When I was 14 I started my first job at a fast-food restaurant. While that was some time ago, I very much so regret not having a job involving both sports and the outdoors until I was 17 years old. I was a teenager, and I truly did need the money! But I wasn't sure where to find an outdoor job, as I lived in rural Wisconsin and wasn't too keen on working at a farm, and of course couldn't drive until I got my first car. I started golfing around age 15, but only here and there. When I turned 17, I balanced a few different jobs: one at a zip-line, and one at a resort with boating and golfing, and tons of recreation outside of those. I was a zip-line tour guide, which was an awesome adrenaline rush. At the resort, I worked in the restaurant, at the clubhouse, and on the boat dock. But, when I hit the golden age of 18, I started working on the course - and it was so fun. With that being said, if your children are looking for outdoor work, or at least work related to a sport they love as much as golf, keep this list in mind.
Many jobs within the outdoors and sports industries require you to be 18 - but, not all of them. A few part-time, flexible options for kids include working as a caddy, a cart attendant, or in the pro shop; and, we’ve added some more in just so you can give them a look for you, your older children, friends, family, and so on! Here it goes :)
Caddying is a great option for work at a golf course. At 13 years old (minimum, most golf courses), caddying can be an option that provides a hint of mentorship and leadership for young ones. What does a caddy do? Caddies carry the golfer's clubs, assist them on the course by providing advice on clubs, and they also provide advice on making a shot. So, golfers that are at a younger age than that are typically required to be accompanied by a caddy that is as least 13 years old. Companionship and mentorship are great for tweens and young adults, and having a younger mentor and/or company can help younger children feel less intimidated by the course. In addition to the prior responsibilities, caddies also help to maintain the course. They spend time raking bunkers and repairing ball marks on the green. Finally, a caddy usually has to pass a test prior to employment. Usually, caddies are required to wear proper golf attire. For girls, that's typically a girls golf polo paired with bermuda shorts, girls golf pants, or even a skort. For boys, the look is about the same with traditional boys golf clothes. A boys polo shirt and golf pants are standard. However, a private club will often supply a custom golf polo (and other attire) in uniform.
Being a cart attendant is another excellent opportunity for teens. In this line of work, employees are typically responsible for golf cart maintenance. And I don’t mean like, heavy duty equipment repairs! By maintenance, I mean they are responsible for cleaning, filling them with gas, and essentially making sure they are ready for the next use.
Since this job probably won’t be a super busy one, cart attendants usually help out in other areas at the course - for example, checking in golfers, working in the shop with apparel and equipment, and so on (depending on their age, the golf course, and other variable aspects). In this way, children have a great opportunity to learn alongside their elders, while also gaining experience in customer service, sales, and of course understanding how to clean and maintain equipment to further it’s lifeline. Plus, it’s fun and social! And, not that this is the only reason to work at a course, but I was fortunate enough to get free golf all summer when I worked at a resort - a seriously awesome benefit.
Compiling an all-inclusive list is a nearly impossible task, so I’ve decided to list a few other options for outdoor work for golfers, tennis players, and outdoor lovers alike. Many employment requirements and restrictions change by state, and even by city, and these opportunities won’t be available everywhere. If your child is searching for an outdoor job - encourage them to keep their mind open if they aren’t old enough (among many other hurdles that may come up) - they can always strive for said position when they are. With that in mind, here are some other fun ways to get involved in the outdoors and/or the golf community through employment:
- Work in the pro shop
- Become a retail associate at a golf store, or any sports store
- Opt for outside work elsewhere! Like I said, working at zip-line was was majorly fun
- Ball persons for tennis matches (14-16 years old usually)
- Enjoy scuba diving? If you’re 18 years old and scuba certified, you could become a golf ball diver
- Range picker (16 years old min. usually)
- See if your local club has a daycare service
- For teens, being a nanny can provide a lot of outdoor activities and build lifelong skills around caring and providing, responsibility and safety, and of course: fun!