Golf Course Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Learn about the education and training required to get a job as a golf course manager. See what job duties are usually performed by golf course managers, and what your potential earnings are. Schools offering Landscape Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Golf Course Manager?

A golf course manager's job involves overseeing the facility's daily operations. This occupation falls under jobs in the recreation field. Therefore, as a golf course manager you may be required to maintain sports equipment, teach golfing classes, and monitor the course's activities. As a manager at a golf course, sometimes you will work in-office while other times you will work outside at the course. Expect to take on HR duties, hospitality roles, and organizational projects for recreational events. The chart below highlights some of the details and requirements you'll need to enter into this career:

Degree Required Postsecondary certificate; some roles require a bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Golf course management, recreation or public administration
Key Responsibilities Monitor operations, manage hospitality, promote business events, and organize staff (for golf club managers)
Job Growth (2014-2024) 10% (for recreation workers)
Median Salary (2017) $48,672 (for golf club managers)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

What Education Do I Need to Be a Golf Course Manager?

Bachelor's degree programs are available at numerous colleges and universities that provide the fundamentals of running and operating a golf course. You may complete courses in quality assurance and control, strategic and operations management, ethics and business technology. You can also locate certificate programs in golf course management, which may last a few weeks to a few years. Many of the degree and certificate programs provide internships lasting several months, through which you can put your knowledge to use at an actual golf course.

The Professional Golf Association (PGA) also offers a Golf Management University Program in partnership with more than 20 colleges across the country ( Within this 4- to 5-year bachelor's degree program, you can gain general management experience in the golf industry through classroom courses and internships. According to the PGA, once you graduate from its program, you'll also be granted membership with the PGA, often required by employers, and the program typically has 100% job placement. Golf Management University students must satisfy the Playing Ability Test requirement, which involves obtaining a specific score on two 18-hole rounds of golf, and they must successfully pass a golf-based exam.

What Might My Duties Be?

As a golf course manager, you'd be in charge of supervising and directing all operations at the golf course. This may include hiring and firing personnel as well as training them. You may also coordinate schedules of tournaments, lessons, golf teams and regular tee-off times. Since you may manage numerous aspects of a golf course, you must be financially savvy and have strong record-keeping skills. You may also be called upon to use your marketing skills to promote specific programs and events held at the golf course.

How Much Can I Earn?

Compensation may vary across the country, but the online salary database reported that the median salary of golf course managers is $48,672 as of January 2017. The salary can also depend upon the golf course's status as either public or private, the size of the course and the amount of business it receives. You may be able to make extra money if you teach lessons to guests of the course.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to focus on a job related to sports then a career as a fitness trainer and instructor will give you the skills you need to guide clients in workout activities. You only need a high school diploma in order to teach the proper use of exercise equipment, give advice about workout routines, and provide tips on nutrition. However, postsecondary education and certification is often sought. If working in management is something you want to do, getting a job as an event planner incorporates meeting with clients, organizing functions and their locations, and directing event activities. You will also be in charge of the financial aspects of such events.

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