How Do I Get A Job In The Golf Industry
If you are looking for employment in the golf industry then there are number of different roles that you could consider depending on where your interests lie.
- Golf professional
- Greens keeper
- Golf club administrator
- Locker room manager
- Caddy master
- Equipment rep
- Club/ball designer
- Course design/construction
If you want to make a living playing golf then be warned that there are many more people trying to do this than will ever be successful so it’s worth having a backup plan!
Become A Tour Professional
The most glamorous golf related job but the one that is likely to offer the lowest chance of success. There are thousands of very good golfers plying their trade on developmental tours around the world trying to break into one of the major tours. You can usually enter a series of qualifying tournaments which if successful will give you playing privileges on the tour. It’s then up to you to prove you are good enough to keep churning out results year after year to keep your card.
For years the PGA Tour has been the most lucrative option but is also the most difficult to achieve.
While a lot of the players will have earned a college degree before turning pro that is by no means the only route. Ian Poulter, for example, started out as an assistant club professional before eventually working his way up the ladder to a very productive golf career.
Train As A Club Professional
For those who are skilled at golf but perhaps don’t think they have the game to compete at the very highest levels a job as a PGA Professional can be the next best thing.
While the various PGAs have different training programs for their members ultimately you will cover similar topics such as golf retail, tuition and club repair.
Once qualified you can look to specialize in one area of golf such as:
Running the professionals shop at the local country club or golf course is one of the job opportunities related to golf. You’ll need the same skills as any other retail outlet in terms of dealing with suppliers, stock control and most importantly looking after the members.
If you have a good understanding of the swing and the technical aspects of golf clubs then you could offer your services as a club fitter. Go through a fitting session with a player to work out the best options for their game and then build the clubs (or more likely order from the manufacturer).
Perhaps selling Mars bars and the latest golf equipment doesn’t sound that appealing. Specializing in the teaching side of the profession might make for a more interesting use of your time. Seeing the improvement in your students would give you a sense of achievement. If you are able to build a reputation then you might be called on by a tour player or two to help them with their game.
An increasing number of PGA members are looking to become more involved in the day-to-day running of the golf club. As budgets get squeezed it might become more difficult for clubs to justify having both administrative staff and professional staff. Having some administration skills in your locker might mean you taking on the running of all the club operations.
Get A Job At A Golf Course
There are a number of other roles at a golf club if your golf game isn’t up to the rigors of professional golf.
If you would prefer a career in golf where you get to spend time outdoors then looking after the playing surfaces could be the role for you. If you don’t mind early starts that is! You could join the GCSAA in the US or BIGGA in the UK.
You could train to become an agronomist if you were looking to specialize.
Get A Job As A Caddy
If you’re interested in working in the golf industry, one option is to become a caddy. Caddies are responsible for carrying golfers’ bags and keeping them organized during a round of golf. They also help their golfer find the right club for each shot and provide information about the course. To become a caddy, you’ll need to be physically fit and able to walk long distances carrying a heavy bag. You’ll also need to have a good knowledge of the game of golf. If you have these qualifications, you can apply for a job at a golf course or club. Unfortunately there aren’t that many courses that offer caddies anymore. It’s usually historic venues that hold major championships that still offer caddy programs.
Work In The Office
Depending on the size of the club there will need to be some admin staff. Usually a General Manager or Secretary in the UK. Someone to look after the accounts and perhaps a person to deal with membership issues. Larger venues might have an events coordinator to handle large bookings for society or tournament golf.
The GCMA offers training and support for club managers in the UK.
Work In The Clubhouse
All but the smallest golf clubs will offer food and drink in the clubhouse so there will be opportunities for chefs or cooks, bar staff, etc.
Work For An Equipment Company
There will be two main opportunities here depending on your skill set. If you have the necessary qualifications then you might be able to get involved with club or ball design but it is a pretty niche area.
If your more of sales oriented person then you could try to get a job as a sales rep. This will probably mean quite a bit of traveling though.
Golf Course Designer/Construction
To be a good course designer it would pay to be a student of the classic architects such as MacKenzie, Trent Jones, Braid, MacDonald etc. You will also probably need some qualifications in landscape architecture or some experience and training as a greenkeeper. This is a fairly niche career as there are only so many golf design projects to go round. The EIGCA runs courses for individuals interested in this career path.
You could also get involved in the construction side of the business if you have the necessary skills or experience in topics like earth moving and drainage.
Work At A Driving Range
Another career option in golf is to work at a driving range. You can find these jobs advertised online or in newspapers.
Start Your Own Golf Business
The golf industry is a great place to start your own business. Whether you have a passion for retail or have come up with a great idea for a training aid. If you have passion then you could have a successful venture.
How To Get A Job In Golf
One way to get a job in the golf industry is to start with an internship. There are many golf companies that hire college interns throughout the year. Apply often and to multiple companies to increase your chances of being hired.
How Do I Get A Job In The Golf Industry: Summary
Consider the sort of role you are interested in whether that be playing, teaching or on the sales or admin side then work out the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to get you there!