Why is there negativity towards golf industry jobs?

BNGLBNGL Members Posts: 1,683 ✭✭
Pardon my naivety, but why does everyone hate on the golf business so much? Granted I have never worked in the pro shop, (aside from summer time job in high school part time) only golf maintenance, but the GM's (4 at 3 courses) and assistants (countless some of whom have gone on to the most prestigious clubs in the country) that I have had the pleasure of working with have all been outstanding, passionate, motivated individuals that love the game of golf. And for the most part all other supers have the same situation. Now maybe they aren't the most agreeable people, but love their jobs. (That being said I do know one guy that hates his job, but it's more of a management company and the microscope he is under 24/7). Couple buddies of mine are former PGA Club pro champs (I know there's resentment that "they aren't PGA Pros etc etc, that's another point of contention for another time).

There is time to play, it just sucks sometimes playing the club you work at. That is why it is beneficial to maintain healthy relationships with other area clubs (of similar condition and cost).

There is almost always chapter events, or employee games on the slow days. Heck we have even closed up early and played an afternoon as a 10 ball (3 supers, 3 pro shop, 4 bag drop).

As far as the hours, all I know is working in golf, but isn't your career supposed to be your passion? Yes we work a ton, 545 till 4ish sometimes later some days earlier (11.5 days on 2 off) there hasn't been one day (honestly) where I have said this sucks. (Tomorrow I'll probably say it now lol).

There's plenty of money in it as well, if you get in at the right places and do your job extremely well.

Yes the schooling can be rigorous, expensive,....and seemingly pointless. (At least agronomically speaking). But as with a college degree, that piece of paper or certification opens doors that will take you to the top of the industry if it is desired.

I'm just extremely frustrated that when people ask about golf industry jobs most of all the replies are negative.

Am I way off base?


  • BottleCapBottleCap Members Posts: 1,354 ✭✭
    low pay no career path
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  • Sean2Sean2 #TheWRX (Callaway Trip) Members Posts: 30,826 ✭✭
    "Why does everyone hate on the golf business so much?" [emphasis added]

    In the US golf is a $76 billion dollar industry comprised, in part, of more than 15,000 small business nationwide, that employ roughly 2 million people. --Pete Bevacqua/GAA

    I don't know anyone who hates the "golf business". The people I know in it, for the most part, are happy with their jobs.
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  • MtlJeffMtlJeff MontrealMembers Posts: 28,483 ✭✭
    I don't think everyone hates on the golf industry. I think people just like to point out that a job is a job, even if it's working in golf. I think some assume that working in golf must be like a dream come true, rainbows and sunshine, playing golf every day and getting paid for it etc.....but it's not always like that. There are many i am sure in the golf industry that love their job, and there are many that don't. There are a few who earn good money, and many who do not.

    This is not dissimilar to any other industry.

    You can love video games, but that doesn't mean working at Ubisoft will be like heaven. You can love electronics and not love working for Apple.

    I think people just caution that working in the golf industry might not be as rosy as some think, that's all
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  • LlortamaiseyLlortamaisey Members Posts: 5,940 ✭✭
    Depends on exactly who you’re talking about. If you think people with golf careers hate on the golf industry, it’s because they hate their job. If you’re talking about people on this website, it’s because a lot of people post about following their passion. I read this earlier today that talks about that myth:

    “Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life, right? Wrong. You know what turns your passion into a pain in the neck really quickly? A deadline, a client taking your vision and changing it, or having to send invoices repeatedly when customers are late paying. Then not only is your job unsatisfying, but you're also out one hobby that you used to enjoy.

    Having a job you love isn't necessarily the same thing as following your passion. It's a big world out there, and you can find fulfillment in plenty of jobs. Look for a job that you'll find satisfying rather than limit yourself to something you're totally passionate about. Maybe you love to fish; there are loads of environmental careers that overlap with your fishing interests.

    ‘Consider your passions, but balance that with the larger macro-economy, what your skills and talents are, and the networks you have developed,’ says Ben Brooks, New York City-based founder and CEO of PILOT, a tech platform that helps companies retain their best employees by actively managing their career paths.”
  • Matt JMatt J Members Posts: 8,735 ✭✭
    Any job that seems "fun" on the surface is underpaid. Golf jobs are generally underpaid. Money talks and b.s. walks in this country. Better to find a way to make real money and play golf for fun.
  • raynorfan1raynorfan1 Members Posts: 3,568 ✭✭
    BNGL wrote:

    Am I way off base?

    Couple of things.

    First, your experience - at an expensive, southern, seasonal club - represents the "Top 1%" of golf industry jobs. Life at the top ~1,000 courses is dramatically different than it is at the other 34,000 in the country. The department "heads" in these clubs (GM / Chef / Tennis / Golf / Grounds) are all brass-ring jobs that command a low/mid six figure salary and incredible stability. That means that you attract the "best" assistants and interns, all of whom are willing to work hard to pay their dues - knowing that a "head" job is out there for them when the time is right. It's easy to fold shirts in a pro shop all day for $25,000 a season, knowing that you're building a career that will get you to a comfortable life. It sucks when you have the same job at a middling resort course where the payoff is that you won't even be interviewed for the head job that goes to one of the cast-offs from a top 1000 club. You also have nearly unlimited resources to do your job the way that it's supposed to be done. Your equipment works; you have budget for water; your job is mostly in your control. At lesser clubs/courses, you get non-stop complaints about how bad the greens are while they complain about how much you're spending on maintenance. Overall, I think you just have a particular perspective on the industry that doesn't reflect reality for the majority.

    Second, a lot of people confuse the advice to "do what they love". Our greenskeeper does not love golf. He understands it; he appreciates it. But he loves turf. I think a lot of people go into the "industry" because they love playing golf. But the only people who play golf for a living are on a pro tour. So these guys take jobs in the pro shop, and lament that they're "doing what they love" and hating every second of it. The reality is that they're not doing what they love; they're doing something that they hate, made even worse that it's in such close proximity to what they love. I think this is the bitterness that you see come through.
  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,508 ✭✭
    You mentioned several of the aspects that make golf industry jobs undesirable. Long hours, low pay and a culture that you need to be underpaid, overworked and disrespected drives away the best talent. The golf business and the PGA of America take pride in being obtuse towards the talent pool. They tout the many thousands of apprentices and PGM students as those “in wait” to take the industry to the next level. The reality is those many thousands are the ones with fewer options. The best minds leave the program after a year or two when they realize that they are meeting people age 38 that are still assistant pros, still working every weekend and holiday, still making $29k and are working on their second divorce. What is left after the best wash out is what will “save the golf business”. Good luck.

    That said, I don’t hate anyone in the golf business. People on this board like Dan Drake and a few others have chosen to make this game great for us. They make up a very small percentage of the personnel in the golf business though. The golf industry is tough to make a desirable living, and don’t be foolish about “passion” making up for not building personal relationships that matter. Your tensome of golfers won’t replace family.
  • Bob CatBob Cat Golfopath Members Posts: 1,596 ✭✭
    OP, keep doing what you're doing and if things get stale at your current club, go somewhere else where you're talents and effort are rewarded.

    Many times, changing clubs is the best way to advance and increase your wage.

    Good luck!
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  • BeerPerHoleBeerPerHole Members Posts: 1,168 ✭✭
    Matt J wrote:

    Any job that seems "fun" on the surface is underpaid. Golf jobs are generally underpaid. Money talks and b.s. walks in this country. Better to find a way to make real money and play golf for fun.
    Well said. This would have been my thesis. I'm prepping to coach high school golf when I retire. If I can get a stipend for gas to drive the kids to practice that'll be great...
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