Nearly everyone who wants to get employed in the seemingly recession-proof golf industry dreams at one time or another of being the next Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam, but that's not likely to happen. Even if you don't have the skills necessary to become a top pro you can still get into the golf industry. A number of career opportunities exist in the golf industry. These jobs may not be as glamorous as being one of the top golfers in the world, but play your cards right and you just might be regularly meeting many of those top golfers.
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At the top of the heap are the professionals in the PGA and LPGA. Getting to this level requires that you be among the most skilled golfers in the world capable of handling extreme amounts of pressure as a live gallery and millions of viewers at home follow your every move. Just being a great golfer isn't enough; you've got to have intense powers of concentration, control over your emotions and dedication to improving your game even if you win some major titles. The money for the top golfers can make you one of the richest athletes in the world, but those at the bottom of the pile often are living from one paycheck to the next.
Class A PGA Golfer
The PGA offers a program for professional golfers called a Class A professional. Only those who have exhibited golf expertise should apply for a Class A membership as the job will entail appearing at the country's most prestigious country clubs and courses as an official representative of the PGA. Class A golfers give golfing lessons, oversee seminars and host public service events.
If you enjoy the sport of golf and have the ability to make it interesting on paper, you may be able to travel around the world. Several monthly magazines are devoted exclusively to golf along with more general sports magazines and newspapers. Even many travel magazines regularly feature articles about places to golf both in America and abroad. Opportunities exist both as staff writers as well as freelance writers.
Made popular by Bill Murray's character in the movie "Caddyshack," the job of greenkeeper is arguably the most important job in the entire industry. Even professional golfers will look like amateurs on a poorly kept course and a country club that doesn't maintain its course will entice neither local duffers nor PGA scouts. A greenkeeper at the most prestigious course in the country can often earn a six-figure income.
Professional caddies share in the glory of the golfer's victories and that can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for those carrying bags for the biggest names in golf. The typical caddie, however, earns somewhere between £32 and £65 per bag carried and they are allowed to carry two bags at once. Many wannabe pro golfers take work as caddies when they are younger because the job offers an excellent opportunity to learn the tricks of the course from experienced golfers.
Some high schools, especially in upper class school districts and private schools, as well as colleges hire golf coaches. These schools have golf teams that compete in statewide, regional and even cross-country competitions. Most golf coaches have competed at some level in their own right, but just being a good golfer isn't enough. You must know how to translate your own talent into a lesson plan that inspires still-uncoordinated youth.
Most country clubs hire at least one golf pro. In addition to finding work as a golf pro at a country club, many resorts with a course attached also have openings for pros with both experience and personality. Believe it or not, there are even openings for golf pros on cruise ships. No, they haven't built a cruise ship big enough to contain a golf course yet, but several cruises include a round of golf at a course on their ports and golf pros are hired not just to give lessons, but also help with promotion and developing the excursions.
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