B.S. Golf Enterprise Management

Turn your passion for golf into a career managing top-flight operations and world-class facilities.
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

Play the Game. Manage the Business.

UW-Stout's Bachelor of Science in Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) stands as a distinctive program, proudly endorsed by the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA). This unique endorsement reflects the high caliber of our curriculum and our commitment to preparing graduates for impactful careers in golf management and related industries. 

UW-Stout's B.S. Golf Enterprise Management is proudly endorsed by NGCOA.

Our experienced faculty are dedicated to equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in this dynamic field. Graduates have the opportunity to explore various career paths, including roles as golf professionals, golf course operations managers, or fulfilling their aspirations of golf course ownership.

The UW-Stout Golf Enterprise Management (GEM) program was developed at the request of golf industry professionals to address their management needs. / UW-Stout

Experiential Learning and Industry Connections 

The GEM program emphasizes hands-on learning and professional networking. Flexible online course options allow students to complete their degrees with minimal on-campus requirements, facilitating an early start to their careers. Students gain invaluable experience and establish connections with industry leaders through various avenues:

  • World-Class Internships. Opportunities at prestigious venues such as Congressional Country Club, Pebble Beach, and the Greenbrier, as well as international locations in Asia, Europe, and South America.
  • Industry Partnerships. Internships with renowned companies like Titleist, Callaway Golf, Taylor Made, Golf Galaxy, GolfTec, and FootJoy.
  • Event Involvement. Participate in major PGA Tour events, gaining firsthand experience in the field.

In addition to world-class internships, you’ll have opportunities to assist with major PGA Tour events. And online course options allow for as little as 21 months on campus, enabling you to begin your career while finishing your degree.


Curriculum On Par with Excellence

The GEM program covers a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge essential for the golf industry:

  • Events Management: Organize tournaments, league play, and golf outings.
  • Turf Management: Oversee course maintenance for optimal play conditions.
  • Retail and Service Management: Excel in sales and customer service within the golf context.
  • Food and Beverage Management: Learn to manage dining and hospitality services.
  • Marketing: Develop strategies to foster customer loyalty and attract new patrons.
  • Human Resources: Understand effective team and personnel management.
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Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.

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In the News

Volume One Magazine: "At UW-Stout, You Can Take a Swing at a Career in Golf"

Scholarship Support

Visit the Stout University Foundation Scholarships page for more information on how to apply for a scholarship. It's easy to apply, one application will automatically qualify you for any foundation scholarship for which you meet the criteria.

  • Wilson Golf Group Scholarship: (2x) $1,000 annual
  • Golf Course Owners of Wisconsin Scholarship: $500 annual
  • John Wesolek Golf Enterprise Management Scholarship: $500 annual
  • Sten Pierce Memorial Endowed Scholarship: $500 annual

The Scholarship Committee reviews applications and announces award recipients in the Spring.

Don Rossi Scholarship Fund

The Don Rossi Scholarship Fund was created in 1993 by the National Golf Course Owners’ Association, based here in Charleston. This year, we expect two or three awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each to be given. Applications are being sent to colleges and universities nationwide.

The Don Rossi Scholarship, managed by Coastal Community Foundation of SC, is available to rising juniors or seniors who are majoring in Sports Administration, Golf Enterprise Management or Sports Management, and who intend to pursue a career in a golf-related field.

Don A. Rossi made significant contributions to the game of golf and its growth, and inspired others by his example. He was president of the National Golf Foundation from 1970 to 1983, during which time he was instrumental in forming the National Golf Course Owners Association. Mr. Rossi also served as Executive Director of the Golf Course Builders Association of America from 1984 to 1990.

Don Rossi Scholarship applications are accepted by the Coastal Community Foundation of SC through the web-based program until March 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified of the decision of the Awards Committee by early June 2021.

Endorsed by the National Golf Course Owners Association 

The National Golf Course Owners Association endorses the UW-Stout GEM program — the only endorsement of its kind ever conferred by the NGCOA. The NGCOA is the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. NGCOA members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible.

As a GEM student, you'll be eligible to join the National Collegiate Golf Club Association. Membership includes exclusive discounts and custom product offerings from the best brands in golf.

Success in the Words of Our Students & Graduates

The future success of the industry depends on the availability of golf business professionals who have a keen understanding of financials, marketing, economics and sales. At the same time, the tradition of golf must be maintained, with a strong focus on player development, agronomy and - most importantly - customer service. These are the skills you'll learn in this unique program.

Photo of Jazz Tulde"I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the UW-Stout GEM program. The hands-on learning, small classes, and the great professors I had while I was at UW-Stout helped me learn a great amount of information which helped me get a leg up in the golf industry. Not only did I have a great education, but I also created some lifelong friends while attending UW-Stout. I am definitely proud to call myself a Stout Alum."

