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Golf Course Superintendent Job Description

by Michele Garabedian Stork

If you want to be outside most of the time, love the game of golf and are interested in turf management, then becoming a golf course superintendent may be a good career choice. According to the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, to become a golf course superintendent you'll need the appropriate education, related experience, and preferably certification.

Turf Management

According to Rutgers University's Professional Golf Turf Management School, a golf course superintendent must know what to do to properly care for the grounds of a golf course during any kind of weather, including unusual conditions such as heavy rains or summer droughts. In addition, the school adds, "the golf course superintendent regularly schedules seasonal watering, fertilizing, planting sod or seed, maintaining drainage, and soil maintenance."

People Management

A golf course superintendent manages a maintenance staff that picks up trash, mows the greens and repairs damage to the turf every day without interrupting the golfers. In some cases, the golf course superintendent manages one or more staff mechanics who repair and maintain all golf course maintenance equipment. The superintendent also communicates regularly with the golf course board of directors, owner, or general manager to plan improvements to the course or discuss issues reported by members.

Equipment & Reporting

The GCSAA states that the golf course superintendent not only maintains the golf course and maintenance equipment, but any associated facilities that are usually part of a golf club. These might include golf carts, landscaping around buildings, tennis courts, and swimming pools. In a sample job description, the GCSAA lists the reporting duties of a golf course superintendent as budgeting, purchasing, payroll, and pesticide application logs.

Hours and Salary

The GCSAA's 2011 Compensation and Benefits report found that golf course superintendents work an average of 52 hours per week, with the highest number of hours worked during the summer. The GCSAA report also indicated that the average annual salary for a golf course superintendent rose 2.7 percent from 2009 to 2011, to $81,044. The majority of golf course superintendents feel secure in their job. According to the GCSAA report, 60 percent of golf course superintendents feel they will remain in their position as long as they continue to perform well.

About the Author

Michele Garabedian Stork oversees an award-winning website and serves as the editor of several monthly e-newsletters. She is an adjunct faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she earned a Master of Education. Garabedian Stork also holds an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelor of Science in business studies.

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