Growing up as a non-member in a private country club community, I spent as much time as I could around the golf course. As soon as I turned the working age of 14, I went to the local country club and got my first job. Employment at a country club brings a number of perks to the young golfer seeking to improve their game, but none match the opportunity to play golf for free.
As the school year winds down, and many high school and college aged players look for their first job in the golf industry, I thought I’d share some of the golf jobs that are available to young golfers.
Driving range attendant
My favorite golf job growing up, a cart-bound ball shagger may not sound like much fun, but it is a low pressure job that can help get your foot in the door at some courses. When the cart is out picking up balls, it is a moving target for golfers on the range. The loud clang of balls ricocheting off the cart is startling at first, but embracing the mentality of ‘the hunter becoming the hunted’ provides the job built-in entertainment of evading golf balls.
Junior golf instructor
For advanced golfers who have a good relationship with a teaching professional, instructing junior golf provides a great way to further your own game while helping others. Instructing can help your fundamentals by honing in on the mechanics of a golf swing. A good junior golf instructor not only conveys golf knowledge, but they also have their head on a swivel to make sure kids do not hit each other with golf clubs or try any other funny business.
Perhaps the most notable golf job of all, caddies require an intimate knowledge of the course hole by hole. They need to know proper golf etiquette and how to fore caddy. Therefore, it is best to look to a course you have quite a bit of playing experience at to ensure you are prepared to advise others on club and shot selection. It can be a tough job in the dog days of summer, but working the bag is the best job for collecting tips and networking. The co-founders of Nextgengolf worked as caddies growing up, and actually met doing an event for the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund (a scholarship for caddies).
The early birds on the course, the grounds crew are often in and out before noon, providing a great way to earn some money while still having free time later in the day. The job requires discipline to wake up at the crack of dawn to clock-in. Although it can be hot, tiring work, it can help you get in better shape. Plus, it beats working out in the afternoon heat (and how can you beat watching the sunrise on the golf course).
The primary customer service job in the clubhouse, working in a pro shop is the ideal job for someone with up-to-date knowledge of the latest equipment and golf club reviews. It allows you to develop selling skills as you work with customers and members of the public. Although this is true in all the jobs, this is where it is especially important to remember member names.
So if you are looking for golf jobs this summer and do not know where to look, there's several places you can start. I recommend heading down to your local country club and seek out one of these five entry level jobs that allow for a summer on and around a golf course. You can also check out the Nextgengolf job board, and stay updated on the latest golf jobs available for students and graduates.