Golf Course Superintendent – A Good Job?

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As all golfers are aware, there are so many jobs available at golf courses. From bar and waiting staff to greenskeepers, golf courses employ lots of people in various industries. 

And one of the most important roles at any golf course is that of the superintendent. Given the significance of this job, we’ve decided to run through everything you need to know about working as a superintendent.

By the end of this article, you will have a much clearer idea about what is expected of a golf course superintendent and whether or not you have the skills and experience to succeed with an application.

What are the Main Roles of a Golf Course Superintendent?

A golf superintendent is responsible for the overall management and maintenance of a golf course. They are required to conduct routine inspections of all equipment and vehicles at a golf course and are responsible for the safety and security of all property located at the venue.

What’s more, a golf course superintendent is responsible for the following: 

  • Growing and maintaining the various types of grass at the course.
  • Working closely with the maintenance team to direct any course treatments that are required.
  • Implementing the detailed agronomic plan for the golf course throughout the season.
  • Managing employees involved in the maintenance of the golf course. 
  • Providing a detailed report of the course condition to the general manager.

The role of golf course superintendent is super important and essentially dictates the quality of a golf course. If the superintendent does their job correctly, the course is likely to thrive and provide an awesome test of golf to members and visitors alike.

How Do You Become a Golf Course Superintendent?

Many courses require that their superintendent has a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, horticulture, or agronomy, given the fine margins involved with curating the perfect golf course for members and visitors.

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Although every golf course looks for something different in their employees, you will most likely need to have the required qualifications to land a job as a course superintendent.

Experience is also important if you’re hoping to land a job as a fold course superintendent, so being able to prove that you’ve worked as a greenskeeper and have the required skills to carry out the job is important.

You can search job sites like Zip Recruiter to find current listings in your area, but you might also benefit from contacting golf courses directly to ask if they’re looking for any staff, particularly when the golf season is just about to begin.

What Makes a Good Golf Course Superintendent?

A good golf superintendent is someone who has the required education and skills to maintain a golf course at the highest possible standards. Additionally, an effective golf course superintendent needs to be proactive and able to plan for the golf season ahead.

It’s often said that a good golf course gets the finer details exactly eight.

Just look at Augusta National – a highly knowledgeable and skilled course superintendent is a real asset to any course!

There are so many factors that can influence the quality of a golf course – grass type, weather, foot traffic, layout, etc. – so being able to plan for as many eventualities as possible is vital.

Golf course superintendents also need to be good at managing people, as they have to work in conjunction with maintenance staff, greenskeepers, and other departments to ensure the smooth running of the course.

Ultimately, the role of golf course superintendent is extremely important to the success of any golf course, so make sure you have the required skills and experience before applying for a role.

What is the Average Salary for a Golf Course Superintendent?

The average annual salary for a golf course superintendent is around $75,000. However, most jobs posted offer salaries in the range of $62,000 – $90,000, and the remuneration offered is typically location dependent.

In addition to a generous salary package, golf course superintendents are also usually offered a range of other benefits, including free golf or reduced fees on the course and a discount on purchases at the clubhouse, restaurant, and bar.

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As you can see, working as a golf course superintendent is a potentially lucrative job, so it’s undoubtedly a worthwhile career to pursue if you have the relevant skills and experiences.

Just be mindful to ask about the hours you’re expected to work and whether overtime is offered, as most golf course superintendents are required to work long hours, particularly in the summer months at the height of the golf season.

Golf Course Superintendent vs Golf Course Manager

While a superintendent is responsible for the upkeep of the physical grounds, a golf course manager is responsible for a much broader spectrum of day-to-day jobs.

The golf course superintendent and golf course manager are separate roles, and most courses employ both to oversee the management and maintenance of the facility.

For instance, a golf course manager is required to hire and fire staff, oversee each department within the clubhouse and out on the course, and deal with customer complaints and issues.

In some cases, you might see the role of superintendent incorporated into that of the course manager, but the most successful courses advertise for both roles to be carried out simultaneously by different people.

Another thing to note is that golf course managers are often employed from a range of backgrounds, as the required skill set to carry out the job is completely different to that of a superintendent.

So, if you have experience in corporate management, you could be a viable candidate for a golf course manager role.

Golf Course Superintendent Job Description

If you’re a hiring manager and are advertising for a superintendent, you need to think broadly about the roles and responsibilities you would like to include in the advertisement.

As introduced above, a golf course superintendent is responsible for lots of different tasks relating to the maintenance of the golf course itself, so hiring the right person is important.

In addition to the technical specifications required to carry out the job, you will need to explain what is expected of the superintendent in terms of hours worked and the staff members that they are responsible for.

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You should also be specific about the previous experience, education, and skills you want to see in a superintendent, as it’s a highly technical role that you can’t afford to get wrong.

Appointing the wrong person to the role of superintendent could jeopardise the condition of your entire course, which is disastrous, to say the least! 

How Do You Describe a Golf Course Superintendent on a Resume?

You will almost certainly need to display that you have experience of working on a golf course and have been responsible for its maintenance and upkeep. You will also need to show your certifications and accreditations, as most superintendent jobs are only open to degree holders.

If you’re considering applying for the role of a golf course superintendent, you need to make sure your resume speaks to the details listed in the job description.

As mentioned throughout, it is a highly technical role that requires someone who is skilled, trained, and experienced.

Alternatively, if you’re currently a golf course superintendent and are looking for a career change, it’s important to describe your role as specifically as possible.

Make sure your potential future employers know about your most significant roles and responsibilities, which include managing staff and ensuring the golf course is in top shape all year round.

Given that the job of golf course superintendent includes such a broad range of roles and responsibilities, it’s probably best to include a bulleted list of your daily tasks to ensure you don’t miss anything out!

Conclusion

The role of superintendent is one of the most important at any golf course. The superintendent is the person responsible for curating and maintaining the course, which includes planting the right grass and keeping the greenskeepers on task.

Without a highly skilled and experienced superintendent, a golf course is likely to fall into disrepair.

So, if you have the necessary skills and experience, there’s absolutely no reason not to apply for an available superintendent job at a golf course in your locale.