For those who are passionate about golf but do not have the skills to make a career of playing the game, there are plenty of opportunities for employment in the industry that enthusiasts are likely to find rewarding. While it is necessary to have an advanced skill level for some jobs, others require training and/or extensive knowledge of the game.
PGA Teaching Professional
PGA teaching professionals are the highly skilled golfers who have obtained certification from the Professional Golfers Association to teach golf. An alternate title for this career is director of instruction, at a golf course or golf school. Teaching pros begin their careers as apprentices at PGA-certified Professional Golf Management programs, which teach students the ins and outs of the job. A teaching pro must have significant knowledge of the intricacies of the golf swing and the numerous swing theories that exist to best serve his clients. Instruction can take place in a one-on-one or group setting. Patience is a good virtue for a teaching pro to have because many of his pupils likely will be inexperienced golfers or those with flaws in their games.
A golf course superintendent is charged with the upkeep of the course grounds and buildings. The superintendent oversees a staff of assistant superintendents, maintenance workers and mechanics in carrying out daily groundskeeping tasks, such as mowing, maintaining bunkers, trimming shrubs, killing weeds and drilling the holes in the greens. Many superintendents are professionally trained in turf management or another area in the field of horticulture. The average annual salary, as of 2009, of a superintendent was $78,898.
Club makers build and repair golf clubs. This important service is increasingly being carried out by large retail companies rather than by club makers at locally owned shops. The club-making and club-repair departments in these stores are an important segment of their business because it often brings a type of customer into the store who otherwise might not have visited. Club makers build clubs from raw materials and perform repair services such as installing new grips and shafts. The average annual salary, as of 2009, of a club maker was $20,409.
Golf courses that offer caddies are a rarity today at public courses. However, at exclusive private courses and country clubs, caddies still assist golfers during their rounds. In addition to carrying a player's bag, caddies assist the player with obtaining accurate yardage for shots, reading greens and providing general course strategy. A caddy is usually an expert on the course layout and knows its every nook and cranny. Heavily reliant upon tips, the average annual salary, as of 2009, for a caddy was $20,872.