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A must read article on Careers in Golf Development By Mr. Aashish Vaishnava (Published in India's Leading Employment Daily by Govt. Of India)


CAREERS IN GOLF DEVELOPMENT

(Aashish Vaishnava)


Overview

Golf is not just a sport; it’s an industry in itself. As a sport and as a business, Golf operates on a huge scale. Although there are no official figures, an estimated 80 million Golfers worldwide play on close to 40,000 courses across the globe. Golf events are close to $2 billion a year, and the Golf tourism market exceeding the $1 billion.


US is the largest Golf market in the world with nearly 50% of the global supply of Golf courses and nearly 60% of the Golfers in the world, which demonstrated that Golf in 2000 was a $62 billion industry, bigger than the motion picture and recording industries combined. A follow-up report in 2007 confirmed that Golf had grown to become a $76 billion industry, with a total impact on the U.S. economy in 2005 of $195 billion. Golf is responsible for contributing about $3.5 billion annually to charities across the country, more than any other sporting activity. The Golf industry provides 2 million jobs in the U.S. and total wage income of $61 billion.


In short, Golf is a huge business which is growing despite of the financial crisis. Golf is becoming more popular in Asia as Asian consumers turn to leisure activities. In China it is becoming the game of choice for the wealthier as Chinese men and women become rich enough to enjoy their leisure, and there are also signs that in India Golf is gaining momentum.


India has a much longer history associated with Golf since Royal Calcutta Golf club’s inception in 1829. According to the Indian Golf Union, there are currently 195 Golf courses and approximately 100,000 Golf club members in the country. Out of the existing facilities more than half belong to the Indian Army. Over 50% of the Golf courses are 18-hole courses, 40-45% are 9-hole facilities, while there are just a few courses in India having more than 18 holes. There are a number of championship and high-end courses, including a few designed by world famous Golf architects.


Investment in property is driving investment in Golf, as seen in other parts of the world. In rural areas, real estate is attracting people to live near courses—though many do not necessarily play the game themselves. Many of the Golf academies driving youth involvement in the game are located in the so-called ‘Tier 2’ cities, purposefully to build awareness of the game and participation. Though the game remains aspirational and a sign of status, the availability of public Golf courses and subsidised green fees are increasing the accessibility of the game in India.


As happened in cricket, it seems only a matter of time before the centre of gravity in the game moves to Asia. Just as the popularity of cricket in India means that the sub-continent has become the economic and political centre of the sport, so - although it may take decade - we expect to see the centre of the professional Golf game move towards Asia, with bigger purses and sponsorship opportunities attracting the best players as the game grows in significance there.


Economics of Golf

The vast majority of the Golf courses operate on a “membership only” basis. Private Golf courses generally allow only club members and their guests to play. Courses in India are usually not part of a residential community. However, Market trends and recent investments seem to confirm that the future growth of Golf in India could also be linked to the development of a certain number of Golf communities and Golf resorts aiming at the local market and to a certain extent to international tourism demand.

Golf course revenues comprise the following main components: membership fees, green fees, revenue from food and beverage, pro-shop, and others (e.g. sponsorship, lease income, etc). 


In terms of revenue structure, two-thirds of the total revenues are generated by membership fees, with around 17% coming from green fees. Food and beverage revenues account for about 6% of the total revenues.
18-hole Golf courses in India employ 58 persons on average, comprising 48 full-time and 10 part-time employees. The average number of staff working in Golf maintenance (17 full-time and 7 part-time) is also very high compared to the European average. On average, more than 15% of employees work in the food and beverage department.


Outlining future potential Golf demand

The population of India stands at 1.2 billion. The estimated population of India with a disposable annual income of more than USD 10,000 is approximately 1.5%* of the total population, resulting in a potential Golf target market of 18 million. The proportion of active Golfers from this population is 0.8%. Assuming that in the next 10 years, the proportion of active Golfers doubles to 300,000, then India would have to build between 90-100 new courses to accommodate the increased demand.*McKinsey Global Institute with KPMG elaboration.


