What are Some Great Careers in the Golf Industry?
If you’ve considered a career in the golf industry, you have many exciting options. Golf careers cover an amazing breadth of positions, allowing you to create a career path that best matches your talent, abilities and interest.
Despite various reports to the contrary, golf continues to be a robust and vital industry. The golf industry economy has been estimated to be around $70 billion in the United States alone. Worldwide, the golf economy is estimated to come in around $176 billion. While overall revenues are down slightly, participation in golf tournaments has been on a steady increase.
There are almost 2 million jobs created by the golf industry. This includes the corollary industries of food-service, administration and retail sales in golfing communities. Golf remains a positive impact on the economies of cities, towns and counties throughout the country.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the different opportunities available in the golf industry. You may find that there is a position that interests you that you may not have considered before.
Director of Golf
As a golf director, your responsibilities will be to oversee all of the golf operations at a golf club or country club. This scope of responsibility includes the operation of the staff, clubhouse, golf course maintenance, overseeing food service operations and other areas on the grounds.
Short of touring pro, one of the most desired careers in the golf industry is to become a club or head professional at a quality golf club. A modern golf club or country club revolves around the leadership of the head professional. The tone and quality of service provided by the club professional will resonate through the entire operation. As a head professional, your responsibilities will depend on various factors such as the size of the club itself.
Duties include providing lessons to members, repairing clubs, performing club fitting sessions, organizing junior golfers, and maintaining the pro shop and retail operations. In addition, you will be responsible for marketing the club in local media, attracting new members, maintaining the quality of membership in an effort to maintain high retention rates, organizing tournaments and communicating with the greenskeeper and his staff in order to maintain the course in tip top condition.
A significant percentage of professional golfers are teaching professionals. They coach and teach club members, junior golfers and students at all levels. The PGA is dedicated to providing high-level training so that teaching professionals can develop the skills necessary to coach top quality amateurs and professionals alike.
College of High School Coach
Coaching and teaching is a skill set that not everyone possesses. Becoming a golf coach for a college or high school team is a rewarding position that allows you to combine your coaching skill and golf experience in one. Golf coaches at educational institutions are often tasked with responsibilities beyond their coaching duties such as teaching and publishing. However, at larger institutions and more successful golf teams, the bulk of the coaches’ time is spent recruiting, supervising, training and coaching the golf squad.
Some golf professionals that come up through the ranks of the golf staff are promoted to the role of general manager at a golf or country club. In this position, you must possess leadership, marketing, communication and business skills. You will be responsible for organizing the overall operations of the golf club, maintaining good relationships with the membership, all the while keeping things within the budget you have been allocated. For this position, you should possess a good blend of people and management skills.
If there’s one thing that golfers love more than playing golf, it’s reading about it. They devour the latest golf books, golf magazines and publications. They want to keep up on the latest golf tips, tournament results, golf industry news and player profiles. As a golf writer, you will be able to immerse yourself in the sport you love while traveling and covering events. Writers for top magazines have coveted positions that do not open often, but there is also demand at newspapers, publicity firms, and regional publications for talented writers who can communicate the excitement and nuances of the game to the golfing public.
Golf is largely driven by the marketing dollars of major equipment and apparel manufacturers. The front lines of their business is the retail floor of golf shops, pro shops and big box stores across the country. As a golf retailer, you will be called upon to merchandise golf equipment in the most appealing fashion possible, while maintaining the brand integrity and positioning of the manufacturers. You must possess good communication skills in order to interact with partners in the retail channel, and also have analytical skills necessary to determine the best price points at which to offer golf merchandise.
Clubmaker and Repairer
In order to achieve the designation of PGA professional, golf pros must acquire the knowledge of making golf clubs and repairing them as well. Club making is a fascinating process, and an interesting career for the right person. If you enjoy learning the technical aspects of the game, this might be a good fit for you. Repairing clubs is also a much-needed skill in the golf industry, as amateurs and professionals alike need a talented and skilled person to replace club heads, add new grips, re-shaft clubs and more.
Sales and Marketing
Like all businesses, golf clubs and courses always need talented sales and marketing professionals to bring in new members, attract sponsors and generate revenue. Golf manufacturers also employ a large number of salespeople and marketers throughout their organization. This includes the advertising department, brand management, distribution of inventory and direct sales.
As a salesperson, you are responsible for growing established accounts, contacting new prospects and building sales volume by offering existing products and new solutions alike. Sales managers oversee the activities of the sales team, set budgets, coach team members in sales skills, and make projections of future revenue.
At the local level, golf tournaments are major events and fundraisers for the community. Tournaments need public relations professionals, event marketers, advertising writers and retailers to organize a successful venture.
Ah, the poor greenskeeper. Who else takes as much guff from golfers as the greenskeeper? They are never happy, are they? Still, the greenskeeper is arguably the most important person in the entire golf operation. The look, maintenance and performance of the golf course is central to the success and growth of the club itself. Golfers will forget that the steak they ordered in the clubhouse was not the medium rare they ordered, but they will long remember that the bunker on 16 where there ball landed was not properly raked by the staff that morning.
Romanticized in movies like Caddyshack and Tin Cup, the role of caddy is exciting, potentially lucrative but also difficult. Caddies must be not only be adept at helping golfers pick the right club, carry their bag, maintain their equipment and repair the golf course after they make a shot, they must be as equally skilled at managing people. In fact, many caddies say handling the personality quirks of their golf pro is the real challenge of the job. To excel as a caddie, it helps to have a strong background as a competitor in golf tournaments, so you can competently advise on shot selection and putting direction.
Agent or Manager
In the top dollar world of professional golf, each player works with both professional agents and managers who help shape their career. An agent is responsible for investigating and recommending merchandising and sponsorship deals that will benefit the player. A manager is responsible for taking care of the nuts and bolts organization of the players day-to-day life.
As an agent, you will meet with golf equipment manufacturers and other sponsors to see where your client best fits in their marketing plans. As a manager, will be responsible for making sure they arrive on time at tourneys, have everything they need and take care of minute details so they can focus on the challenges of the tournament and their golf game.
The demise of golf has been greatly exaggerated. People in the game know the real truth. While overall play is down, tournament play and interest by younger golfers is higher than ever before. The golf industry will always have a core group of enthusiasts that make it one a solid and ongoing industry. You can’t go wrong when you choose a golf career.
As you can see, there are a number of career paths that fit different skill sets and interests. At Keiser University College of Golf, we can prepare you for a job that will let you work in the sport you love.
In fact, we have a golf career guide so that you can determine which career best suits you!
Contact us today!