Career Development

What Does a Greenskeeper Do?

Find out what a greenskeeper does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a greenskeeper.

Greenskeepers are responsible for the maintenance of golf courses, sports fields, and other recreational areas. They work closely with groundskeepers to ensure that these spaces look their best at all times.

Greenskeepers commonly use specialized equipment such as mowers, weed eaters, and tractors to maintain the grass on a course or field. They may also be responsible for planting new grass seed, fertilizing existing grass, and removing debris from the area.

Greenskeeper Job Duties

Greenskeepers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Maintaining the grounds by performing tasks such as raking, mowing, trimming, weeding, watering, fertilizing, and mending fences
  • Filling in potholes and other holes on the course with sand or other materials to ensure the safety of golfers
  • Replacing divots on greens hit during play with sand or other materials
  • Checking the course conditions daily to ensure they meet standards set by the golf course management
  • Removing debris from the course such as broken branches or leaves that could damage equipment or injure other players
  • Repairing damaged greens with specialized tools such as power washers and hand tools
  • Inspecting the course for signs of infestation or disease and reporting these findings to the head greenskeeper
  • Maintaining the grass on the course to ensure proper appearance and playability

Greenskeeper Salary & Outlook

Greenskeepers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location. Some greenskeepers are members of labor unions that negotiate wages on their behalf.

  • Median Annual Salary: $31,500 ($15.14/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $54,500 ($26.2/hour)

The employment of greenskeepers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Golf course owners and managers will need to hire more workers to maintain their courses as demand for golf increases. In addition, some jobs may be created or lost because of the construction of new golf courses.

Related: Greenskeeper Interview Questions and Answers

Greenskeeper Job Requirements

Greenskeepers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: A greenskeeper typically needs a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework in horticulture, agriculture or another related field.

Training & Experience: Most employers will provide on-the-job training for new greenskeepers. This training will typically include instruction on the specific equipment and processes used by the course. It may also include instruction on how to perform daily tasks, such as mowing, trimming and fertilizing.

Greenskeepers can also receive training through internships. An internship is a short-term, practical work experience that provides hands-on experience in a field. Internships can last from one month to one year and are often unpaid. They provide valuable experience for greenskeepers who are new to the field.

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require employees to pass an industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Greenskeeper Skills

Greenskeepers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. As a greenskeeper, you may need to communicate with other staff members, such as groundskeepers, to relay information about the status of the golf course. You may also need to communicate with golfers to answer questions about the course or to inform them of any changes to the course.

Customer service: Customer service involves providing a positive experience for your patrons. As a greenskeeper, you may interact with golfers, groundskeepers and other staff members. It’s important to be friendly and helpful to everyone you encounter. You can also use your customer service skills to help you with sales and marketing.

Time management: Time management is the ability to plan and execute tasks in a timely manner. This skill is important for greenskeepers because they often have many duties to complete in a day. For example, they may need to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, rake leaves and plant new flowers. With good time management skills, a greenskeeper can complete all of their duties in a timely manner.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills can help you identify and resolve issues that may arise on the grounds you maintain. You may use problem-solving skills to identify pests, diseases or other issues that may affect the health of the grounds you maintain. You can then use your knowledge of plants and their needs to find solutions to these issues. For example, you may use your knowledge of plants to identify a plant that is diseased and replace it with a healthy plant.

Physical stamina: Staying physically fit is important for maintaining stamina throughout your workday. Stamina allows you to work for long periods of time and complete physically demanding tasks. You can improve your stamina by exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Greenskeeper Work Environment

Greenskeepers work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold, rain, and snow. They use a variety of hand and power tools, such as lawn mowers, tractors, and chain saws. Some greenskeepers may operate heavy equipment, such as bulldozers, to clear land or move earth. Many greenskeepers work for golf courses, where they may be responsible for maintaining the greens, fairways, and roughs. Others work for parks, cemeteries, or other public grounds. Some greenskeepers may be responsible for the care and maintenance of trees, shrubs, and flowers.

