Breaking into Grounds/Field/Golf

Discussion in 'Sports Field Maintenance' started by wagner17, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. wagner17

    wagner17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I have been doing lawn and landscape for 6 years and have owned my own business for the past 3. I do this in addition to teaching...makes for a very busy spring and fall! I am looking to stop teaching as my true passion is lawn maintenance. I would like to break into Grounds Maintenance, mainly golf or athletic fields. What is my best route to take?

    I currently have a Master's degree+, but am looking at pursuing a certificate in turfgrass. Is this my best first step? I know that I have a lot to learn, but I feel that I am ready for the next step, but am just not sure how to go about it. I am truly envious of those such as Marc and others who work in this field. Any advice would be much welcomed.
    Steve Wagner
  2. Rtom45

    Rtom45 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Education would be a good place to start. We have a new employee who completed a 2 year degree at Ohio State and it has proven very worthwhile for him.
  3. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    As a business, dont get your hopes up on getting a golf course, they do that stuff in house. and chances are if you go work for a golf course, you'll be just anorther laborer, but you gotta start somewhere

    in regards to fields....I would try to contact the local little leauge and public/private schools who have soccer/football fields and try to get the landscape maintenance contract wich includes the fields.

    I woudl reccomend being an employee with a company who has a few fields, or work a for golf course and cut your teeth....Jumping right in to maintaining a field on your own can be a daunting task....

    school education is not everything, hands on education, IE "learning by doing" can be more important....

    Keep us informed at your progress
  4. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Actually, here we have the Cal Poly schools that offer golf course superintendent degrees. One of my buddies went through the program about nine years ago. He immediately got a position in Colorado as assistant super and is now with a course south of me as super.
  5. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    ^^^ that pretty cool...I think a golf course super is my dream job....But I'm pretty happy:) were I'm at...
  6. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    You will learn more on the job that any school can teach you. That being said, the good jobs in the golf course industry require a decent education.

    I would suggest finding a golf course in your area that is proavtive in most areas. These facilities will teach you the most. An existing layout undergoing remodeling will provide the greatest variety of learning opportunities. This will give you grow in experience and experience in established turf.

    When talking to an individual about employment make it perfectly clear that you are career oriented.

    Good luck to you.
  7. JD Hauseman

    JD Hauseman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I've got a BS in turf. Upon graduation, I chose to use the Agronomy portion of my degree and chase ag research. After being in that industry for 8 years, in ready to get back into ground Management. The experience I have is mainly from college days but I did work part time for almost minimum wage at the local Triple A ball field. Since applying to a few turf/grounds companies, I have only got 1 phone call and the guy basically offered me less than half the salary I have now. That's a tough jump with a family as the sole provider.

    I would say, education has its place but if you don't have any hands on experience doing it, you'll struggle to obtain the work.

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