Interim Program Director, Player Development Coordinator
Professional activities and areas of interest
Mark Wilson is starting his second year as the Interim Program Director in the PGA Golf Management Program at Ferris State University. Prior to this, he was the Program’s Player Development Director. Mark, a PGA Master Professional, spent 31 years as the Head Golf Professional at Watermark Country Club in Grand Rapids. He continues to be actively involved in PGA Education and Rules of Golf Activities. He has been a member of the PGA of America’s Rules of Golf Committee since 1990. In this capacity, he has served as a Rules Official at 30 PGA Championships, 20 Masters Tournaments, 7 British Opens, 6 United States Opens and 9 Ryder Cup Matches. He served as Chair of the PGA Rules Committee from 2005 – 2010 and during that period was the Rules Chair for six PGA Championships. He was the Chief Referee at the 2008 and 2016 Ryder Cup Matches.
Mark has been involved in Rules education as well. He served as a consulting member of the United States Golf Association’s Rules of Golf Committee from 2005 – 2011 and was appointed to the same position again in 2019 where he continues his service. In this capacity, he contributes proposed language for new and revised Rules of Golf and Interpretations on the Rules of Golf. He has been an instructor at 46 National PGA/USGA Rules of Golf Workshops. Since 1992, Mark has also conducted annual Rules of Golf programs for the students in the PGA Golf Management Program at Ferris State. He is the featured instructor in “Understanding the Rules in Game Situations,” part of the PGA Golf Instruction Video Series, a 4-part video series produced for the PGA by TN Marketing, a division of Turner Sports.
The PGA of America honored Mark in 2008 as the recipient of the National Horton Smith Award for contributions to the PGA Education Program. In 2007 he was elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame, in 2008 the Grand Rapids, MI Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2011 became one of twelve original inductees to the Michigan PGA Hall of Fame.
As Player Development Director, his primary responsibility was to work with PGA Golf Management students who have not passed the PGA’s required Playing Ability Test. Students are encouraged to take this 36 hole test prior to starting their academic program at Ferris. Those who do not pass before the start of their first semester are automatically enrolled for a mid-September test. Students who are not successful following this attempt are assisted by the Player Development Program. These weekly instructional programs are conducted in small groups and focus on all aspects of the game, including the full swing, short game, and course management. When the weather permits, these sessions are conducted at Ferris State’s Katke Golf Course. During the winter months, classes meet in the Ken Janke, Sr. Golf Learning Center on campus. The Center features four full swing hitting bays and a putting green. Students are also assisted by computerized Trackman swing analysis technology.
Mark has classroom responsibilities as well as overseeing the Program in his role as Director. He delivers PGA Golf Management specific content in classes that cover Golf Facility Management and Teaching and Coaching, in the three Levels of PGA education. During the Fall Semester, he also teaches a class in Private Club Management for the Ferris State Hospitality Program. Mark also serves as an advisor to the PGAGM Student Association. This student group conducts tournaments and educational activities for PGA Golf Management students and is also involved in various community service and charitable activities.
- BA, History, Michigan State University, 1978
- Professional Golfers’ Association of America Master Professional
- Member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi