Tips for becoming a golf professional include gaining knowledge and experience in the day-to-day operations of a golf course, perfecting one's own golf game, gaining expertise in customer service, and getting a degree in golf management and membership in the PGA. Participating in local golf tournaments and mini-tour events is also very helpful.
Managing a golf course requires a unique set of skills. A golf professional is in charge of everything from the sale of items in the pro shop to managing employees. One way to acquire the needed skills is to learn the business from the bottom up. Working in the pro shop during the summer and taking other part-time or temporary positions on the grounds go a long way in educating an individual on the basic points of being a golf pro.
Getting good at the game of golf is essential, so a prospective golf pro must practice a great deal. Many golf pros give golf lessons as part of their jobs. Golf pros must understand the finer points of the game and know how to teach them. They also need to pass a PGA Playing Ability Test as part of attaining membership in the PGA.
Making golfers happy is a big part of the job. Having good customer service and communication skills is a must. Active listening is key, as is the willingness to do a little extra for the customers.
A degree in golf management or a related major is very helpful in succeeding as a golf professional. Several large universities offer a PGA Golf Management program, including Florida State and Penn State.