When you hear the words “now that’s a rowdy sport,” what comes to mind?
Rugby maybe? Hockey?
How about golf?
Golf has a bit of a reputation. Sure it’s not necessarily the kind of ‘reputation’ carried by many other professional sports - aka testosterone rages, drugs, and cash - but the reputation is there all the same. It is generally thought of as a rich man’s game, a business man’s game. Stodgy, perhaps.
But that’s all a facade. A crumbling stereotype.
Thanks to Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other great sportsmen with questionable ethics, golf is joining ranks of all the other scandal-laden athletic ventures out there. The fallacy of the impermeable gentleman athlete shatters before our eyes.
The sport of golf is finally being welcomed into the regular world with the rest of us hopelessly flawed human beings.
Because golf has been so insulated for so long, several interesting - dare I say weird - trends have developed in the culture of the sport. Surprisingly, they make for some great opportunities for newbie sport enthusiasts looking to build a career in sports.
Be a Caddie (and Win a Caddie Race)
The job of a caddie is straight-forward: they carry the golfer’s clubs and give them course advice and support. Of course, since the onset of the golf cart there are fewer caddies out and about, but it doesn’t need to be that way.
Have you ever seen a pro golf game without caddies? No. They’re invaluable.
Up until recently there was a little extra fun to be had as a caddie as well: caddie races. Caddie races were a tradition at certain tournaments where after the players had hit their tee shots to a specific hole, the caddies would take off running (50lb tour bags and all), and race one another to the green. Depending on the event, winners sometimes even got a cash prize. In 2014 the PGA officially banned caddie races, citing “concern about caddies’ safety.”
I’m hopeful that someday caddie races will return.
Start an Indoor Golf Club
Golf is one of those peculiar sports that requires an expansive landscape and nice weather to play.
When people, way back in the day, began realizing how much they loved the sport, it was only a matter of time before the technology caught up and made it possible to play all year long. Enter one of the most unusual and potentially lucrative career opportunities in the golf world: golf simulation.
A golf simulator is a graphically simulated driving range or course - it’s like high-tech Wii Golf but equipped with super sensitive weight-shifting systems, giant projector screens, and even turf. Get one or two of those in the same building, and you have yourself an indoor golf facility.
An indoor golf facility can be established just about anywhere. Any place that has outdoor golf courses and any sort of winter is a prime target for a new indoor golf business - the clientele is already there, they just hide out when it begins to rain.
Indoor golf makes for a unique business option for the entrepreneurs out there.
Map Golf Courses
Sticking with the high-tech theme for a moment, there is another techie creation that has opened up the world of golf to nerdish-sports-enthusiasts all over the world: drones.
Quadcopters, small drones with four horizontal propellers mounted on a lightweight plastic frame, are an invaluable tool for mapping golf courses.
“Drone-based maps can give an exact elevation profile of a hole,” said drone guru Jon-Pierre Stoermer to Golf Digest. “Not only do you know how far it is between any two points, but what their relative elevations are.”
The repercussions to the game of golf are enormous.
Work & Teach at a Golf Resort
Do you love to golf? The elite nature of the sport has created a whole slew of golf-centered vacation and year-round living communities. Thousands of people choose to live in residential golf communities specifically for their proximity to the links. It takes a village of staffers to maintain the daily operations of these facilities, so why not throw your hat into the employment ring?
If you’re a skilled golfer, you could consider being an instructor at one of the many courses. And if you’re still learning the game, try getting a job in another part of the resort community. The possibilities are endless, and starting out working as a server, attendant, or workshop leader is a great way to get a foot in the door.
Move to Ohio and Become a Tailor?
This one is for those of you who have been realizing, through the course of this article, that perhaps the golf industry really is suited to you, but still haven’t seen anything that strikes your fancy.
Don’t give up. There are a multitude of possibilities yet unexplored.
Perhaps you have a latent desire for tailoring and want to combine that with a love of sport? Easy. Every year, the winner of The Masters is given his or her own signature green blazer to commemorate the win. For the last 30 years, an Ohio company has been charged with making each blazer to the precise specifications of the Augusta National Golf Club. To get in on a little piece of golf history, you just need to move to Cincinnati.
All joking aside, the opportunities to find a rewarding job in sports are endless.
Don’t limit yourself.
Look into every aspect of every sport, no matter the preconceptions you may have of it. Being open to all the possibilities is a surefire way to find a career you really love.
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