How to become a golf director

You don’t have to be a professional golfer to become a golf director, but you must love the game and be a reasonably good player with at least five years’ teaching experience and 10 years in golf operations in a senior management position. However, if your main aim is to play the game, don’t go into management as it doesn’t leave you much time for playing.

You must have good communication skills, and enjoy mixing with people at all social levels.

Golf is a fast-growing industry and many new careers are being created, in addition to traditional professional golfers.

Golf tourism and other related aspects are booming and golf professionals can make a good living. Other golf careers include green keepers, who take care of the courses, and golf fitters, who deal with equipment.

Qualifications needed: You should have a tertiary sport management qualification as an advantage. A PGA qualification is beneficial but not essential. It involves a three-year apprenticeship served under another golf professional or director.

Expected earnings: Earnings vary enormously, depending on your experience and reputation, and which club you are working at.

What does your job entail? Oversee all the golf-related activities at the club and ensure members and visitors get maximum satisfaction.

A golf director’s job has evolved over the years from someone who teaches at a club to being more like that of a business person. Merchandising and retail sales, monthly forecasts, and budgeting are all part of the package.

You are also personally involved with many golfers and visitors who make use of the club’s facilities throughout the year. Some of the questions they ask are about the length of the course and details of tournaments, which the club hosts. They want to know which players will be taking part and like to discuss the merits and problems of the famous players’ games.

Average work day: The average work day for a golf director is 10 to 12 hours, sometime starting at 5.30am and going all the way through to evening functions.

First thing in the morning you have to ensure all the staff are at their posts, check the schedule for the day and see if there are any players who may need special attention. Make sure the shop is open and that all the merchandise is displayed as it ought to be.

Best part of the job: You will enjoy meeting so many different people and working at a magnificent golf course.

Worst part of the job: The hours are long and often working when most people are taking time off. That is part and parcel of any hospitality industry job, though, and you do get used to it.

What other dimension to the job? There are two kinds of golf professionals – the ones who play the game and the ones who manage the courses and clubs. You can opt for any of the two

Will you be paid enough? Yes, this is a well-paid job, depending on which course you work at.

Travel opportunities? Yes, golf is an international sport.

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