If your dream is to run a golf club and manage everything from the fairway
to the pro shop, the ideal background is a degree in golf club operations
Several community colleges offer two-year or three-year programs, while
colleges and universities offer four-year bachelor's programs. Many of the
shorter programs allow you to transfer your credits to a four-year degree
Pennsylvania State University's four-year professional golf management
program also allows students to complete their PGA Golf Professional Training
Program (and become a PGA member).
The Club Managers Association of America has a certification program in
golf club management. While certification is not mandatory, it will improve
your job prospects. To become certified, you must have a combination of
postsecondary education and work experience.
Co-op or internship experience are requirements for all programs.
Schools generally have a working relationship with a number of golf clubs
throughout North America for the purpose of arranging work experiences for
"An important feature of our program is the 16 months of hands-on experience
as part of the co-op education program," says Burch Wilkes, an instructor
of professional golf management at Penn State.
Wayne Schweitzer coordinates the golf management program at a community
college. He says his students complete a mix of theory, lectures and fieldwork.
In the first year, they cover a set of core tourism courses.
In the second year, courses are specific to golf management. They include golf
course planning and design, commercial law, strategic marketing, real estate
development and more.
Some schools may give preference to students with golf club work experience. Get
all the golf experience you can.
If you can get a job at a golf club, that will give you a taste of the
profession and some valuable experience. But experience in any hospitality-related
industry will be an asset. Also, take as many classes in math and accounting
as you can. There's a lot of number-crunching involved in this job.
Besides tuition costs, you'll likely have to pay for books, equipment and
Occupational Outlook HandbookFor more information related to this field of study, see: Lodging
Golf LinkGuide to golf resources online
PGATour.comThe official site of the PGA Tour
Golf InstructionTips for improving your game