This can make or break job satisfaction among golf pros

Golf professionals, also known as "pros", play a vital role in making guests and members happy at golf clubs. But what about their own satisfaction with working at a club? Our Players 1st survey of Danish pros uncovers what impacts their job satisfaction the most and how clubs can benefit from the findings.

Lucas Balleby
November 8, 2023

Golf pros are more than just skilled players; they're mentors. Armed with a golf bag full of expertise and passion, they help golfers of all levels enhance their abilities on the course – not to mention their key role in introducing golf to inexperienced and new members at the club. More often than not, this leads to guests and members leaving the club satisfied and eager to improve. 

While these dedicated staff members work hard to spread happiness throughout the club, let's not forget to ask: what truly brings joy to themselves in their roles? 

While they generally enjoy what they do and are loyal to their workplace, they believe some parts of their work could be better. This insight comes from a recent Players 1st study on employee satisfaction in Danish golf clubs, showing how clubs like yours can enhance job satisfaction among golf pros. 

One factor stands out above all: professional development 

Developing the golfing skills of guests and club members is the central task of coaches at the club. Interestingly, the desire to get better at what you do seems to be just as high for the ones coaching others as the ones getting lessons.  

Of the many things that affect job satisfaction, professional development stands out as the most crucial one for pros. This covers the need for ongoing learning and enhancing coaching skills, ensuring they remain motivated.  

Since the meaning of professional development most likely differs from person to person, only the ones working at your club can tell you about their specific needs. But, for inspiration, we have highlighted three ways to offer development opportunities: 

3 ways to offer development opportunities for golf pros.
3 ways to offer development opportunities for golf pros.

The board and immediate manager are hot topics 

While professional development takes the lead in this context, other areas are worth mentioning when discussing what makes pros love or dislike their work. Here, the board and immediate manager come into play, being just as important in this case as for the job satisfaction of greenkeepers.

The survey responses pinpoint four areas the board should focus on to enhance job satisfaction: 

4 areas boards should focus on when enhancing golf pros job satisfaction. Source: Players 1st
4 areas boards should focus on when enhancing golf pros job satisfaction. Source: Players 1st

In short, the pros value the board’s ability to inform about relevant matters, seek input, understand the challenges at the club, and decision-making. A low score in these areas can shoot down their job satisfaction. 

To avoid scoring low in these areas, communication might be your greatest tool. You could hold regular meetings or updates where you share the latest information. Perhaps set up a feedback system for the pros, where you also seek insight into how they see the challenges at the club. Also, always share the thoughts behind decisions while being open to questions and concerns. And remember, these are just some of the ways to improve and even prevent bad scores. 

Communication can once again be a part of the solution regarding the immediate manager, where the pros highlight the need for more feedback from the manager and better follow-up processes, while they also value the manager’s ability to set the frameworks of their job. Strengthening this can result in improved performance, making professionals happier going to work.  

Sort out job content and work-life balance concerns 

If you've already doing well in the other areas, consider looking into what your staff members think about their job content and work-life balance. While pros are generally happy with their job content, they are not over the moon about the physical environment and working conditions. While this may not be as high a priority as other things, an improvement can make great positive changes.  

Lastly, the pros want a good balance between work and personal life. Their working hours are often in the afternoons and at the weekends, taking away some precious time with their families. This concern is really seen among those in their 30s and 40s. So, finding ways to guarantee work-life balance can also be one of the many steps toward greater overall well-being and job satisfaction among golf professionals. 

About the results

The data in this article is gathered from a survey on employee satisfaction in Danish golf clubs, conducted by Players 1st in 2023. The results are based on nearly 500 responses across Danish clubs.

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