There is a great deal more to the sport of golf than the professional golfers we see week in and week out on the professional golf tours. In the United States alone, the $68 billion golf industry requires an estimated two million professionals, from coaches to promoters, to keep it all running. If you seek a career in golf, here are some suggestions.
Professional Golfer or Caddie
It can take years to move up the ranks to have a successful career as a professional golfer. If you are past the age where you can play for a college team, then try working your way up. You can take lessons from a club professional, compete in tournaments, or attend one of the nation’s professional golf schools to learn more about the game, and improve your skills and chances.
Caddies are also professionals with their own caddie school and worldwide association. To become one, study the rules, play golf, and take classes. The best teacher just might be experience, so start begging friends and family to let you caddy their rounds.
No doubt that one great way to keep playing golf while promoting and developing the game is to become a club professional. Club professionals can start out as assistant pros, then go through the process of study and registration to become an apprentice, then a pro in their own right. There are terrific perks to becoming a pro, like playing regularly and entering into tournament play.
When you become a golf professional you can build up your own business teaching the game to club members, golf clubs or courses, or working as a salesperson for a golf equipment manufacturer. A golf professional can choose another career in golf as a coach. Many large high school and college teams hire coaches, as well as organizations in need of assistance for specific golf events.
For those of you who love nature and golf, perhaps taking care of golf course fairways and greens is a better choice for you. A course manager/greenskeeper is responsible for course maintenance. The greenskeeper’s other important role is determining green speed.
A similar position is Facility Manager. In this position, you are responsible for the entire golf club operation. As a Golf Club Manager you can join their association and take courses, seminars and earn your certificates in management.
A related position that requires more specialized training, or a few major wins under your belt, is course architect. Each year more and more courses are being built around the world so there should be no shortage in the need for good architects.
Golf Tournament Production and Promotion
Every tour event requires hundreds of volunteers and a professional event management staff. There are many professional opportunities in publicity, event management, or event planning.
Golf Entertainment and News
Even if you are not interested in becoming a player, club pro or manager, you can always get in on the entertainment side as a blogger, publicist or journalist. There are many magazines and online sites devoted to all things golf, including coverage of golf equipment and fashion in addition to players and the tour.
There are many ways that you can enjoy a career in golf beyond playing the game. If golf is a passion – go for it.