How to Become a Greenkeeper
Love golf and the great outdoors? A career in greenkeeping could be perfect for you! Every golf club needs greenkeepers, so there are plenty of opportunities available around the country and ultimately there would be no golf without the fantastic work of greenkeepers!
What is greenkeeping?
A golf course Greenkeeper is a skilled professional whose job it is to maintain a high-quality playing surface for golfers all year round.
There are four key areas on a golf course - tees, fairways, greens, and areas of rough – all of which require a different type of maintenance.
A Greenkeeper's main responsibilities include – Operation of heavy machinery and specialist tools, applying irrigation, treating turf, controlling and identifying weeds and pests, repairing wear and tear on the course, attending to drainage problems and renovating and maintaining bunkers to a high level.
A job in greenkeeping can be rewarding, it also has many different areas where your expertise can be applied, once you are qualified. Becoming a golf course greenkeeper in particular means that you can find a job in most countries if you fancy seeing other parts of the world. There are many golf courses and driving ranges located around the world with courses located on the coast, the countryside, or just outside bustling towns.
Greenkeeping is a physically active job requiring long periods of standing, bending and heavy lifting. The job is mostly spent outdoors and in all weather conditions. Some time may be spent indoors repairing machinery.
Greenkeepers work longer in the Spring and Summer months. Particularly in Summer, Greenkeepers may start work at around 6.00 am to carry out a variety of essential tasks before the course is fully open to golfers. Golf courses usually open seven days a week and weekend work is commonplace. Part-time work may also be accessible.
Teamwork is vital in greenkeeping. Courses need greenkeepers of all levels to work together to maintain course conditions to the highest standard.
Where to start:
There are different routes you can take to becoming a full-time greenkeeper. Apprenticeships and college courses are the best options. If you already have a background in landscaping or horticulture this could be enough to get you started in a greenkeeping position depending on a club's requirements.
An apprenticeship is the first step to a greenkeeping career. Apprenticeships include on and off-site structured learning and application of practical skills to ensure you gain the abilities and knowledge you need to continue progressing with your career.
Find out more about apprenticeships HERE
Learn more about the Level 2 Certificate in Golf Greenkeeping HERE (Currently only available in England)
Qualifications in the UK:
The Greenkeepers Training Committee (GTC) maintains a list of GTC Approved Training Providers. These colleges and training centers offer Government approved greenkeeping courses and qualifications that have been developed by the GTC, the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and other related organisations.
Find the closest provider to you with GTC’s course finder HERE.
If you need help and have questions about training, courses, or qualifications please contact BIGGA or the GTC for guided help.
There is plenty of room to grow within greenkeeping and progression can lead to roles such as Senior Greenkeeper, Deputy Head Greenkeeper, Head Greenkeeper, and Course Manager. Your experience as a greenkeeper will continue to grow throughout your career and no two days will ever be the same.
Ask a Greenkeeper:
Read our 'Ask a Greenkeeper' blogs to delve deeper into the working life of a greenkeeper and hear fantastic personal greenkeeping stories: Read the blogs here.
Visit the Golf Jobs website to view the latest Greenkeeping vacancies.