According to estimates made by the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), golf is a $76-billion-per-year industry which generates over two million employment opportunities in its field. For those seeking a professional golf career, this industry offers a growing number of exciting job opportunities. It can also lead to lucrative employment in otherwise uncertain economic times.
The United States is home to over 18,000 courses, all of which offer exciting career paths in and around the green, but that's not all. There are also thousands of hotels, resorts, teaching centers, and manufacturers eager to hire professionals who have the right expertise and the latest industry know-how in management, instruction, sales, marketing, public relations, and more. Those who are interested in taking advantage of these prime niche areas and want to land a professional career in golf need to ensure they have a competitive edge against other job seekers. That edge begins with the right education.
When it comes to a career in this trade knowing the rules and techniques of the sport is just one part of the combined know-how required by employers. A broader knowledge of the industry's inner workings, including how it operates and generates revenue, is highly sought after by employers at any number of countless organizations. Before choosing an academy, college, or other type of school that prepares students, it's important to evaluate a number of key factors on the education offered.
A bit of background research on a program's history should yield important information to help determine the level of quality education it provides. For example, does the school have a solid reputation? Is it recognized amongst other established institutions? Institutions that invest in preparing their graduates for employment will likely not hesitate to share stories related to the job placement or recruitment success of its alumni.
A successful program should ideally have a combination of in-class instruction and onsite instruction. In-class instruction should include the operations of a broad range of facilities and related business. Onsite instruction should include practice on the green and in tournaments. This combined curriculum prepares both those who aspire to become a professional, as well as those pursuing any number of other industry-related careers. Curriculum should not only deliver the most up-to-date information on the current state of industry, but also be flexible enough to reflect changes in the industry that may evolve over the course of the program.
Institutions which work hard to foster a sense of community, either through an alumni association, mentorship opportunities, or networking events, better prepare their students for the support they'll need after graduation. In addition, some offer their students assistance with resume writing, interview preparation, and may also provide references for graduates.
Individuals interested in the trade might actually be surprised by the number of job opportunities. For example, organizations which organize charity tournaments require coordinators and event planners; while clubs and resorts require directors, managers and other personnel in the areas of operations, instruction, and equipment sales. Driving ranges require owners, general managers and caretakers, ball retrievers and drivers; while sports media hires commentators and broadcasters for radio, TV, and the Internet, not to mention columnists and other writers for newspaper and magazine publishing. On the equipment side of the industry, there are positions in equipment design, testing, fitting, manufacturing, sales, and rental.
Making the decision to have a professional golf career is one thing; financing that decision is another. Luckily, some schools assist students with securing government or private student loans and scholarships. Some institutions even help student's secure part-time employment to finance their tuition costs. Pursuing a career in golf is easier than you think.
Andy West is a writer for Golf Academy of America, one of the best training centers for anyone interested in a professional golf career. For more information please visit GolfAcademy.edu.