This course would suit you if you want to pursue a career in Sports Turf (Greenkeeper)


A Golf Greenkeeper is responsible for the maintenance, care and overall appearance of a golf course in line with employer’s requirements. It is their job to maintain a good quality playing surface and ensure the course offers a consistent challenge and an enjoyable experience for golfers.

There are four key turf grass areas on a golf course- greens, tees, fairways and areas of rough, each of which requires a different type of maintenance. Using a range of equipment and machinery safely and competently will play a major part within an apprentices training programme. Golf Greenkeepers will also be involved in hazard, environmental and ecological operations which may include bunker maintenance, planting turf, trees, shrubs and developing wildlife habitats. The skills required to become a competent greenkeeper will be acquired whilst working on the golf course.

By the end of the programme apprentices will know when, how and why the range of maintenance operations are carried out.

The career as a Golf Greenkeeper can take you wherever the game of golf is played. Working outdoors in a healthy environment and as new countries are embracing the sport and more golf courses are being built, there is no better time to consider joining this great profession.


An apprenticeship commencing on a golf course would typically take 24 months to complete, however this may be reduced if an apprentice has already gained knowledge and skills working on a golf course or sports turf facility.


A Golf Greenkeeper must be able to:

  • Maintain good standards of health and safety for self and others
  • Preparing the golf course for play which will include removing early morning dew and debris from the greens, raking bunkers, moving tee markers, cutting new holes on greens
  • Preparing and using equipment and machinery to maintain and renovate all turf surfaces within the golf course, including the use of tractors, ride on machines and specialist equipment
  • Apply turf treatments to help produce quality playing surfaces, including fertilisers and top dressing
  • Using a variety of integrated methods to control weeds, fungal diseases, pests and turf disorders
  • Maintain and renovate bunkers and other hazards such as water features
  • Maintain drainage and irrigation systems
  • Preparing ground to establish turf and plants when maintaining, renovating and constructing golf course features

A Golf Greenkeeper must understand the following technical knowledge:

  • Identify their role in monitoring and maintaining health and safety within the workplace
  • Identification of a number of grasses, weeds, pests, diseases, turf disorders, plants and trees
  • The primary aspects of soil and plant biology to include the process of germination, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration
  • The principles of mowing and machine maintenance and their operation
  • The need and implications of rolling, verti-cutting, scarification and aeration
  • The strategies for controlling weeds, pests, diseases and turf disorders
  • How fertilisers, top dressing and chemicals affect playing surfaces
  • How course maintenance practices affect the environment
  • Basic information technology
  • Be aware of the importance of the Rules of Golf and golf course etiquette
  • Recognise the importance of environmental and ecological best practice
  • The operation of irrigation, drainage systems and their maintenance

Golf Club employers are very customer focused and require their apprentices to have a set of personal skills and behaviours that will ensure success in their current and future roles as an individual and in meeting the company’s aims and objectives.

The behaviours required by golf club employees will be:

  • Have a strong work ethic including pride in work, attention to detail, integrity and time management
  • Have a flexible positive attitude
  • Ability to work as a lone worker and as a member of a team
  • A willingness to learn and contribute to their own continuing professional development
  • Having a safety mindset for self, colleagues and golfers
  • A clear and effective communicator who can use a variety of communication methods to give/receive information accurately and in a timely and positive manner
  • Problem solving and effective decision making
How will I be assessed?

The Final Assessment forms 100% of the assessment of achievement of the apprenticeship standard.

The Final Assessment will contain 3 components – all components must be passed for the apprentice to be deemed competent.

A synoptic underpinning knowledge paper made up of a combination of multiple choice and structured answer questions to be sat towards the end or at the end of the apprenticeship programme, in controlled conditions. The knowledge paper will contribute 30% to the overall grade of the golf greenkeeping certificate.

A synoptic practical assessment assessed by an independent assessor that requires the apprentice to complete a range of core practical activities, in controlled conditions. This assessment will cover both skills and knowledge requirements in the Apprenticeship standard, and will be mapped to these learning outcomes. This will be graded pass/merit/distinction/fail. The practical assessment will contribute 50% to the overall grade of the golf greenkeeping certificate.

A personal statement – the apprentice will use source material collected through the learning journey to develop a personal statement. The personal statement enables apprentices to reflect on their development over the apprenticeship period reviewing the impact of own activities and behaviours on (a) the business and (b) the team. This personal statement will be assessed by an independent assessor, appointed by the awarding organisation. It will be assessed against grading criteria established by the awarding organisation to the standard set during standardisation meetings, using standardised documentation and assessment guidance provided by the Awarding Organisation(s). This will be graded pass/merit/distinction/fail. This will contribute 20% to the overall grade of the golf greenkeeping certificate. The practical assessment will take place on the apprentice’s own golf course.

What is the entry process?

Click enquire now or call the Apprenticeship Team on 01332 216640

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements will be determined by individual employers but typically potential apprentices will have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grades A-D (including Maths, English and Science) or other equivalent vocational qualifications. Apprentices recruited without the above levels of qualifications will need to ensure they achieve level 1 in English and maths as part of their apprenticeship.

What can I do after this training course?

This standard is recognised by the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA), the Professional Body for Greenkeepers. At the start of the apprenticeship, apprentices will be registered with BIGGA. Upon completion of this standard the apprentice will be eligible to join BIGGA as a full member and become a BIGGA Accredited Greenkeeper.

Successful apprentices will have the opportunity to progress on to a higher level apprenticeship standard.

Job opportunities will be also be enhanced for those apprentices who have completed the programme with promotion to more senior positions within a golf club facility or the option to progress by working in other sports facilities such as a Grounds Maintenance Operator/Technician.

Got a question about this course?

Call the Apprenticeships Team on 01332 216640


We make every effort to ensure this course information is accurate, however, we reserve the right to make alterations.

To view the full standards and assessment plans, please click on the links below:


Assessment Plan

Robert Brookes

"I've always been passionate about horticulture, now i've got knowledge as well."


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