Want a Career in Golf? Start at a Florida Golf School
A golf career is the envy of many people.
It suggests a life of travel, glamour and excitement.
However, there are many careers in golf beyond playing for a living.
There are many opportunities in the business, some of which you may have never considered, or even known about.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to pursue a professional golf career at a Florida golf school.
While many areas of the country are popular golf centers, it could be convincingly argued that Florida is the capital of golf in the United States:
- The World Golf Hall of Fame is located in St. Augustine.
- There are more than 1400 golf courses in the state.
- Both Florida State University and the University of Florida are ranked among the top 10 men’s college golf teams in the country.
- Many PGA players such as Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Camilo Villegas make their homes in the state.
- The national headquarters of the PGA and LPGA are both in Florida.
The state of Florida even offers a golf-themed license plate with personalized tags for a small annual fee.
Income generated from the license plates are channeled to the Dade Amateur Golf Association as well as junior golf programs in the state.
So it makes sense that some of the top golf schools in the country are in Florida.
With that in mind, here are some tips for you..
Choose a Good School
There are a variety of golf schools, golf colleges and golf training programs available in the industry, especially in a golf-crazy state like Florida.
However, if your goal is to grow as much as possible and make as big an impact as you can on the industry, choosing a good school is a major first step.
The benefit of a Florida golf school is that you will get a broad perspective that a more limited education may not offer you.
A good golf school will help you not only learn and understand the game and get a solid education, but will assist you in matching your skills and interests with a promising and rewarding career path.
For example, one golf school graduate became interested in a golf career after playing for his high school team and working part-time on the grounds crew at his local country club.
After entering a golf college that had a good reputation, he was exposed to many concepts and industry opportunities he never knew existed.
Be Open To Career Path Transition
He became interested in agronomy, turf conditions and plant science, and began to focus his education and career path toward becoming a golf course superintendent.
Combining his knowledge of the game, experience working on golf courses for many summers, and the technical and business knowledge he gained at golf college, he is building a successful career that matches his talents well.
This is a good example of someone who did not know all of the opportunities that are available in the industry, and once exposed to them began to build the contacts and knowledge he needed to lay the groundwork for a successful career.
Over time, his career may shift and change depending on his growth and interests, but he has laid a solid foundation that will serve him well no matter which course his career takes over the ensuing decades.
Gain Practical Experience
This story also illustrates the benefit of getting practical experience.
Practical experience not only gives you a better perspective on the golf industry, your interests and your potential role in the business, it also indicates to employers you are serious about the game.
It shows you have committed yourself to gaining experience in a particular avenue of the sport, and are working on building good relationships that will help you build your career.
A solid work history communicates you are serious about your studies.
In turn, it will be easier to procure financing, internships, job interviews and recommendations when you can clearly show you are serious about the industry, and have the résumé to back it up.
You can get started right away in gaining experience.
It may mean working at a golf range, working in a retail shop, caddying at a local club, or another area of the game.
When you’re just starting out, it doesn’t really matter where you gain experience.
Your goal is to create a pattern of increasing responsibility that demonstrates to colleges and potential employers that you are a good investment and their faith in you will be returned with excellent performance.
Develop Your Networking Skills
While a golf school will develop your technical skills and industry knowledge, it is also a good opportunity to develop your networking skills.
Keep in mind that many of the instructors have deep experience in the industry.
Along with that experience comes a broad network of contacts.
Learn to go above and beyond your schoolwork and find opportunities available to you.
By getting to know your classmates and teachers well, you might learn about internships, connections and opportunities you might otherwise not discover.
Take advantage of training opportunities by volunteering for local tournaments, PGA events and teaching positions in area hotels, resorts and courses.
Present yourself as a personable, interested and reliable person, and you will rapidly gain access to more and better opportunities to advance further.
Steps To Play Golf Professionally
As you can see, there are many career paths in the golf industry.
However, some of you may only be interested in playing golf professionally. Here are steps you can take to help make that dream a reality:
Ideally, you started playing golf at a young age, and begun competing in junior golf tournaments as soon as possible.
There are however, examples of professional golfers who took up the game later in life, but the overwhelming majority of professionals playing at the elite levels day started very young.
Not only were they developing their golf talent, they were also learning how to compete and win on the golf course.
Learning to win is a skill, just as learning everything you can from losing is a skill as well.
Compete as often as possible.
There are any number of stories of highly skilled golfers who were unable to do well in competition.
Having talent is not enough.
You should enter as many tournaments as you can.
You will learn how to pace yourself, overcome setbacks, deal with pressure, handle crowds, take advantage of a lead and more.
These are aspects of the game that can only be learned from competing over and over.
Constantly seek to compete in more difficult venues against golfers who are better than you.
Develop your short game.
While the big hitters on tour get all the press, you rarely hear of a long-ball player who has a lousy short game. While having a powerful drive is a major advantage on today’s exceedingly long championship courses, unless you can convert that power into low scores around the green, you will struggle at the professional level. Develop your touch and feel around and on the greens as much as possible.
Attend a golf college. A good golf college will help you develop your game.
You’ll learn not only the physical aspects of a good swing, but how to develop your mental game as well.
In addition, an established golf school has top-notch facilities available only to students.
These include the latest swing analysis technology, short game areas and high-level fitness training.
Go to Q-school. Otherwise known as the PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament, Q-School is the tournament series that selects who will be able to play on the Nationwide and PGA tours.
Intensely competitive, it is a well-known and well-traveled path to the PGA Tour.
There are numerous examples of top golfers who came up short in their attempt to join the “Big Show” when they came up one-stroke short in a Q-School qualifying tourney.
Play in professional tournaments. There are more professional golf playing opportunities than you might think.
Take advantage of smaller, regional pro tours that have strong competitors and offer prize money.
Several pros on today’s PGA Tour honed their chops at these “minor-league” or “mini-tour” events.
The time to begin looking for internships is as soon as you begin your studies.
Internships, paid or not, are a proven way to get some traction in the golf industry.
The best internship opportunities are highly competitive, and that’s why you should determine where those opportunities are and apply early.
Work with your golf school teachers and advisers to map out a plan, and keep them apprised of your progress.They will help you refine your approach and save you time and effort by guiding you to internships that best suit your interests.
A quality Florida golf school can help accelerate your career.
Contact Keiser University College of Golf to find out how we’ve been helping students develop their skills and build rewarding careers in golf industry.