Careers in Golf Club Design
One of the aspects of golf that sets it apart from other sports is the equipment needed to play.
Of course, you need a golf course to play on, but you also need the right golf shoes and clothes to get access to a golf club.
However, those aren’t the only items you will need.
The most important item that any golfer needs for a round of golf are the clubs.
Without the clubs, you won’t be getting too far around an 18-hole course.
When it comes to clubs, the technology that it takes to make them has changed greatly over the past century.
From wooden to titanium infused golf clubs, the designs have come a long way.
Due to the technology and the work that goes into designing modern clubs, there are careers individuals can pursue within the industry.
Perhaps your short game isn’t good enough to turn professional, but carving out a career in golf club design can be a way to stay in the sport you love.
Becoming a golf club designer
In the last 30 years, golf club design has changed greatly.
Since the 1980s, there has been a lot more science put into the design of clubs.
A one time, clubs were just tweaked by the designers.
Modifying the head, face and color were three ways that clubs changed pre-1980s.
However, golf club producers use far more technology to develop the clubs pros like Tiger Woods, Jon Rahm and others play with today.
Becoming a golf club designer isn’t easy, but anyone with the patience to play a game like golf, should have the drive to gain the qualifications needed to be an engineer.
Firstly, aspiring golf club designers should gain a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering.
This will give them the right base needed to work in the industry.
In addition, a master’s degree in physics, materials and/or manufacturing would go a long way in helping an aspiring designer land the job they desire.
Like many jobs these days, golf club companies will favor those applicants who have gained more education in the field of mechanical engineering.
There are plenty of golf jobs that a B.S. degree will get someone, but a golf club designer isn’t one of them.
Designers should also be comfortable in using computer software programs to create models.
Although gaining a significant amount of education goes a long way in landing a person a golf club design job, it isn’t the only thing.
Perspective engineers will most likely need to work as an intern for a golf club company.
This will give them on the job training they couldn’t gain at university.
It isn’t often you will have a professor who has worked for Callaway Golf, so having the insight needed to strive in the position early on is unlikely.
The biggest golf club companies have teams dedicated to designing their products.
Therefore, you won’t be going for one, singular job.
It is good that you can work in a team, so communication skills are important when getting a job with Callaway, Nike or another big brand.
The different teams will work on different aspects of the product.
One could be tasked with designing the actual club.
The second is working on the marketing of the club, while a third could be tasked with deciding on the right materials that make up the final product.
Due to the various teams and positions, there are a number of jobs an individual could go into.
Another position could be a testing engineer who works hands on in testing the product, reviewing it and deciding how it could be better.
There are also research positions available and those teams must be up to date on all the rules and regulations the United States Golf Association mandate for clubs.
After working in the industry, there is also the chance you could work as a golf club consultant.
This independent job could be quite lucrative, but it comes with knowing a steady paycheck isn’t on offer each month.
Working for a golf company
The good news for aspiring golf club designers is that there are a number of companies to work for.
In fact, there are three levels of companies.
The top-tier are the large brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma and Callaway.
There is a second level of companies who don’t make quite the same amount of money, but still produce profits in the millions.
These companies include Cleveland and Adams Golf.
Finally, there is a third level of smaller companies.
These golf club producers are located in the third-tier category due to making profits of less than $20m a year.
Golf club design salaries
The money paid to golf club designers can be lucrative depending on the role.
Salaries can range from $50,000 all the way up to nearly $150,000.
It is a great position to pursue and one that can keep you building the clubs professionals play with.