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Golf Course Manager Level 5 Apprenticeship Standard

About the course

This Standard includes the skills, knowledge and behaviours that are required to become a competent Golf Course Manager and reflect the diversity of the occupation.

A Golf Course Manager must be able to:

  • Manage, promote and maintain a healthy, safe and secure maintenance facility and golf course for their staff, golfers and members of the public.
  • Plan, monitor, evaluate and manage golf course maintenance and the environment in accordance with the Golf Course Policy document.
  • Manage the allocation of human and physical resources, equipment and supply chain for projects and tasks on a day to day basis.
  • Plan and manage the maintenance and replacement of machinery and equipment.
  • Plan and manage the control of weeds, pests and diseases and their impact on plant health and pathology.
  • Analyse and interpret a range of data collected from the golf course and the management of sustainable playing surfaces.
  • Plan and manage projects, including the construction of golf course features and events.
  • Manage water applied and removed from the golf course, including irrigation and drainage.
  • Develop and review a Golf Course Policy document in co-operation with the employer.
  • Identify and determine policies and strategies for the development of the golf course, in line with Golf Course Policy document.
  • Prepare, submit and manage maintenance budgets and capital expenditure proposals.
  • Conduct, manage and review risk assessments on equipment, materials, people and facilities.
  • Communicate to golf course staff, colleagues, golfers and others on a range of subjects.
  • Manage the recruitment, selection and induction of staff and the performance, training, equality and diversity of the greenkeeping team.
  • Manage conflict, discipline and grievances within the team and others.
  • Motivate and encourage excellence within the greenkeeping team.
  • Organise and manage meetings with the greenkeeping team and others.
  • Promote the golf club and its core values, as determined by the employer.
  • Encourage a customer service culture within the greenkeeping team.
  • Manage their own Continuing Professional Development.
  • Make presentations both written and verbal to the greenkeeping team, management and golfers.
  • Use information technology to manage the golf course through data collection and analysis.

Knowledge and Understanding:
A Golf Course Manager must know and understand:

  • All relevant health, safety and environmental legislation and regulations to ensure a safe working environment for self, team and others.
  • How to conduct and review risk assessments using methods relevant to the management and maintenance of the golf course.
  • The advanced aspects of soil and plant biology in order to produce sustainable playing surfaces.
  • How to identify and control weeds, pests, diseases and disorders and their impact on sustainable playing surfaces, legislation and record keeping.
  • How to plan, manage and review maintenance, improvement and renovation programmes for the golf course making the optimum use of resources available.
  • The importance of maintaining quality standards through the collection and evaluation of data.
  • How to plan, manage and construct golf course features.
  • The environmental and ecological best practice to maintain a sustainable golf course and the impact of current legislation.
  • How to design, install and manage drainage and irrigation systems and the importance of water management on the golf course.
  • How to plan, manage and review machinery and equipment maintenance programmes.
  • How to develop and review a tactical and strategic business management plan, in line with the Golf Course Policy document.
  • The importance of customer service to the business.
  • The principles of recruitment, appraisal, conflict, teamwork, staff co-ordination, supply chain management, performance management and the development of staff.
  • The importance of good working relationships, the needs of others and equality and diversity of others in the workplace.
  • How to plan, lead and record meetings.
  • The different forms of communication (written, verbal, electronic) and evaluate the best solution for different circumstances.
  • How to identify the appropriate software systems to ensure effective communication and record keeping.
  • The Rules of Golf, golf course etiquette and how they impact on events and the playing of the game of golf.
  • The importance of personal and professional development of themselves and their team.

The Behaviours of a Golf Course Manager:
Golf club employers are very customer focused and require their Golf Course Manager to have professional inter personal skills and behaviours to ensure success in their current and future roles as an individual and in meeting the company’s business aims and objectives.

The behaviours required by a Golf Course Manager are:

  • Ensure a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and good time management
  • Have a flexible, positive attitude to work
  • The ability to work as a lone worker and as a member of a team
  • A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development
  • Ensure a safety mindset for self, the greenkeeping team, golfers and members of the public.
  • A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner
  • Problem solving and effective decision making
  • Represent the golf club in a professional manner at all times.
  • Recognise and deliver exceptional customer service.

Entry requirements & additional information

Entry requirements

Entry Criteria 

A potential Level 5 apprentice: 

Must be aged 16 or over & have officially left school. 

Must be employed (NOT self-employed) in the relevant occupational sector, working a minimum of 30 hours per week. 

An individual can only undertake an apprenticeship at the same or lower level than a qualification they already hold, if this allows the individual to acquire substantive new skills and the content of the training is materially different from any prior training or a previous apprenticeship. 

Must have the right to work in England & spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship. 

Must be a citizen of a country with in the European Economic Area (EEA) or have the right of abode in the UK AND have been ordinarily resident in the EEA for at least the previous 3 years on the first day of learning. 

All Apprenticeships require Initial assessment, vocational skills scan, an interview and employment in the industry.

Typically, an applicant will have attained a minimum of 4 GCSE grades C or 4 including both Maths and English. Functional Skills Level 2 will be accepted as an alternative to GCSEs. Learners will also need to be able to gain the necessary skills, knowledge and experience within their job roles to meet the requirements of the programme.  

Exceptional entries will be considered for all Apprenticeships at the discretion of the college based on experience, successful interview and outcomes of Initial and Diagnostic assessments for English and Maths to establish current levels of ability  


This standard is recognised by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Professional Body for Greenkeepers. At the start of the apprenticeship the apprentice will be registered with BIGGA. Upon completion of this standard the apprentice will be eligible to become a full member of BIGGA and gain BIGGA Accreditation.



Job opportunities will also be enhanced for those apprentices who have completed the programme with promotion to more senior positions within a golf club facility, such as Golf Club Manager, Estates Manager or Director of Golf or a management position in another sector.

Sportsturf studies

There are fantastic opportunities both in the UK and overseas for people who are trained and qualified in sportsturf. Careers exist at all levels, from assistant groundspersons and greenkeepers to managers of international sports facilities such as Premier League Football Clubs and the major elite Golf Courses. Our courses will equip you with the skills that are necessary to build, maintain and manage quality turf surfaces to a high standard.

Students learn the science behind how grasses grow, as well as soils, drainage and a wide range of maintenance practices. You will gain an understanding of the demands of sport and what players need or expect from turf surfaces. You will be taught how to provide these conditions all year round and in all weather conditions.

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