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Careers in the golf industry

Golf is a $13 billion dollar industry in Canada that employs 100,000 people and nearly 10,000 managers. Golf management is a great option for people who love the game but who don't see professional golf—ala Tiger Woods—as a viable career option.

Through Golf Colleges Canada, students of golf management, and people seeking careers in golf, can learn more about what is required to become a competent golf club manager. Academic courses in golf club management are available online or on campuses at any of the participating golf management colleges found on the website.  

Golf clubs and resorts are complex entities; they are at once combination retail stores, upscale restaurants, liquor lounges, parks, and recreation centres. Most clubs have senior managers for each of those areas. This means great opportunities for people with good business skills knowledge and training. There is a wide variety of high paying, lifetime, year-round management careers in the golf industry. And, for every managerial position, there are often assistant manager roles. Following is a list of the key management positions that exist at most of Canada ’s 2,200 golf clubs. For those wishing to even further explore career opportunities, visit this link to the Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM)


Here are job titles for key positions at golf clubs; following these are more detailed descriptions of senior management positions.

  • Food & Beverage Manager
  •  Chief Operating Officer
  •  Head Golf Professional
  • Director of Golf
  • Golf Shop Manager
  • Financial Controller
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Executive Chef
  • Director of Golf Course Maintenance
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Public Relations Director 


    Serving as the Chief Operating Officer (CEO) for clubs, the general manager provides leadership to both the ownership and club staff. The specific responsibilities include operations, financial performance, staffing, policy and direction, club maintenance and development, and business development. The general manager of the club is the “go-to-person.” He or she is where the “truck stops” or the “top dog” in the club. The general manager’s decisions include resource allocation, pricing strategies, budgeting and image projection. All department managers report solely to the club’s general manager who, in turn, reports to the ownership or board of directors. The general manager is an ex-officio member of all club committees.


    In the place of the single CEO General Manager concept of management, some clubs operate with a triumvirate style of management where senior managers have different areas of responsibility and all report to owners or a Board of Directors. Club manager duties focus on clubhouse operations but not those of the Golf Shop or golf course operations. The club manager maintains an equal status with the Golf Course Superintendent and Golf Operations Manager, with each reporting to the board of directors through a committee chair.  Additional duties to that of clubhouse manager may be strong roles in sales, marketing, human resource, financial, accounting, maintenance, food and beverage, short and long range planning, membership recruitment and retention, and clubhouse operation.


    After doing the clubhouse manager’s job, the next step is to General Manager. It stands to reason that the clubhouse manager reports to the general manager in a “general manager concept” of management and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the clubhouses activities. He or she has specific responsibilities in the operation of the food and beverage departments, housekeeping and locker room services, financial planning and reporting for his or her areas in terms of counts, $ and %’s.  The staffing function of each department’s supervisors and employees for the respective departments are performed by the Clubhouse Manager.


    The golf operations manager has more contact with players than any other employee because the golf shop is the hub of the golf club’s operation. All golfing activities such as play, tee-time bookings, lessons, clinics, teaching, golf car fleet operations, golf shop retail sales and merchandizing as well as promotion of the game inside or outside of the club are the responsibility of the golf operations manager (Head Golf Pro). The pros number one job is maximizing the use of the golf course to its optimal capacity.  Along with that, he or she is responsible for daily golf operations, teaching activities, financial planning and reporting.


    The office manager, or club accountant/bookkeeper, is responsible to the general manager for the development and maintenance of all financial and membership records. The main role is one of accounting to deal with receivables, payables, bank reconciliation and monthly financial statements.  The office manager is responsible for the club’s membership records and share register. All clerical and reception staff report to the office manager, who is usually responsible for the staffing of these positions.


    Many people view this position as a fun-filled outdoor summer job, just riding a mower in the hot sun.  However this is not the case. Today’s Golf Course Superintendent is certainly responsible for the maintenance and development of the golf course and clubhouse grounds, but he or she also requires managerial skills to perform a variety of functions. The GCS has specific responsibilities in running the turf care operations of the golf course but also requires skills in financial planning and reporting, equipment acquisition, maintenance, and replacement, the entire turf care staffing procedure and compliance with governing bodies and agencies.



    This position requires a person with excellent business communication skills, customer service attitudes, and sales and marketing skills. Reporting to the general manager the prime responsibility is to actively keep the club roster filled with the various categories of membership. Through membership recruitment and retention programs, coupled with strategies that combine internal and external marketing plans, this person plays a key role in the success of the club. This person is the liaison between the membership and the club’s management or board. Part of the duties include maintaining membership files and reporting on membership levels.


    Providing sanitary and hygienic conditions in the locker rooms, showers, washrooms and changing areas, the locker room manager supervises cleanliness staffing, restocking of supplies, and optional amenity supervision of saunas, steam baths, suntanning booths, shoe cleaning services, and the laundering of towels and linens. This person reports to the club or clubhouse manager and is responsible for financial planning and reporting for his or her areas.  Compliance with the local health department is part of the specific responsibilities.


    Responsible to the General Manager for the physical maintenance of the clubhouse and other club buildings the maintenance manager’s duties include daily maintenance and repairs of the club buildings and equipment. This person is in charge of the development of the preventative maintenance programs for all clubhouse equipment and building systems including electrical, plumbing, heating, refrigeration and ventilation, fire protection, recycling potable water, garbage and sewage. Examining the control and reduction of energy costs and water use and maintaining a “green” operation footprint is a prime concern. This manager may be involved with other amenity maintenance management such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and curling rinks.


    Schedules and administers all tournaments and special events. Also serves as a liaison to various golf associations, leagues, and teams. Works to organize individual events and assist to help ensure success. This position requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, a high level of organization and deep knowledge of marketing practices.


    To learn more about specific golf industry positions, and about job openings available in the Canadian golf industry, visit:  





























































































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