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greens keeper

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by chuckers, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. chuckers

    chuckers LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 657

    i was wondering how much a greens keeper(head of grounds) gets paid for a golf course i know it depends but what is the starting pay because I'm interested also how much schooling and what schooling is needed?
  2. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

  3. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Looks like this old thread gets bumped. Found this tonight searching for "greenskeeper forums" on Google.

    Odds are, this week I'm starting a horticulture forum, and would like to include greenskeeping as a forum category. Been searching greenskeeping all afternoon, and calling a few country club superintendents.

    Anyhow, about the wage, I'm not positive, but I'm fairly sure that it's available in several states to break 6 figures, for $100,000 or above.

    But ain't nobody getting there directly without a lesser wage.

    I'm not sure if Oregon pays that high anywhere. But I've heard that in southern states, its available to make that much or more.

    On a Google Search, a page that's been removed, still shows an archived / cached web page description...

    The URL remanant, showed it was from a GCSAA website - that should indicate "Golf Course Superintendents Association of America" abbreviated.
  4. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    I worked my way up to golf course superintendent throught he ranks, if you would like specifics please send me a PM. I have a salary range published by the gcsaa, mdvaden does have some of that info listed. Certified golf course superintendents make way more than the average superintendent and they take an extensive amount of continuing education on top of their college degrees (those with no degree must take even more classes to become certified).
  5. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    Well for schooling you need at least 2 years to break into the field. This will get you a 2nd Assistant Position, and a salary of somewhere around 30,000. From here you will move up to an Assistant position with a salary somewhere around 35,000-50,000. With only 2 years of education it will be tough to get a good head superintendent job, and you may end up staying an assistant or becoming the superintendent of a smaller, lower end course. Your salary here can be anywhere from $30-50 thousand. With a 4 year degree, you will move up the ranks similar to the way you would with the 2 year degree, but will be able to go for the higher paying superintendent jobs. An 18 hole private club will usually pay at least 70,000, and give you a truck and sometimes a house on the course. The larger, more prestigious courses will pay an average of 120,000 i would say, with all the perks I mentioned before. It is possible to make way above the 120,000 if you are at a championship course, and especially if your course hosts any major tournaments. For an idea of pay in your area, check out the jobs on turfnet.com
  6. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Lugnut your range seems a little amitious and high for the general average of the US, maybe in New York but not the midwest. It isnt far off but it all comes down to how hard you work and how quickly you can ascend the ladder. I went from a 4 year degree in turf management to a irrigation technician position, then 2 years until i became an Assistant Superintendent, then one year after that I got my first Superintendent position at a low end public golf course. My salary as a Super there was the same minus a $3000 bonus I had at the Assistants job, and I worked way more hours and had way more headaches. I spent 3 1/2 years in that job, then lost my job, so I went into business with my wife and formed the landscaping business. The best thing about the landscape track is you can own your own business, the golf course world you will always be working for someone (owner, city, members, or board of directors). That I should have listened to my father all along, I love being in business ofr myself and I dont miss the other demands that go with the Superintendents role!!

    At least when I have to bust my butt now, I am doing it for myself, not someone who doesnt appreciate me, now dont get me wrong if you end up in the ideal situation it can work well, but with the golf industry where it is, those jobs are few and far between.
  7. Customhomecare

    Customhomecare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I spent 14 years in golf courses. Started at 14 as a cart boy, moved to grounds at 16, by 19 I was Superintendent of a goat ranch making $18,000 a year in 1987. I left the goat ranch for Asst. Supt. at a country club for the fat cash of $23,000 a year, the Supt. made $65,000, that was in 1991. I became a certified Pesticide Applicator and a Certifed GCSAA and IGCSAA Supt. in 1993 and was offered the head job at our country club the following year but considered the $29,000 they offered me a slap in the face(compared to the guy they fired's $65-70,000) I quit the golf course that year and went to work for myself.

    Golf course work sucks! It is hard, long hours..... 7 days a week starting @ daylight for $7 an hour.

    BTW......The degree most Golf Course Supt. have is Agronomy, preferably from Purdue, Texas A&M, Penn State, Michigan State.....any of them schools you will come out with a 4 year degree and a guaranteed $75,000 a year gig.
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    You old time supers, like me, remember the crappy wages too.
    When I walked out of Penn State in the early nineties, I went to work for the largest golf course construction company in the world (at the time), Wadsworth.
    My starting pay, minusall the different bonuses, was over $60K.
    Factor in the travel, differential, vehicle allowance and year end bonus, I was right at $90K.
    Nine months later - BOOM!
    Company downsized, course construction went into the toliet, and I went to Asia.
    What can I say about Asia? At least the beer was cheap.
    When I ran courses in the NE following Asia, I was making in the mid fifties and I never worked over sixty hours per week. When I was interviewed I negotiated everything from salary, benefits, expected hours, course performance and bonus.
    Would have still been there if is wasn't for my ex-wife and all the crap she created.
    But then again I wouldn't be in Texas, wouldn't own my own business, and work over seventy hours/week. Sigh.
    I have a few nibbles about my company being for sale though - looks like I am going to sell, take a year or so off and go back to being a cop - now that I will have a great start towards a retirement - finish both my Masters (Business Mgmt and Agronomy) then start terrorizing under grad students.
    Pay isn't bad, especially when I am only working seven and a half months for about $75K, tenure guaranteed.
  9. Lugnut

    Lugnut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    Maybe I am a little high for some parts of the country, all my experience has been in NY
  10. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Keep in mind this is one of those "Good Ol Boys Club" type job. It doesn't matter what kind of fancy degree you have, you still have to know somebody on the inside to land a good job and that's usually an assistants position. The assistant does all the work and the Super gets all the credit or blame in some cases. It's a great job for the few that make it, though. Great pay, company vehicle, kickbacks and payola from equipment/sand/fert. companies just to name a few of the perks. At least this is what I witnessed in the ten years I was a GC mechanic. In those years I only had a couple of supers that I respected. The others I grew to hate because of their laziness and corruption. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. Still a sore subject for me even after almost ten years.

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