Greenskeeper Trends

Here are three trends influencing how greenskeepers work. Greenskeepers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

Golf Courses Will Focus on Improving the Customer Experience

As golf courses focus on improving the customer experience, greenskeepers will need to focus on creating a beautiful and welcoming environment.

This means that greenskeepers will need to be familiar with design principles and have a strong understanding of landscaping. They will also need to be able to work well with customers to create a space that meets their needs.

Greenskeeping is Becoming More Technical

The role of the greenskeeper is becoming more technical as golf courses move towards more sustainable practices. This means that greenskeepers will need to be familiar with a variety of technologies and techniques in order to keep golf courses healthy and green.

In addition to traditional turf management practices, greenskeepers will need to be familiar with methods for recycling water, reducing fertilizer use, and using alternative energy sources. As golf courses continue to move towards sustainability, greenskeepers will be in high demand.

More Attention to Environmental Sustainability

As society becomes increasingly concerned about environmental sustainability, golf courses are beginning to pay more attention to this issue.

Greenskeepers can capitalize on this trend by learning how to manage golf courses in a way that is environmentally friendly. This includes things like using organic fertilizers and pesticides, recycling water, and planting native plants that require less maintenance.

How to Become a Greenskeeper

A career as a greenskeeper can be a great way to get started in the golf industry. As a greenskeeper, you’ll learn about all aspects of golf course maintenance, including turf care, irrigation, and landscaping. You’ll also gain experience working with a variety of tools and machinery.

As you progress in your career, you may want to specialize in a particular area of golf course maintenance. For example, you could become a superintendant, who is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a golf course; or a head greenskeeper, who oversees a team of greenskeepers; or a superintendent/head greenskeeper, who oversees both superintendants and head greenskeepers.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for greenskeepers are good, especially for those with experience and/or training in horticulture or turf management. Many greenskeepers start out as groundskeepers or landscapers and then move up to greenskeeping positions. With experience, greenskeepers may move into management positions, such as head greenskeeper or superintendent of grounds. Some greenskeepers may also start their own landscaping or lawn care businesses.

Greenskeeper Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we take pride in our appearance and the appearance of our property. We’re looking for a qualified greenskeeper to help us maintain the beauty of our landscaping and grounds. The ideal candidate will have experience in horticulture, landscaping, and lawn care. He or she will be responsible for a range of tasks, including mowing, trimming, planting, watering, and fertilizing. The greenskeeper will also be responsible for cleaning up leaves and debris, and for general maintenance and upkeep of the grounds.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Mow, edge, and fertilize greens, tees, and fairways using a variety of hand and power equipment
  • Rake bunkers, repair ball marks, and replace divots on greens, tees, and fairways
  • Water greens, tees, and fairways as needed using an irrigation system
  • Trim and shape trees, shrubs, and hedges using hand and power tools
  • Plant new trees, shrubs, flowers, and grass seedlings
  • Spread topsoil, mulch, and other materials to prepare beds for planting
  • Operate a tractor-drawn mower to cut roughs, remove debris, and spread fertilizer
  • Repair drainage ditches, cart paths, and fences
  • Monitor the condition of greens, tees, and fairways, and make recommendations for improvements
  • Keep work areas clean and free of hazards
  • Follow all safety rules and regulations
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Valid driver’s license with clean driving record
  • Ability to operate landscaping equipment, including mowers, tractors, and other machinery
  • Physical strength and stamina for lifting heavy objects and working long hours outdoors
  • Basic math skills for calculating measurements
  • Good communication skills for following instructions and collaborating with others

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree or certificate in horticulture, turf management, or related field
  • 1-2 years professional experience in landscaping or groundskeeping
  • Experience operating irrigation systems
  • Knowledge of chemicals and fertilizers used in lawn care
  • First aid and CPR certification


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