For many Minnesotans, summer is a time to get outdoors whether you’re boating, swimming, biking, hiking, playing sports, or simply enjoying nature. Unfortunately, unless you’re a young student with summer breaks, you must work throughout the summer. This can take away from your time outdoors, or so you thought.
But who says you have to give up time outdoors for a seasonal job? After all, a Minnesota summer's only around a few months out of the year. So, why not check out your local golf course to learn more about their seasonal job opportunities. From the clubhouse to the driving range, a summer job in golf provides a variety of positions and responsibilities — and benefits that reach beyond your pocketbook.
You might be surprised to learn that there are a number of job opportunities at golf courses beginning in the spring, weather permitting, that require little or no previous experience or training. These jobs include groundskeepers, pro shop staff, course starters, course rangers, caddy, housekeeping staff, food and beverage workers, waiters, event and wedding coordinators, and more.
These jobs usually have on-the-job training. And, even if you don't go on to pursue a career in the industry, many of these skills can be easily applied to any other job you choose.
If you prefer working with your hands or love being in the great outdoors during the rare, but glorious summer days of Minnesota, a job as a caddy, starter, ranger or member of the grounds crew might be just what you want to get out of the classroom.
Some of these are highly sought after jobs. Many retired adults even look for ranger and starter jobs after retiring in order to gain access to a great golf course and (in many jobs at courses) discounts on green fees. Golf courses are typically located in beautiful, carefully attended settings, so if such a locale appeals to you, an invigorating and restorative summer on the links awaits.
Ethan Brackey, the full-time second assistant superintendent at North Oaks Golf Club, spends much of his work time outdoors.
“I truly enjoy being able to see the sunrise each morning and working outside,” he says. “I am an outdoors person, so being able to do what I love and work outdoors gives me great pleasure each day.”
A Leg Up in the Game
Future agronomists might be interested in gaining some valuable experience learning the very complex and fascinating process for readying a course for play. Inside the clubhouse, seasonal workers can experience the inner workings of prepping for daily activities or weekend events, such as weddings or other social gatherings.
Miriam Ellis, a seasonal employee on the grounds crew at North Oaks Golf Club, spent last summer preparing and maintaining the course. It was her first time working for the club. She loved the people she worked with and the club members.
“My favorite part about working on a golf course was when people stopped us on the course to tell us how nice the course looks and how well it played,” she says. “It was great to hear that our hard work was paying off.”
It is said that business deals take place and opportunities arise on the golf course, and you can be right in the mix of your own personal career opportunities on the local greens. Caddies often find the chance to impress members with their work ethic, and when asked about their own intended career path, may learn some valuable information from a seasoned professional. Relationships form off the course, too, as employees get to know members and vice versa.
Schaelly Hildebrant, a seasonal employee at North Oaks Golf Club, is part of the wait staff in the clubhouse. This summer will be her third year working at the club. Schaelly values the relationships she’s made in her work at North Oaks.
"My favorite part of working at a golf course is building relationships with co-workers, staff, and club members," she said.
Those connections can come in handy down the road, whether you are simply hoping to return to work at the course next summer or trying to glean knowledge about future endeavors. You never know where a conversation on the course might go, or where a bridge you are building might lead. But the road to your post-educational life just might begin at the golf course this summer. And what a great place to start that journey.
Photo credit: KD Photography