Greenkeeper / golf course manager

A greenkeeper or golf course manager maintains a designed landscape that includes different terrains. It includes managing staff who are responsible for different areas of the landscape’s upkeep

Training, qualifications and skills NVQ in sports turf management level 2, NVQ in sports turf management level 3, Lantra basic tree inspection course, PA1 PA2 PA6 pesticides application
Career progression opportunities

Assistant, first assistant, deputy greenkeeper, head greenkeeper

Useful links Grounds Management Association
British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association

Focus on: Head greenkeeper / course manager

Michael Budd
Woldingham Golf Club
Full time, salary up to £35K

I manage a team of five staff across 200 acres of a chalk downland golf course. I oversee the turf management, the budget for the landscape, and look after the upkeep of machinery and equipment.

Start with a good foundation. A good manager at a good club is someone who invests in training their team.

I started my career as a groundsman and quickly discovered I loved working outdoors and the early mornings. I helped maintain all kinds of surfaces such as local authority school football and rugby pitches and netball courts, and also landscaped areas such as roundabouts that were planted to look attractive. I later decided to specialise in maintaining golf courses. There are so many environments in this landscape, and my role calls for a wide variety of skills.

Focus on: First assistant greenkeeper

Danny Patten
Huyton & Prescot Golf Club
Full time, salary up to £25K

My job is to be deputy for the course manager. It involves running the day-to-day tasks out on the golf course and ensuring staff are doing the jobs they have been allocated and to the required standard

Have enough experience and be confident of your ability before moving up the career ladder. It’s a big step up from assistant greenkeeper to being a part of the management team.

The golf course is my responsibility when the course manager is not on site. I report to the course manager at the end of the day to discuss what the day’s achievements are and follow up with plans for the following day.

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.