Career in Golf

If you think the only way to have a career in Golf is to be a playing Professional then think again! Golf has something for everyone.  If you don't have the skill to be a professional player, there are lots of other career opportunities in the sport.  In most cases you need experience to get you started but with dedication, you can make anything happen.  Here are few important options to choose from:


Career Options

Brief

Skill Sets / Where to apply?

Starting Remunerations

Tour Professional

It’s all about playing the sport professionally.

If you are an accomplished amateur Golfer then you can apply at the Professional Golf Tour of India to play a qualifying tournament.

It depends on the level of your game. A tour professional can easily earn anywhere between Rs. 6 – 12 Lacs per annum and if you are among the top 10 then sky is the limit.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Pro / Coach

Qualified coaches are needed at every level of the sport.

National Golf Academy of India.

A new coach can easily charge Rs. 150-200 per hour. Or can be employed by a Golf course on a monthly salary plus coaching incentives.  Then you can work your way up to a Director of Golf backed up with many years of teaching experience.

Operations Manager

Managers are required to run a Golf facility which includes members coordination, facility management, etc.

An MBA with basic Golf knowledge can apply for this position. However, there are a lot of Golf management courses available in US, UK, Australia, Canada etc. But there is a good news as well, International School of Corporate Management (ISCOM) has partnered with the prestigious Elmwood College, Scotland to introduce the first-ever Post Graduate Programme in Golf Management in India.

A qualified MBA or a Golf management professional can start his career with a Golf club at Rs. 25,000- Rs. 35,000 per month.

 

There is a good scope for a manager to become the General Manager of a Golf Club with years of club management experience.

 

 

 

 

Golf Course Maintenance Manager / Greenkeeper

They are the one maintaining the lush green areas on a Golf course and Every Golf course looks out for a qualified turf professional to maintain the Golf course.

A strong back ground in turf management or in agricultural sciences would be very beneficial. You may have to apply in universities outside to go for a specialized Golf turf management course.

A fresher can apply as a trainee in various Golf courses and with basic knowledge of Golf, can start the career with Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 per month. 

 

 

 

 

Golf Course Architect/ Designer

They are the one who design the Golf courses. Specialists are needed to create new courses and improve old Golf courses.

Unfortunately there is a no Golf course architectural degree available in India at the moment; however there are educational programs available in US, Canada and UK to apply. Golf Course Architecture is more of an Art than science, however a civil engineering degree or a background of landscape architecture is really very helpful to be a successful Architect/ Designer.

You can plan joining a Golf Course Design firm initially and then can venture out into your own design services. There is a very limited scope at the moment for Golf Course Design, however in times to come there would be opportunities for deserving professionals.

 

There is no set remuneration for a architect/ designer, it depends on the stature and level of Golf course to be designed.

 

 

 

 

Golf Project Managers

They are the ones to implement the design on to the ground.

Civil engineering background is must for such candidates.

One can apply in Golf project management or construction companies. A deserving candidate can easily start their career with a monthly salary of Rs. 20,000 - Rs. 30,000.

 

 

 

 

Event Managers

They are the one who organise and manage Golf events. There is a lot of scope in this field as Golf is growing in the country and there is a lot of money being spent on professional as well as corporate Golf events.

A management degree would be very helpful. Mainly young Golfers with basic educational qualification join event management firms.

A fresher can start with a monthly package anywhere between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 25,000.

 


Few other career options include:

· Golf Journalism

· Golf retail management

· Sales and Marketing

· Golf Merchandising.

· Player Management

· Sports Science or Sports Psychology

· F&B management in Golf facilities.

· Golf tour operators


Institutes & Universities for Golf Education:

· International School of Corporate Management (ISCOM), Pune, India

· The University of Edinburgh, UK

· European Institute of Golf Course Architects, UK

· The University of Pennsylvania, USA

· University of Arkansas, USA

· University of Alberta, Canada

· University of Guelph, Canada

· Les Roches, International School of Hotel Management , Spain

· PGA International Golf Institute, Australia