I didn't pick up a golf club until I was in college.
So how did I land in the golf industry with no prior introduction to the game? A little bit of luck, a lot of hard work, and here I am - a senior staff writer for Golf Advisor.
It doesn't matter what job you have in the golf industry. There are a couple common denominators to working in golf - a love of the game and being a people person. Golf is a game. It's supposed to be fun. That's all that golfers are looking for when they visit a course/resort/private club - a little enjoyment and relaxation away from the pressures of work, family life and the everyday grind. It doesn't matter what job you have - as a caddie, working the register in the pro shop, cleaning clubs at the end of the round. The key to success is presenting a positive attitude and vibe that keeps the golfer happy.
If working in golf sounds at all interesting, getting a job in the industry is easier than ever, thanks to our new website, www.golfjobsite.com, operated by Golf Business Solutions, a division of Golf Channel. It's simple to use. You can search by location and narrow things down further by searching for specific key words. Currently there are jobs ranging from the maintenance staff to the pro shop and restaurant.
Sorry, if you type in golf writer or golf course reviewer, those careers are not likely to show up in the search. I fell into this job almost by accident.
Growing up in a small town in Michigan, I thought golf was for nerds. You see, football season was in the fall, the same season as boys' golf at my high school. In my teenage mind, anybody who wasn't tough enough for football played golf.
I started playing golf on a whim after I applied for a summer job at my college course, Eagle Crest Golf Club at Eastern Michigan University. Who knew that a little free golf when I wasn't scrubbing carts or picking the range would lead to my life today. In roughly 25 years of playing golf, and 20 years writing about the game, I've played roughly 1,000 courses in 20 countries. I'm a living example that anybody - ANYBODY - can find a career in the game.
My 17-year-old son is following a similar path. He isn't into golf - yet - but I helped him land the first-ever job. He's spending the summer as a junior caddie with Youth On Course at several Silicon Valley private clubs. It's a nice program for children younger than 18. Caddies get paid $25 by the golfer, $25 by the YOC (a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the game) and also earn $25 for college. Toss in a little tip money and my son is making more than California's minimum wage. My motive wasn't money, though. It was to get him interested in the game.
Whether you're in love with the game or merely curious about it, there's a golf job out there for you. Hopefully, finding the perfect fit just got a little easier.