Professional of the Year, 2007
PGA Southwest Section Golf Professional of the Year, 2011
PGA Southwest Section Horton Smith Award for Educational Impact, 2009
PGA Southwest Section Southern Nevada Chapter Golf Professional of the Year, 2010
PGA Southwest Section Southern Nevada Chapter Horton Smith Award for Educational Impact, 2007, 2011, 2014
PGA Southwest Section Southern Nevada Chapter Bill Strausbaugh Award for Outstanding Mentorship, 2006
Penn State Golf Courses, Merchandiser of the Year for Philadelphia Section PGA (General Manager, Doug Wert; Merchandiser, Burch Wilkes; Head Golf Professional, Chris Cain), 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Penn State Golf Courses, America's Best 100 Golf Shops (General Manager, Doug Wert; Merchandiser, Burch Wilkes; Head Golf Professional, Chris Cain), 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Penn State White Course share of course record at 63
Speed Golf, PSU White Course, 505 holes, 12 hours
Speed Golf, Las Vegas Golf Club, 567 holes, 12 hours