Quite often, we receive enquiries from budding golf course designers asking how to get into the industry. So I was thinking it might be good to get my definitive guide written down rather than rehashing it every time. The following list is not necessarily what the industry wants but when we’re looking for new talent, it’s certainly what we prioritise.
Here are my 5 top tips to put yourself in the best position possible.
1. Have experience in the industry. This doesn’t mean design necessarily. Perhaps get a weekend job on a golf course maintenance crew or start to understand golf operations by volunteering at a club. All our designers have this foundation and in our view it’s incredibly helpful.
2. Yes there are golf design qualifications around but honestly, we would say a qualification in landscape architecture (or similar) is much more important. Our best designers have this background and for us, this broad ranging knowledge can be put to great use where our remit expands beyond the golf boundary.
3. Be passionate. Just loving the sport isn’t enough, in fact it doesn’t even scratch the surface. Read books, web reports and watch you tube videos about the products utilised in golf construction and the methods of construction. Get to know and understand the industry in a way that others perhaps won’t bother with.
4. Understand that just like architecture, golf course architecture is more than drawing a golf course. It’s technical specifications, bills of quantities, contract administration and more. So understand the construction process of a building and you’ll start to understand our mentality. Anyone with an architecture background is in a very good position.
5. Know CAD. We use Bentley microstation and powercivil for our golf design process but the majority of the industry will use autocad. This can be learnt easily at evening classes or home learning courses so why not add this string to your bow? Be prepared for the first few years to work underneath a senior golf architect. This means you will be the CAD guy so it will be a huge advantage to know this before starting.
Having said all this, not many golf architecture companies are hiring now. This is a competitive industry with a high barrier to entry but the rewards are worth it. As we dig ourselves out of this global financial crisis, more and more developers are looking for bigger and better projects. So the demand for golf centric development is rising right now and with the right passion, experience and knowledge it is possible to join the industry and have a long and successful career.
Jon Hunt :: Group Director