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How Do I Become a Greenskeeper?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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A greenskeeper is a person who maintains golf courses. Most people who want to become a greenskeeper can do so by first completing a high school education, though it is a good idea to take college courses in horticulture, landscape design, and even small engine repair in order to make yourself a more valuable candidate for a job. If college is not right for you, you can become a greenskeeper by getting hired at a golf course or country club and working with the current professionals to learn the necessary skills and techniques.

Greenskeepers generally have a keen interest in both golf and in landscape design and maintenance. If you share such interests, it may be a good idea to become a greenskeeper, though keep in mind that a new greenskeeper may not make a significant amount of money. Wages are usually paid on an hourly basis for new greenskeepers, though there is potential to move up within the company and earn more money. Some golf courses will provide job training that will give you the valuable skills to become a greenskeeper and potentially work your way up through the system for more pay and more responsibility.

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It helps to have specific knowledge in small engine repair because you are likely to use several types of machines to maintain the golf course. Lawn mowers, golf carts, and other vehicles are commonly used to cut grass, spread fertilizer, dig holes, and so on, and when those engines break down, it is often the greenskeeper who must repair and maintain them. You should prepare yourself for the physical rigors of the job as well if you want to become a greenskeeper, as you will be on your feet for most of the day, completing physical tasks such as mowing, digging, cutting brush, and so on.

It is not unusual for greenskeepers to try to move on to other positions at the golf course, or with other companies. Many greenskeepers strive to become golf course designers who are responsible for the layout of the golf course as it is being built, or as it is altered over the years. A course designer will mark hazards, create or eliminate slopes, position greens as well as the holes on the greens, the location of the tee, and the planting of trees, shrubs, and cart paths, as well as other obstructions that will alter the difficulty level of the course.

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