Become a Golf Course Manager: Education and Career Roadmap
Research the requirements to become a golf course manager. Learn about the job duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in golf management.
Golf Course Manager Requirements
Golf course managers are responsible for the business operations, administration, staffing and maintenance of golf courses. They oversee golf programs and are involved in organizing golf events. They may also serve as sales managers involved in the marketing and merchandizing of their facilities. Individuals who want to become golf course managers may want to pursue a professional bachelor's degree in golf course management and gain experience working at a golf course.
The following table shows some common requirements to become a golf course manager, according to job postings for golf course managers and superintendents found on job boards in November 2012:
|Degree Level||Varies; employers may require an associate's or a bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Varies; related field such as turf or business management|
|Certification||Certification is optional|
|Experience||Varies; related experience in golf course maintenance, hospitality management or other business-related activities preferred|
|Key Skills||Strong skills in time management, customer service and communication; ability to lead and train employees|
|Technical Skills||Understanding of equipment and various products related to golf course operations|
|Additional Requirements||Drug tests are common|
Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
Individuals may want to pursue a professional bachelor's degree in golf course management to improve their opportunities for employment and advancement. This unique degree program is sanctioned by the Professional Golfers' Association of America and offered at only a few colleges. The program focuses on business operations and golf management. Courses include golf course and turf management, golf course architecture, recreation leadership and supervision and sports law. Admission requirements include students having a U.S. Golfing Association handicap of eight or lower.
Other degree options for aspiring golf course managers include a bachelor's degree in professional golf management or golf and turf management. These programs prepare individuals for management at golf facilities and businesses. Coursework focuses on strategic management, business operations, human resource management, quality control and organizational communications. Students may also pursue studies in horticulture and plant science. Associate's degree programs in golf complex operations and management are also available.
- Seek an internship. Students interested in golf course management may want to seek internships at golf courses, parks and recreation areas or with golf-related suppliers. This type of training provides experience with golf operations and turf management, and helps students build a network of industry contacts.
Step 2: Get Work Experience in Golf Course Operations
Individuals may want to seek entry-level employment in the golf industry to gain experience in golf course operations. The types of jobs available include grounds maintenance workers, technicians and mechanics. After obtaining work experience, individuals may pursue positions in management and operations.
According to job postings for golf course managers in November 2012, employers sought applicants to supervise maintenance and operations staff, manage business operations and perform strategic planning. Individuals must have a bachelor's degree and experience working in golf course operations, business management or the hospitality management industry. Employers sought applicants who had strong prioritization and communication skills.
- Gain professional certification. Current golf course managers may want to pursue a professional certification to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, and to seek opportunities for continuing education. The U.S. Golf Managers Association offers a Certified Golf Club Manager credential through a home study program. The Club Managers Association of America offers two certifications for managers of membership clubs, including golf facilities.
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