Those who become golf professionals can fill many shoes throughout their careers. Some are teachers who instruct other players on swing techniques and the mental side of the game. Golf pros also help operate golf-related businesses, manage employees, buy merchandise and oversee maintenance at a club, resort or course.
One of the major attributes that a golf professional must possess is the ability to work with people. Golf pros must be able to manage and work with salespeople, groundskeepers and maintenance workers effectively and with respect. They must also be able to work with the public, assisting them with their golfing needs and teaching them the correct way to play the game. They are also required to be able to run daily reports regarding course play and sales, create and maintain staff schedules and organize and oversee golf tournaments and events.
Golf pros are expected to work early-morning hours and spend a lot of time on their feet. They must also be in good physical condition, both to do their jobs and to set an example for staff and players. They are also expected to work weekends and holidays when the weather is nice for golf. The one overriding benefit to being a golf pro is the environment: working under sunny skies at a golf facility around people who are enjoying themselves can be an ideal atmosphere.
Most jobs require golf pros to have a high school diploma and some college education. There are some golf facilities that even require their golf professionals to have college degrees. Some professionals are typically required to earn certification through the United States Golf Teaching Federation. The professional may also be required to go through the PGA Professional Golf Management Program, which involves testing golfing ability and understanding. Some golf professionals are required to have a valid drivers license and to be certified in first-aid and CPR.
Another line of work for a golf pro is to be a consultant for an equipment manufacturer. These professionals help develop and build golf clubs, balls and apparel. Golf pros also help design golf courses and help develop club and resorts. The best-playing golf pros play the game for a living on tours around the world.
According to Salary Wizard, the average head golf pro at a private course made $59,335 in base salary in 2009. The bottom 10 percent made $30,160, with the top 10 percent of head golf pros earning $98,428. Golf pros in general made between $25,000 and $50,000 in 2009, according to I Hire. Wages for golf pros depend on geographic location, level of education and years of experience.