How to Make a Living in the Golf Industry
Many people dream of being able to turn their passion into a career. How then does someone turn their love for golf into a lifelong career? To answer that question we will look at six different career paths in golf. Obviously, there are other career options. Be sure to share your own unique story in the comments below if you’ve been able to make a living in golf.
PGA Tour Player
This is probably what most people think of when they think of a career in golf. However, Tour players represent a tiny fraction of people in the golf industry. It is very difficult to become a PGA Tour player. In order to reach this elite status, a player must play in the PGA Qualifying Tour. If the player is lucky enough to advance then they must play on the Web.com Tour and win three events in a single season to be awarded PGA Tour Status. Once someone makes the Tour, it can then be extremely difficult to stay on Tour. Yet if you are the elite of the elite, you can make an extremely good living off of Tour earnings.
There are other ways to be a golf “professional” other than playing on Tour. The most popular is a PGA Teaching Professional. In order to become a PGA Teaching Professional, golfers will need at least a high school diploma or be 18. They also need to be working fulltime in an eligible job. Additionally, a golfer must then pass a Player Ability Test (PAT). After that, they can be enrolled in the PGA program. This program has 3 levels and at the end, a golfer is awarded PGA Membership. Teaching Professionals can make a living working at courses, teaching lessons, selling golf equipment, and more. It is a good path for those interested in a career in teaching golf.
Golf Sales Representative
How cool would it be to be a sales representative for one of golf’s biggest manufacturers? These jobs are very much real. In order to be hired, most companies require a bachelors degree. It would be advised to get a degree someway related to sales. Once graduated, companies usually will hire potential sales representatives to lower positions. This allows graduates to gain some work experience and learn more about the company. When a position is available most companies will then promote from within. It can be a rocky and uncertain road to being a golf sales representative, but luckily it is a position that can easily transfer to another industry if needed.
Looking to run or manage your very own golf course? Golf management would be the path for you. It can be difficult to jump straight into golf management. Often it is best to work at a golf facility for some time in a different position. However, golf management positions usually require a college education. Any business degree would work. However, Professional Golf Management (PGM) college would be preferred. There are currently 18 different schools throughout the United States that offers this program.
Golf Sales Associate
Sales Associate professionals provide the frontline customer service to retail stores and sell and fit equipment through. Many times, they are responsible for upholding company standards for merchandise presentation of the best apparel and equipment brands in the store. Their goal is to demonstrate an ability to genuinely interact with customers to show passion, knowledge, dedication, and commitment in their sport. Golf experience will definitely be recommended. If you’re unsure whether you want to pursue a career in golf then try out being a sales associate and see what you think!
Golf Equipment Engineer
If you’re interested in the science of golf equipment then engineering may be for you. An engineering degree is required for this career. There are multiple engineering degrees you can get including but not limited to mechanical, aerospace, manufacturing, and material engineering. These degrees are difficult to obtain but incredibly financially rewarding. Engineers lead the design and breakthroughs for golf equipment. If you want to be responsible for the newest breakthrough in golf equipment then maybe this is the path for you.