Profession Par Handicap: Golf Management As A Course

Posted on September 28, 2010 in Alternative Careers

By Shruthi Venukumar:

The rich man’s game is becoming inclusive. One no longer has to be a top-of-the-line golfer or a caddy to make it big in the world of golf. Opportunities lie galore in the field of golf/golf course management. The golf industry is looking for managers, administrators and planners in every aspect of the game and its execution. A career in golf management comes with a promise of rising up to the level of managing committees, boards of directors and looking ahead and out, temporary or permanent stints in neighbouring countries with a lack of trained golf professionals. Golf management has come a long way from being just pruning grass and maintaining manicured lawns. It requires a certain level of expertise today. Be it designing and maintaining golf courses keeping in mind terrain and sunlight or feeding golf lawns the right way or managing golf facilities in golf courses, institutes, schools or clubs, everything falls under golf management. Due to popularity of golf among Indians abroad and the generous backing of the corporate sector and of course owing to the waves created by Indian golfers in international golf tournaments, India is sitting up and taking notice of golf. Golf courses are coming up at a racy rate all across India. This is where the role of golf management makes an appearance. Because it is no longer just a game but an industry and a business, the game that does not require a standardized playing area is managed by hands that have standardized courses. Corporate schools are more than happy to chip in and help young professionals brace up for this niche sector.

Earlier golf management personnel picks up skills and tricks on the job. No stylized programme was made available to them to systematically study golf management. With the introduction of the new post graduation degree on golf management, students with ambitions of a career in the field can breathe easy. The course that is fast catching up and being picked up by more and more management schools across the country is divided into two parts. One involves the study of regular management (which MBA) students devote themselves including training and analysis in materials and manufacture management, managerial accounts, managerial economics, marketing management, it for managers, international business, quantitative techniques, organizational behaviour, business communication, human resource management, finance management, business environment, research methodology, business law, management controls system, customer relationship management, corporate governance and social responsibilities, strategic management and project management. Part two is golf specific with a curriculum designed to provide intensive knowledge on the history and development of golf, golf operations, golf facility development, customer care culture, contemporary golf industry, marketing, turf grass ecology, design and construction of golf course features, managing international turf grasses, managing turf areas on golf courses, selection and management of machinery, soil science for turf managers, golf course irrigation system, integrated management of golf course environment. Such a specialized course was formerly available only in countries like the USA and Australia. The course is divided into four semesters totaling 24 months. The last semester is to be spent by students on apprenticeship, often in foreign countries with an affinity and refurbished facilities for golf.

The fees structure varies but it comes within Rs.10 lakh inclusive of study material, laptop, golf club membership, formal clothing etc. Considering it is an industry with ever growing demand for incoming personnel and a shortage of supply, the returns from the educational charges can be expected to be recouped within a reasonable while. The course can be pursued after securing a graduation degree in any programme. Candidates are shortlisted on the basis of entrance exam scores and the interview which is the acid test of a person’s employability as golf management demands high interpersonal and communication skills. Defence personnel are exempt from entry level exams subject to their career profiles.

There are a number of institutes from where you can pursue this course, such as the Golf Management Institue, Canada. In India ISCOM: International School of Corporate Management, Pune gives training in Golf Management.

What is the wait for? It’s time to putt the ball through greener pastures into your court!