Becoming an assistant golf professional can be a great way to start a career in the golf industry. Assistant golf professionals work closely with head golf professionals to manage and run golf operations, including teaching, managing golf outings and tournaments, and providing customer service. Here are the steps to become an assistant golf pro:
- Develop a strong golf game: To become an assistant golf professional, it is important to have a strong golf game. This means practicing regularly and working to improve your skills. Play in local tournaments and competitions to gain experience and build a strong resume.
- Obtain certification: The PGA of America offers certification programs for golf professionals. To become a Class A PGA Professional, you will need to complete a series of coursework and pass a playing ability test. This certification is highly respected in the industry and will help you stand out when applying for jobs.
- Gain experience: Many assistant golf professionals begin their careers by working at a golf course or driving range. This provides an opportunity to gain experience in golf operations, including teaching, club fitting, and tournament management. Look for job opportunities at local golf courses and clubs, and be willing to start at an entry-level position.
- Network: Like many industries, the golf industry relies heavily on networking. Attend golf events and connect with other golf professionals. Join local and national golf organizations, such as the PGA of America or the Golf Course Superintendents Association, to meet other professionals and learn about job opportunities.
- Further education: To advance your career as an assistant golf professional, consider pursuing additional education. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in golf management or sports management, which can provide a strong foundation for a career in the golf industry.
- Build your teaching skills: As an assistant golf professional, teaching will likely be a major part of your job. Therefore, it is important to develop your teaching skills. Look for opportunities to assist with golf clinics and junior programs. Seek out mentors and experienced teachers who can provide guidance and advice on how to teach effectively.
- Develop customer service skills: Golf courses and clubs rely heavily on providing exceptional customer service to attract and retain members and customers. Therefore, it is important to develop strong customer service skills. This includes being friendly, approachable, and attentive to the needs of customers. Develop the ability to communicate effectively with golfers of all skill levels and to provide guidance and advice on the golf course and related services.
- Stay up-to-date with industry trends: The golf industry is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging all the time. As an assistant golf professional, it is important to stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. Attend industry events, read trade publications, and participate in continuing education courses to stay informed and up-to-date.
- Be willing to work hard: Working as an assistant golf professional can be challenging, and often requires long hours and hard work. Be willing to put in the time and effort needed to succeed in this career. Be open to learning new skills and taking on new challenges.
- Be passionate about golf: To succeed as an assistant golf professional, it is important to have a genuine passion for golf. This means having a love for the game, a desire to help others improve their skills, and a willingness to go above and beyond to provide exceptional service to customers. With hard work, dedication, and a genuine love for the game, you can build a successful career as an assistant golf professional.
|Education Level||Degree or Certificate||Relevant Courses||Certification||Experience|
|High school||High school diploma or equivalent||Mathematics, English, Business||N/A||N/A|
|Associate’s degree||Associate’s degree in golf management or related field||Golf operations, Golf course management, Turfgrass management||PGA certification||Internship or entry-level position|
|Bachelor’s degree||Bachelor’s degree in golf management or related field||Golf operations, Golf course design and maintenance, Golf business management||PGA certification||Internship or entry-level position|
|Master’s degree||Master’s degree in golf management or related field||Advanced golf course design, Golf business strategy, Golf course maintenance||PGA certification||Several years of experience in the industry|
PGA Certification Levels
|PGA Associate||Completion of 90 PGA-required credits, minimum of 36 months of work experience||Written exam, Playing Ability Test (PAT)||Three years||Completion of continuing education credits and payment of annual dues|
|PGA Member||Completion of 36 months of work experience as a PGA Associate, additional PGA-required credits||Written exam, PAT, Skills Assessment||Lifetime||Completion of continuing education credits and payment of annual dues|
|Golf knowledge||Deep understanding of golf rules, techniques, and equipment||Essential|
|Communication||Clear and effective verbal and written communication with customers, co-workers, and management||Essential|
|Organizational||Ability to manage multiple tasks and prioritize workload||Essential|
|Customer service||Ability to provide excellent service to customers, anticipate their needs, and resolve issues||Essential|
|Leadership||Ability to motivate and manage a team, provide direction, and resolve conflicts||Desirable|
|Employment growth||3% (2020-2030)|
|Median annual salary||$38,710 (as of May 2020)|
|Job openings (2019-2029)||1,000+|
|Top employing industries||Golf courses and country clubs, sports and recreation centers, amusement and theme parks|
|Top employing states||Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona|
Career Advancement Opportunities
|Head golf pro||Oversees all golf operations, including golf course maintenance, pro shop, and golf instruction||PGA membership, several years of experience as an assistant golf pro|
|General manager||Manages all aspects of the golf course or country club, including finance, operations, and marketing||Bachelor’s degree in business administration or related field, several years of experience in golf management|
|Golf course superintendent||Oversees golf course maintenance, including turfgrass management, irrigation, and landscaping||Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in turfgrass management, several years of experience in golf course maintenance|