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The Toronto Sun CareerConnection


Take a swing at a golf-related career

Aprille Janes
Special to The Toronto Sun

Love golf but have to earn a living? Have you ever thought about combining your vocation with your avocation?

If you thought you had to be a tour player to earn a living, then take another look.

Jason Helman, director of golf at The Gotta Golf Academy Inc., recommends looking into the Professional Golf Management (PGM) program offered at various Ontario colleges.
Jason Helman, director of golf at The Gottta Golf Academy Inc.

A three-year certificate combining business and golf, this course prepares you for a career as director of golf, a teaching pro or a course manager. You can branch out into a number of related fields such as golf media and journalism.

If you aspire to become a certified CPGA pro, you'll want to learn more about their ELITE (Enhanced Learning and Innovative Training and Education) program which takes up to seven years to complete, including successful completion of the PGM program. Contact the Canadian Professional Golfers' Association (CPGA) for more information about their requirements by calling the national office at 519-853-5450.

But if being a golf pro isn't quite what you had in mind, then stretch your horizons and think about the people you come into contact with each time you play a round.

Terry Dyni, director of communications for the CPGA. talks about the choices available. "There's usually a head superintendent and he needs a staff. Often more than 10 or 12 people are working on a golf course, from summer students to contractors. For someone who likes to be outdoors and loves golf, it's an excellent career."

Head superintendents require skills in many areas, including horticulture to personnel management. For more information on becoming a golf superintendent, visit the Web site of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association at

If the hospitality industry interests you, then you've come to the right industry.

"A lot of golf courses these days do weddings and parties and make their facilities available for other events," Dyni observes. "They need staff who know how to attract people to the facility and how to do the catering."

Many travel consultants specialize in golf vacations. There are even golf cruises. This means the cruise lines themselves need people with golf experience to help passengers.

Helman also suggests running your own golf course, range or academy. As in any entrepreneurial undertaking, strong business skills are an asset in addition to a love of the game.

Sports stores, golf specialty shops and, of course, the pro shop at your favorite club also all need knowledgeable staff.

(Aprille Janes ( is a freelance writer based in Port Perry, Ont.)

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