Greenkeeping

A Golf Greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with employer’s requirements. It is their job to maintain a good quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

There are four key turfgrass areas on a golf course – greens, tees, fairways and areas of rough, each of which requires a different type of maintenance. Using a range of equipment and machinery safely and competently will play a major part within an apprentices training programme. Golf Greenkeepers will also be involved in hazard, environmental and ecological operations which may include bunker maintenance, planting turf, trees, shrubs and developing wildlife habitats. The skills required to become a competent greenkeeper will be acquired whilst working on the golf course.

By the end of the programme, the apprentice will know when, how and why the range of maintenance operations are carried out.

The career as a Golf Greenkeeper can take you wherever the game of golf is played. Working outdoors in a healthy environment and as new countries are embracing the sport and more golf courses are being built, there is no better time to consider joining this great profession. 

What is an apprenticeship?

  • An apprenticeship is a job with training that allows individuals to gain a national qualification whilst they work and earn.
  • As an apprentice you will earn the appropriate national minimum wage
  • You will attend college one day a week, where you will receive practical and theoretical training
  • The rest of the training and assessment is undertaken in the workplace

Available Courses

  • Level 2 Golf Greenkeeper - Apprenticeship Standard

    About the course

    A Golf Greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with employer’s requirements. It is their job to maintain a good quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

    There are four key turfgrass areas on a golf course – greens, tees, fairways and areas of rough, each of which requires a different type of maintenance. Using a range of equipment and machinery safely and competently will play a major part within an apprentices training programme. Golf Greenkeepers will also be involved in hazard, environmental and ecological operations which may include bunker maintenance, planting turf, trees, shrubs and developing wildlife habitats. The skills required to become a competent greenkeeper will be acquired whilst working on the golf course. By the end of the programme, the apprentice will know when, how and why the range of maintenance operations are carried out.

    Skills

    A Golf Greenkeeper must be able to:

    • Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and others
    • Preparing the golf course for play which will include removing early morning dew and debris from the greens, raking bunkers, moving tee markers, cutting new holes on greens
    • Preparing and using equipment and machinery to maintain and renovate all turf surfaces within the golf course, including the use of tractors, ride-on machines, and specialist equipment
    • Apply turf treatments to help produce quality playing surfaces, including fertilisers and top dressing
    • Using a variety of integrated methods to control weeds, fungal diseases, pests and turf disorders
    • Maintain and renovate bunkers and other hazards such as water features
    • Maintain drainage and irrigation systems
    • Preparing ground to establish turf and plants when maintaining, renovating and constructing golf course features

    Knowledge and Understanding:

    A Golf Greenkeeper must understand the following technical knowledge:

    • Identify their role in monitoring and maintaining health and safety within the workplace  Identification of a number of grasses, weeds, pests, diseases, turf disorders, plants and trees  The primary aspects of soil and plant biology to include the process of germination – photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration
    • The principles of mowing and machine maintenance and their operation
    • The need and implications of rolling, verti-cutting, scarification and aeration
    • The strategies for controlling weeds, pests, diseases and turf disorders
    • How fertilisers, top dressing and chemicals affect playing surfaces  How course maintenance practices affect the environment
    • Basic information technology
    • Be aware of the importance of the Rules of Golf and golf course etiquette
    • Recognise the importance of environmental and ecological best practice
    • The operation of irrigation, drainage systems and their maintenance

    The Behaviours of a Golf Greenkeeper:

    Golf club employers are very customer focused and require their apprentices to have a set of personal skills and behaviours that will ensure success in their current and future roles as an individual and in meeting the company’s aims and objectives.

    The behaviours required by golf club employees will be:

    • Have a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and time management
    • Have a flexible positive attitude to work  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
    • Having a safety mindset for self, colleagues and golfers
    • 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

    Professional Recognition and Career Progression:

    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 join BIGGA as a full member and become a BIGGA Accredited Greenkeeper. The successful apprentice will have the opportunity to prog

    Core Qualifications

    The following qualifications will be required prior to taking the end point assessment:

    • Emergency first aid – Level 2 award in emergency first aid at work.
    • Pesticides –  Level 2 Principles of Safe Handling and Application of Pesticides Guidance OR Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Pesticides
    • English & maths – Apprentices without level 2 English and maths must achieve level 1 and take the test for level 2 before taking the end-point assessment.

    Entry Requirements

    English & maths – Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths must achieve Level 1 and take the test for Level 2 before taking the end-point assessment.

    To undertake an apprenticeship, you must have an employer. If you do have a job and your employer is keen for you to do an apprenticeship, then please email or call on the details below and we will get in contact with you and your employer to arrange a meeting.

    If you have not already got a job, then take a look at our apprenticeship vacancies here or contact us on the details below.

    Email: apprenticeships@bca.ac.uk
    Telephone: 01628 827438

    Course Duration

    The typical duration is 18 to  24 months.