If you love heading out to the links and hitting a few balls every week, you might find yourself looking at the degree needed to manage a golf course. While only a few schools offer a specialized degree in golf course management, you can still learn the skills you need in a business management program. Many people working in the field today have a bachelor’s degree in business or management and a love of the game.
What Does a Golf Course Manager Do?
The role of golf course manager falls under the category of administrative services managers. They are the ones responsible for ensuring that golfers are happy and that the course runs smoothly. Golf course management professionals:
- hire new maintenance workers and pros
- take inventory of supplies and order new supplies
- work with any outside hires, including landscaping crews
Golf course managers talk to customers when they have complaints or problems. They try to find ways to make them happy and keep them coming back. They may also create new advertising campaigns to bring new business to the course.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary across all administrative management positions is $99,290 a year. This averages to about $47.73 an hour.
With an estimated rate of growth of 9 percent, the BLS believes that the management field will increase at the same average rate as found across all industries. This represents an increase of more than 28,600 jobs. While this does refer to all types of administrative management jobs, it’s likely that the golf industry management roles will increase at a similar rate.
Types of Golf Course Management Degrees
You might be surprised to learn that not all positions require a golf course management degree. Courses in rural areas and areas without a lot of business often look for leaders with any type of management experience. Golfers can also operate their own courses without having a degree. Having a degree does provide you with knowledge and experience that can help you:
- Be an effective leader
- Use accounting software
- Create and follow a budget
A golf course management degree is a specialized degree designed specifically for those planning to operate or own a golf course. Golf course management schools may offer a degree specifically in management or a specialized golf course maintenance degree. Golf course maintenance schools typically offer programs through their horticulture or turf management departments.
The PGA of America has partnered with 18 universities around the country to offer a specialization in PGA Golf Management. PGA Golf Management program students take courses in areas like:
- business administration
- hospitality administration
- recreation and park management
These specialized golf degrees provide students with:
- unique internships
- classroom courses
- player development opportunities tailored specifically to PGA Golf Management
Some of the best PGA golf course management colleges include:
- Coastal Carolina University
- Florida Gulf Coast University
- North Carolina State University
Unless you have a college nearby offering one of those degree programs, you’re better off sticking to a general management degree.
Benefits of a Golf Management Degree
Though the type of degree needed to manage a golf course can include business and management degrees, some students prefer working in a specialized program. A golf course management college degree program focuses specifically on the tasks associated with running a sports management facility. You’ll learn more about:
- hiring workers to clean and maintain the greens
- the importance of maintaining a pro shop on-site
- how to order supplies for both the pro shop and any restaurants located on the premises
These degree programs may also include an internship that lets you test out the skills you learned in the real world.
Related Resource: Sports Tourism
Managing a golf course lets you enjoy golfing on a daily basis and spend time with others who love golfing as much as you do. Choosing the right school for golf course management can help you prepare for a successful career in an exclusive golf club or resort. Though a golf management degree can prepare you for that job, the type of degree needed to manage a golf course can include a general undergraduate degree in business, management or a similar field.