~Jazz Tulda
Junior Golf Coordinator
Iowa Section PGA

Photo of Rachel Hernandez“Not many people can say they were able to major in the sport they love and play. Through UW-Stout’s Golf Enterprise Management program, I was able to learn and take on real life experiences in the golf industry, as well as having a successful collegiate golf career. Through connections and networking in the GEM program, I was able to complete internships in different aspects of the golf industry, such as working at a golf course to tournament administration at a state golf association. Through those experiences, I am currently working in the golf industry at the Minnesota Golf Association where I can say I love my job and continue learning every day, and I still have the opportunity to compete and play the game I love.”

~Rachel Hernandez
Member Services Manager
Minnesota Golf Association
 

"The GEM Program allows us to learn about the business of golf and grow our skills that will lead us to careers in the hospitality industry. I enjoyed being able to study abroad and learn not only about myself but also about the world around me."

~Ryan Glodowski
B.S. Golf Enterprise Management 
Application and Transfer Information 

Application

To apply for the online Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Communication and Emerging Media – Applied Communications concentration, you need to apply to UW-Stout.

Financial Aid

Students who are attending another institution, but are planning to receive their degree from UW-Stout, may be eligible to receive aid from UW‐Stout. In these cases, UW‐Stout is considered the Home Institution and the other campus is considered the Visiting Institution.

Transfer Students

Note: When filling out the application form, be sure to make a note in the student comment section that you intend to apply to the "online program." 

Preparing for Your Golf Enterprise Management Degree

High school courses such as business and communication — as well as mathematics and human relation skills - are recommended. Taking speech, marketing and computer classes will also help prepare you for this field of study.

During your first few semesters course will be a combination of general education and major foundation courses. General education courses include English composition, speech, mathematics and economics. As you progress, you'll learn about business, retail, plant and earth sciences, industrial management and service management.

As You Progress

Golf management - and related golf businesses — are complex activities that require a broad array of skills and knowledge. Courses in your junior and senior year focus on food and beverage management, retail sales, service management, turf management, marketing and human resource management.

As a course manager, you'll also need to know how to handle events management, such as tournaments, league play and golf outings. You'll learn to select and maintain the equipment and supplies needed to keep your courses in prime playing condition, and market your courses effectively to create customer loyalty and recruit new customers.

With help from your program director, you'll choose 29 elective credits to prepare for your specific career goals and objectives. You may decide to take a minor or specialization to fulfill the elective credits. Minors in areas such as business administration, human resource management, tourism, or Spanish give you the edge over the competition when looking for employment in the golf industry. Help with course and career choices is also available through the Advisement and Career Centers, the Counseling Center and Career Services.

This program has a strong experiential component. You'll complete two co-operative education or field experiences for a total of 800 hours. This practical experience will expose you to a broad variety of golf course operations and functions. The Career Services Office at UW-Stout and your program director will help you set up co-op education experiences in Golf Enterprise Management.

Career Opportunities

The general outlook for the future of golf course businesses in the U.S. remains positive. There are over 16,000 golf courses in the U.S. alone. Minnesota and Wisconsin rank among the leading states in the country for numbers of holes per capita, numbers of players and best courses. As a result, management careers in the golf industry are accessible and the salaries are attractive. Salaries do vary with location, experience and the type of golf facility.

In addition to careers in golf course management, graduates of the GEM program will be prepared for entry-level management within corporations that manage multiple courses, golf retail businesses, tourism businesses and many other golf-related businesses.

Program Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee Members

Carole Jean BaierGEM Program AssociateUW-Stout
CharlieBrown Member Head Golf Professional & Membership DirectorGeneva National Resort & Club
FrankD'AmatoDirector of National AccountsAmerican Club Resort
LukasDregerDirector of Member EngagementHazeltine National Golf Club
JohnSobotaHRTM Program DirectorUW-Stout
RachelSvejdaMember Services ManagerMinnesota Golf Association 
RyanHoagSenior AccountantWilson Golf Group
Jay Karen Executive DirectorNational Golf Course Owners Association 
AbigailSchrader-KrauseGolf Sales ManagerGrand Geneva Resort & Spa 
GindyNeidermyerInterim CSTEMM Dean UW-Stout
SamuelOnhersorgeDirector of Feed & Beverage/ 2011 Stout AlumniErin Hills
Nick PeinovichEau Claire Golf & Country ClubGrounds Supindentent
DannyRainbowDirector of GolfSentry World
Kristine SchoonoverGEM Program Director/ProfessorUW-Stout
Jeff SchwisterExecutive DirectorGolf Course Owners of Wisconsin
Mandy WolbertStudent Services SpecialistUW-Stout
JonathanStuartDirector of GolfSand Valley
Dr. JonathanBehlingFaculty MemberUW-Stout
Andrew DelongFaculty Member/Men's & Women's Golf CoachUW-Stout
Dr. KristalGerdesDept. ChairUW-Stout
DanielIngallsJunior GEM MajorUW-Stout

Double Your Degree. Expand Your Career Potential.

UW-Stout's executive hospitality management degrees naturally complement each other and UW-Stout's business degrees, so we've made it easy for students to expand their career opportunities and earning potential with a double major! Most students can earn their second degree in any of the programs below with as few as 12 additional credits.

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Instructor John Sobota's Principles of Real Estate class is photographed in the Weidner Center for Residential Property Management in Heritage Hall

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