Balancing college courses and golf courses | Braden Wedel

Braden Wedel, student scholar

Braden Wedel started playing golf almost as soon as he could walk, and it’s paying off.

“My dad got me a set of the little plastic club at age three,” Braden laughed. “I love golf and knew I wanted to be a college golfer.”

That doesn’t mean it was easy, and Braden still had to meet his passion halfway with dedication and hard work.

​“Early on in high school, I ​quickly ​realized ​that ​I ​wasn’t ​good ​enough ​at ​golf ​to ​play in college, at least not at the level I was aiming for,” said Braden. “I started to take it more seriously and played almost every day for three months, which really helped improve my skills and golf handicap.”

That effort helped the business student and Reach Your Peak scholar get into the PGA Golf Management program, which, combined with the convenience and affordability of UCCS, made the university a great choice for him.

“Originally, I was planning on another school and trying to become a course superintendent,” Braden explained. “Then I looked in the PGM program, met some of the PGM staff at junior tournaments and spoke with them and a Junior Golf Alliance Colorado staff member who’d been in the program and loved it. It became really clear to me that this was the place I wanted to be in and the degree I wanted to pursue, and I’m so glad I did.”

Through the many activities involved in his PGA Golf Management program, scholarships, Student Ethics Ambassador role and Development and Athletics student assistant position, Braden has had the chance to network, participate in donor and ethics events and develop his skillset.

“I’ve ​gotten ​many opportunities ​to ​meet ​different ​people ​and ​build ​my ​social ​confidence,” he said. “​I ​also used ​to ​be ​pretty ​​shy ​and ​would avoid talking to people, ​but ​now ​I’m more ​confident ​and ​I’ve ​improved my computer, ​writing and speaking skills.”

Braden practicing on the green

For his Golf Management program major, Braden’s finding ways to get more experience through an internship at Balleyneal Golf and Hunt Club and seasonal job at Flying Horse Golf Club. Considering the program’s 100% job placement rate upon graduation, it’s safe to say Braden will achieve his goal of finding a position in a state with plenty of natural space and access to the outdoor activities he loves, like fishing, skiing and, of course, golfing.

“My plan is to go back to Ballyneal for my last internship and then go on as an assistant professional, which is what most PGM students do,” he said. “I want to be at a course in a rural area, possibly in the mountains. I have a few states in mind but would also love staying in Colorado.”

Braden noted how his relationship with his faith and his parents have been another large part of his journey and accomplishments.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting involved with Cru, the Christian campus ministry. Building on my foundation of faith and deepening my relationship with Jesus has been very important to me and is one of my favorite things. My parents also deserve a lot of credit. They raised me right, helped me so much and instilled the hard work and drive in me,” said Braden.

His scholarship opportunities have made a significant difference in his college journey as well, ensuring he can graduate debt-free and focus on his career.

“Between ​the ​grants, ​scholarships ​and ​Daniels ​Fund, ​I’m ​not ​paying ​at ​all ​for ​college,” he noted. “It’s been amazing, and I feel really blessed not having to worry about paying off debt.”

About the UCCS College of Business

The College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting and Executive Doctor of Business Administration degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. Learn more about the College of Business at UCCS.